July’s Spanish voters can be divided into two groups.
The first is right-wing voters fed up with current government policies. According to commentators, this is mainly due to the centre-left PSOE’s reluctance to form a government coalition with the left-wing Unitas Podemos. and about the fact that Thunder fell on the government of Pedro Sánchez to the current state of the country (which, colloquially, is not ideal due to inflation, war or the recent epidemic).
Leftist voters, on the other hand, refer to familiar slogans from the Civil War era and speak of necessity. “Stop Fascism”. In this case, it was about voting against the Vox Group, which had nothing to do with the late Franco’s ideological background.
Spain’s parliamentary elections on Sunday will be the second this year, following municipal and regional elections on May 28 in which the right-wing opposition won a significant victory. In several regional governments, the People’s Party of Partido Popular entered into a coalition with the far-right Vox, supported by Jaroslaw Kaczynski from Poland.
What’s more, it was in these elections that the centrist Ciudadanos’ liberals lost so badly that they decided to skip the July elections altogether. That is, they lost almost all their seats in regional governments, which is why they announced on July 23 that they would not contest. Yes, in short The plan of the Spanish centrist party collapsed. Hence the struggle between right and left.
176 seats are required to get an independent majority. The Feijoo People’s Party won 136 seats, and their potential coalition partner – 33, giving a total of 169 seats. PSOE has 122, while the pupated Podemos – now “Sumar” – has 33. Catalan Esquerra, associated with the ruling coalition, won seven seats, followed by Basque EH Bildu, which won six.
The remaining seats also went to regional parties. Five for the Basque conservatives from the PNV, and one each for the centre-right UPN from Navarre, right-wing coalition Canaria and PSOE-affiliated Galician BNG.
Together with regional “security comrades”, the new leftist government won 169 seats, the same as the rightist. However, there is one more group.
The pro-independence, centre-right Junds per Catalunya party, led by controversial independence leader Carlos Puigdemont, won seven seats. The rest of the regional parties – probably with the exception of the UPN and the Canary Islands parties, which have a total of two votes – will almost certainly join the left. But Junds’ case is more complicated.
Junds demand two things: First, more autonomy (constitutionally controversial) for Catalonia. Second, amnesty for the organizers of the 2017 independence referendum (a contentious issue when it comes to public opinion).
The seven decrees of the juntas were crucial to the formation of the government. The right has already burned bridges here, as its propaganda has been based, among other things, on battles with regionalist aspirations. If the left’s ongoing talks with Juntz fail, that could mean calling another election, but Prime Minister Sánchez is careful not to do that. It is difficult to say whether Juntz’s demands will be met, especially after Puigdemont’s immunity was recently lifted. So Spanish democracy is in a pinch.
However, it is solid Sanchez will do everything to bring about an alliance with the Catalans. That’s why at least some Junds activists can even go for big settlements like amnesty. Feijoo, on the other hand, refused to give up, claiming that he had been given a mandate to “set up a government in Spain”.
Spanish elections, European elections
The Left is willing to sacrifice a lot to defeat the Right. It was not without reason that in June Prime Minister Sánchez was still “threatening fascism”.
“PP-Vocs deals in regional governments follow an electoral logic,” he tells me Esteban Hernández, Spanish columnist and columnist for the conservative-liberal “El Confidential”. – The shift of the PP to the right did not stem from the alliance with Vox, but rather from the general dynamics evident in Europe. If the PP co-governs with Vox, the latter will be a minor party in the coalition and will not carry much weight. As with most policies of the state, the most important ministries of the state will be in the hands of the PP. However, the issue of the People’s Party and Vox coalition is more complex and requires a European context, Hernández says. “One question is how the European People’s Party will change after the 2024 EP elections.
The stakes, on a European scale, are huge. First, it remains to be seen whether the next big EU country – after Italy and Poland – will succumb to the tide. Right-wing populism (In this case, it will be implemented by a smaller alliance partner, Vox). Second, we can observe whether the EPP farmers will betray their pro-European policies and come to terms with the neo-fascist party.
Finally, in the Polish context, a government with “Populares” and Vox could be a good reference point for PiS, which belongs to the same faction in the EP that refers to Franco’s legacy.
A right-wing Spanish government would not be as anti-Ukrainian as Orban’s – the efforts of some Vox politicians (with ties to the Spanish equivalent of the Ordo Iuris) would certainly be stopped by a major coalition partner, namely the PP. The same is true if by some miracle the PP and Vox form a coalition with PNV, UPN and Coalicion Canaria. However, there seems to be little chance of this: Regional parties are unlikely to align with VoxKnown for strong regional opposition. It can be said that the right wing only burned its bridges with its propaganda and lost the opportunity for similar deals.
A right-wing government is still a possibility, nothing is certain: everything depends on the effectiveness of the talks between the left and the Junds. However, an alliance with pro-independence Catalans would represent a first step towards further reforms in the country – perhaps towards a federation. However, the electorate, already somewhat turned off by some of Podemos’ actions, They can respond with an even stronger turn to the right.
So the right wing will probably have to wait until 2027.
Krzysztof Katkowski – journalist and columnist, writes e.g. On OKO.press, “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna”, “Kontakt”, “Krytyka Polityczna” and “Kultura Liberalna”. He is currently studying at the University of Warsaw and the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. Collaborator of the Center for Image Studies, University of Warsaw.
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