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Spain 23 July election: ‘No pasaron’ (they did not pass)

24 July 2023

Author: Leah Pattem, Header photo: Flor Ordoqui

In last few days, polls and right-leaning media published that a lurch to the far-right in Spain was all but inevitable. They were so adamant, it felt as though they were almost willing on a far-right shift. Fortunately, and against the so-called odds, Spaniards put just enough left-wing slips in the ballot boxes to stop the far-right trend we’re seeing elsewhere in Europe, keeping the country on the most progressive track in its history.

Ultra-right party Vox halved their seats compared with Spain’s previous general election. Abascal’s archaic rhetoric of slashing the rights of the LGBTQI+ community, women and migrants, and denying climate change during record-breaking heatwaves across Europe didn’t entice voters. The Spain he was fighting for may have existed 50 years ago, but his grotesque, fanciful ideals saw many former Vox voters return to the PP, giving the conservative party the largest vote share it’s seen since their culture of corruption was exposed in 2018, but weakening their coalition partner.

National voter turnout was over 70.4% (4% more than in 2019) but results indicate a more divided election than four years ago. Based on likely pacts, Spain’s right-wing bloc (PP + Vox) could have 169 seats, but the left-wing bloc (PSOE + Sumar + ERC + EAJ-PNV + EH Bildu + BNG) could have 172 seats.

It all comes down to Junts per Catalunya (Catalan independence party) which gained seven seats in this election. If Junts joins forces with current prime minister Pedro Sánchez and second deputy prime minister Yolanda Díaz, the left bloc would have a governing majority. Therefore, the PSOE and Sumar must now negotiate hard over the next few weeks to integrate all left-wing parties and form a stable national government.

If they can’t reach a deal, we’ll have another election. But Pedro Sánchez has ruled that out, assuring us that he can find a solution to forming a government without bringing a politically burnt-out nation to the polling station again.

For now, we should be happy and enjoy our summer. This election has shown that the country is not interested in regressing to the past. ‘No pasaron‘ (they did not pass).

Image © Luiso García (IG: @luisoarte)

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