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Pedro Sanchez with Angela Merkel. Wikipedia

Spain wakes up to increasingly fragmented nation

The Iberian country has voted for an even more fragmented parliament, one in which the leftists have lost considerable ground but the rightwing parties still do not have the numbers to govern.

Published: November 11, 2019, 7:25 am

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    Madrid

    Pedro Sanchez, the Socialist Spanish political leader, had hoped that the Podemos party, at the same time a possible ally as well as thorn in the side of the outgoing Spanish premier, would come to his rescue, but their support had fallen sharply.

    Sanchez had begun to hope for a parliament much more oriented towards his political formation, and able to give him a clearer majority than the current one. The results, although not yet final, have seriously dashed his hopes. Not only did the Socialists not maintain the same number of seats in the outgoing parliament, but Spain in fact awoke this week to a surge in rightwing votes.

    Both the Popular Party (PP) and Vox have recorded increased percentages. The PP have gone from the 66 seats in the outgoing parliament to 88 according to preliminary results.

    And Vox has now become the third largest Spanish party jumping from 24 to 52 seats. These figures confirmed a clear turnaround compared to the last voter consultations, in which the Socialists were not able form a government but the leftists had a clear majority overall.

    Therefore, the political picture that has emerged from Sunday’s poll is instead much more fragmented. The left has lost ground, with the Socialists down from 123 to 120 seats and with Podemos collapsing from 42 to 35 parliamentarians.

    Conservative parties have thus advanced but they still not have the numbers to govern. Even though the PP and Vox have recorded important results, the same thing cannot be said for the centrists of Ciudadanos, who have gone from 57 to 10 parliamentarians, a completely unexpected implosion.

    The main problem for the next government is that neither the left nor the right have the necessary strength to lead, in any case not in the current traditional political formations.

    It is also true that going to the polls for the fifth time in two years have been an unacceptable drain for all Spaniards, struggling with an economic situation that is certainly not idyllic.

    In the next hours contacts between the various parties will begin to try to give shape to the new political framework in Madrid.

    Socialists and PP may get together to form a “big coalition” although the leaders of the Popular Party have been asking for Sanchez to resign, despite having obtained the relative majority.

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