Spain is heading to a close-run general election on Sunday, with the outcome likely to be decided by a small number of seats. The incumbent Socialist Party (PSOE) of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is trailing in the polls to the center-right People’s Party (PP), but could still form a government if it can secure the support of other parties.
The main issue on the campaign trail has been the rise of the far-right Vox party, which is expected to win around 15% of the vote. Vox has been campaigning on a platform of nativism and populism, and its success could have a major impact on the future of Spanish politics.
If Vox does enter government, it would be the first time a far-right party has held power in Spain since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1975. This would be a major setback for the country’s democratic progress, and could lead to a rise in xenophobia and intolerance.
The election is also being held against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. These two events have had a major impact on the Spanish economy, and voters are likely to be looking for a government that can provide stability and leadership.
The outcome of the election is uncertain, but it is clear that Spain is at a crossroads. The country could either move to the right and embrace populism, or it could reaffirm its commitment to democracy and social justice. The next few days will be crucial in determining which path Spain will take.
- The PSOE is currently in a minority government with the support of other leftist parties.
- The PP is led by Alberto Núñez Feijoo, who has been critical of Sánchez’s handling of the economy and the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Vox is led by Santiago Abascal, who has been accused of racism and xenophobia.
- The election is being held under a new electoral system that was introduced in 2019. This system is designed to make it more difficult for any one party to win an outright majority.
- Exit polls will be released shortly after the polls close at 8pm (18:00 GMT).