The ruling Spanish Socialist Party has scored something of a triumph in the Spanish elections, retaining power with an increased majority and seeing off the right-wing challenge of the People’s Party and the far-right Vox.
“We have sent a clear and powerful message from the people of Spain to Europe and the world, that it is possible to beat reactionaries and authoritarianism and regression.”Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez
The Socialist Workers Party of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez not only retained power but increased their overall majority, receiving 28.68% of the vote compared to 22.63% in 2016.
Despite fears of a right-wing coalition assuming power and including the far-right Vox, the election has seen a surprising collapse of the mainstream conservative People’s Party, the former ruling party falling from 33.01% of the vote to just 16.70%.
While the People’s Party collapsed, however, the far-right saw a surge, coming in fifth place with 10.26% and around two and a half million votes.
While the far-right will promote the results as evidence of a foothold in Spain, the share is lower than many feared, yet still means that the far-right will return to government for the first time since the Franco era.
The socialists are short of a majority and will need to form a government with the left-wing Podemos and regional parties from the Basque region and Catalonia. Returning PM Pedro Sánchez has said that the challenging now facing Spain was combatting inequality, adding that the election showed that “The future has won and the past has lost”.