Spain: The Right-Wing Wins but Without Majorities. Will there be New Elections?

The Spanish Popular Party won most seats, but more is needed to form majorities, not even if it allies with VOX. New elections are a possibility.

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LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: España: la derecha gana pero sin mayorías. ¿Habrá nuevas elecciones?

The right-wing celebrated, but only half-heartedly, last Sunday, July 23. Alberto Núñez Feijóo's Partido Popular (conservatives) won in the general elections, winning 136 seats in parliament. To these votes, the 33 of VOX (radical nationalist right) can be added for a clear victory by the right-wing bloc. This theory seems to be the clearest after the fact that in several regional governments, VOX and PP were able to create agreements to elect mayors and community presidents.

On the other side, the left, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, paradoxically added two more seats than in the last elections. Still, it was left with only 122 seats, plus the 31 of SUMAR (progressive environmentalist left). However, the conservative bloc only managed to win 169 votes out of the 176 seats needed for a majority in parliament.

This allows the PP to create coalitions with the other parties to count on 7 more votes. However, this is more complex a task than it sounds. Within the congress, there remained groups as diverse as Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (7), EH Bildu (6), Junts (7), Partido Nacionalista Vasco (5), Coalición Canaria (1), Bloque Nacionalista Gallego (1) and Unión del Pueblo Navarro (1). Most of these are pro-independence parties, with left-wing ideology, or both, so a union with the PP is complex. The most complicated thing is that if these parties decided to join the Popular Party, they would hardly enter into a coalition with VOX. However, the eyes will be on Junts, the Catalan party has the necessary votes to give the presidency of the Government to the PP, and already its leader, Míriam Noguerras, said that "we will not make Sánchez, president in exchange for nothing".

This opens the possibility that the Socialist Party may try to form a government. For this, they will still have to make a pact with many political movements, which will take work no matter how similar they may seem. They need the support of SUMAR, and 23 more seats, which means almost the totality of the parties.

That of the Senate was Much Clearer

Although in Congress, the victories were incomplete, in the Senate, the victory of the right was much clearer. The Popular Party was left with 120 senators and the PSOE with 72. But not only was the difference in the victory of almost 50 seats, but the PP increased 37 seats, and the Socialist Party lost 21.

VOX, Third National Force

Another important result left by the last elections was the third place of the extreme right-wing party in Spain: VOX. This, as in the second election of 2019, shows how right-wing populism is consolidating in the Iberian Peninsula and throughout Europe.

However, Santiago Abascal's party did lose electoral strength. Its 3'033.744 votes represent a decrease of 17% compared to the last election. This represented a reduction of 19 seats in the Congress of Deputies and the loss of 2 senators, leaving it with 0 seats in the upper house.

A Blue Spain and a Red Cataluña

The electoral map also showed how the PP took the vast majority of votes in the country's center, south, and northwest. In the Community of Madrid, the PP took 40.38% of the votes, and the PSOE only 27.99%. The conservative party took key communities and regions such as Granada, Balearic Islands, Galicia, Valencia, Malaga, Cadiz, Cordoba, Almeria, Murcia, Cantabria, and Ciudad Real.

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On the other hand, the PSOE's stronghold was in Cataluña, especially Barcelona. Here, the Socialist Party took 35.75% of the votes, followed by SUMAR with 15.20%. The PP barely reached 3rd place with 13.72% of the votes, and VOX was not even in the top 5. The Reds also had essential results in Girona, Tarragona, Seville, Navarra, and Las Palmas.

This shows a clear geographical division in which the pro-independence regions distance themselves from the conservative and right-wing parties with a nationalist discourse. Likewise, the PP is consolidated in the country's center and other coasts, with a large population.

What Happens if they Do Not Achieve Majorities?

As has been the case since 2011, only some parties can obtain majorities and form a government. If no group can get 176 votes in Congress, they must call elections again. This is called a political deadlock; with a precise date, elections must be called again until the majorities are balanced and there is a clear winner.

The same happened in 2019, twice left Pedro Sanchez as head of government, but after several votes and key abstentions. Also, 2016, when Mariano Rajoy won re-election, but not before elections in 2015, that did not give any party an absolute majority.

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