Spain Election: A Pivotal Poll with Potential Political Upheaval


Spain Election: A Pivotal Poll with Potential Political Upheaval

On July 23, Spaniards headed to the polls in a closely contested general election that could spell the end of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's rule and potentially usher in a far-right party to form a government for the first time in half a century.


The voting started at 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) and ended at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT), with exit polls to be released shortly after. Experts predict that the final outcome will be determined by a margin of less than a million votes and fewer than 10 seats in the 350-seat parliament.


Sanchez took the risk of calling for an early election after the left suffered significant losses in local elections in May. However, his political gamble might not pay off as opinion polls indicate a potential victory for Alberto Nunez Feijoo's center-right People's Party. Nevertheless, to form a government, the People's Party would need to ally with Santiago Abascal's far-right Vox, marking the first time a far-right party could enter government since the end of Francisco Franco's dictatorship in the 1970s.


Many Spaniards expressed frustration at having to vote during the sweltering summer when they are on vacation. As a result, postal votes reached a record 2.47 million, with people choosing to cast their ballots from vacation spots such as beaches and mountains.


Barclays recently noted in a client update that the status quo scenario and a hung parliament remain a real possibility, with around 50% odds. The final result might hinge on whether Feijoo or Sanchez can garner enough support from smaller parties to form a coalition government.


The current government, led by Prime Minister Sanchez's minority Socialist party, is in coalition with the far-left Unidas Podemos, which is running in the election under the Sumar platform. The government has implemented progressive laws on various issues, such as euthanasia, transgender rights, abortion, and animal rights, warning voters that such rights could be at risk if Vox, a party known for its anti-feminist and family values-focused stance, becomes part of the next government.


Sanchez's term as prime minister has been marked by crisis management, ranging from the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic and its economic fallout to the political turmoil caused by Catalonia's failed independence bid in 2017.


Feijoo, the leader of the People's Party, has never lost an election in his native Galicia and has positioned himself as a stable and reliable leader, which might resonate with some voters.


Forming a new government will likely require complex negotiations that could last for weeks or months and might even lead to fresh elections. Such uncertainty could impact Madrid's effectiveness as the current host of the rotating presidency of the European Union Council and its management of EU COVID recovery funds.

Posting Komentar untuk "Spain Election: A Pivotal Poll with Potential Political Upheaval"