A poll that does not seem able to put an end to political instability. The Spaniards voted Sunday for the fourth legislative elections in four years in a climate weighed down by the Catalan crisis and the rise of the far right.
No clear majority according to the latest polls
The first results, partial, confirm polls that predicted a victory of the outgoing Socialist Government leader Pedro Sanchez. The Socialist Party of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was leading the results of Sunday's legislative elections in Spain, and the far-right party Vox became the third largest force in parliament after counting nearly 60 percent of ballot papers.
The PSOE rose slightly, from 123 to 124 seats, the Conservatives of the Popular Party back from 66 to 83 seats, and Vox increased from 24 to 52 seats, ahead of the radical left Podemos, which drops from 42 to 35 seats.
According to these initial results, the left bloc (PSOE, radical left of Podemos and its dissident list Mas Pais), around 160 seats, would not reach the absolute majority of 176 seats out of 350.
Six months after the last elections, Pedro Sanchez asked the 37 million voters to give him a clear majority to end the political blockage that undermines the fourth economy of the euro area since 2015.
But it will have to be satisfied at best with a fragile minority government obliged to negotiate support on a case-by-case basis in Parliament. Pedro Sanchez does not hide that he prefers to rule alone in the minority rather than trying to reach an agreement with Podemos, with whom his negotiations failed after the April poll, because their differences are too great on the Catalan file.
The solution must therefore be an abstention from the Conservatives of the PP who have excluded to do so even if most analysts expect them to end up doing so, to avoid the anger of voters. For José Ignacio Torreblanca of the European Council on Foreign Relations, Sanchez plans to obtain "the abstention of all at the last minute, at the risk of pushing us to the brink of infarction".
Vox surfed the Catalan crisis
A few weeks after the demonstrations escalated into violence following the conviction in mid-October of nine pro-independence leaders with long prison terms for the secessionist attempt in 2017, Catalonia dominated the campaign.
And Vox, whose leader Santiago Abascal advocates the banning of separatist parties, the suspension of the autonomy of Catalonia and the arrest of its independence president Quim Torra, was the beneficiary. "I have always voted PP, but given the situation, I think we must use the strong way" with Catalonia and immigration, another central theme of the Vox campaign, said a sympathizer, Ana Escobedo.
"Hold on to the Franco regime"
Pedro Sanchez tried to mobilize the electorate of the left against the rise of Vox, that it presents as a return of the Francoism, denouncing the right which did not hesitate to ally with this party to take control of the Andalusia, the most populated region of Spain, the region of Madrid, the richest, and the town hall of the capital.
"Spain needs a progressive government to stand up against the Franco regime, the extremists and the radicals," he repeated relentlessly. In an area of Madrid, where Vox has exploited the malaise of a part of the population vis-à-vis a center welcoming young migrants, David Barcelo, a 25-year-old engineer, denounced the fact that "Vox says just what that people want to hear, using false data. "