Socialist Party maintains lead in Spanish elections amidst far-right surge

The far right party, Vox, has almost doubled its seat share in the congress from 24 to 52, and has become the third largest force in the Spanish parliament

November 12, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
Spanish elections
Despite leading in the recent elections, the Spanish Socialist Workers Party faces challenges in forming the government as it has not secured a majority.

In the Spanish parliamentary elections held on November 10, the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) led by Pedro Sánchez, has emerged as the single largest party with 120 seats in the 350-seat Congress of Deputies and won 110 of the 208 Senate seats that went for election. The conservative People’s Party (PP) came second with 88 seats, and the far-right Vox with 52 seats made significant gains and have reached third position in the Spanish parliament.

Elections were declared in Spain this month after major political parties failed to reach an agreement to form a government following the elections held in April 2019. In the April elections, PSOE had topped the ballot with 123 seats but fell short of the 176 seat mark needed to secure a simple majority in the Congress of Deputies.

The PSOE will find it challenging to form the government this time again, even with the support of the left-wing Unidas Podemos, which has lost of its seven seats and is currently confined to 35 seats.

The Republican Left of Catalonia- Sobiranistes (ERC-Sovereigntists) with its 13 seats,  along with several other small political groups and independents, is now likely to play a key role in the formation of a new government in the country. The center-right liberal party, Ciudadanos (Cs), has also faced a major setback in the elections, losing out on 47 seats and confined to just 10 in the new Congress.

On the other hand, the far right Vox has almost doubled its seats in the congress from 24 to 52, cashing in on the fallout from the political crisis that followed the Catalan separatist protests. It has emerged as the third largest party in the Spanish parliament – Cortes Generales, sending shock waves among the progressive sections in the country.

The Communist Party of the Workers of Spain (PCTE) had said in its statement that the electoral results certify the resounding failure of the strategy pursued by the Social Democrats. The PSOE, with its decision to go in for fresh elections after April, has not only failed to form the government, but has aggravated pre-existing challenges and facilitated the growth of ultra-right-wing forces like Vox in the country.