Elections in Spain: Socialists and the Right side by side

Legislative elections in Spain are set for a neck-to-neck fight on Sunday evening between outgoing Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist Party and the People’s Party (the right-wing opposition) after two-thirds of the votes were counted.

In third place, the far-right Vox party was credited with 33 seats, just ahead of Sumar, a hard-line left-wing party aligned with Mr. Sanchez, which will have 30 seats.

Even with Vox’s support, Albert Núñez Feijoa’s PP would only have 165 seats, far from an absolute majority, which is 176 seats.

On the other hand, the left faction, with a possible 157 seats, seemed paradoxically better positioned to remain in power due to the support of several smaller Basque and Catalan formations, which could bring it 19 seats short of reaching an absolute majority.

Such a result would come as a big surprise, as the socialists have been defeated in all polls since their defeat in municipal and regional elections on 28 May, which persuaded Mr. Sánchez to dissolve the assembly and call early elections in the middle of the summer.

There are no exit polls in Spain, but all polls conducted during the final days of the campaign, and made public when polling closed on Sunday, gave the PP a fairly wide victory, with around 140 seats, and predicted it would approach or exceed an absolute majority.

Mr Fizzou said after the vote that he hoped Spain would “enter a new era”, but from everything it appeared he would not achieve his goal.

This election is “very important (…) for the world and Europe”, he predicted, adding that the outgoing prime minister, Socialist Pedro Sánchez, would remain in power for five years.

The survey has generated unusual interest abroad because of a potential increase in power in a coalition between the mainstream right-wing and Vox, an ultra-nationalist, ultra-conservative and europhobic party that denies the existence of gender violence, criticizes “climate bigotry” and is openly anti-LGBT and anti-abortion.

Such a scenario, which now seems highly unlikely, would mark the return of the far right to power in Spain for the first time since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1975, nearly half a century ago.

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