Spain is left hanging as far right make gains

Spain is left hanging as far right make gains

Spain is left hanging as far right make gains

The left may, perhaps, take heart from the popularity of Sánchez's policies: since becoming prime minister previous year after his predecessor, the conservative Mariano Rajoy, lost a no-confidence vote, the Socialist leader has raised Spain's minimum wage by 22% and given the country's 2.5 million public sector workers a 2.5% pay rise.

Ciudadanos (57) and the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party PSOE (123) have 180 seats together - more than enough to govern in a coalition.

A woman picks up a ballot at a polling station in Ronda near Malaga, during general elections in Spain, on April 28, 2019.

Vox, which won just 0.2 per cent in 2016, was polling at around 10 per cent throughout the campaign, the ultra-Catholic and anti-immigration party threatening to make an already complex political situation even more fraught.

"The People's Party under Pablo Casado clearly lurched further to the right to fend off the rise of Vox".

Far left-wing party Podemos immediately offered to open coalition talks with Sanchez, though the two parties together can not command a majority.

The fight between far-right nationalists Vox, the centre-right People's Party and the Liberal Ciudadanos diluted the conservative vote during yesterday's Spanish election, the professor from the University of Malaga added.

Populist party Vox won 24 seats marking the first time a significant far-right force has done so in decades.

But this time Vox will get seats, boosted by voter discontent with traditional parties, its focus on widespread anger at Catalonia's independence drive, and non-mainstream views that include opposing a law on gender violence it says discriminates against men.

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The Socialists of outgoing Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez were seen leading Spain's election as polls closed on Sunday, according to a survey by GAD3 published shortly after mainland voting ended.

The result is likely to come as a relief for supporters of further European Union integration ahead of May 26 elections for European Parliament amid fears that Vox could have gained a share of power in Spain.

Alternatively he could look to form a centrist coalition with Ciudadanos, which would hand the two parties a clear majority. A government backed by the far right risked "setting the country back 40 years", he said.

The numbers also show that Prime Minister Sanchez could continue with his current governing arrangement, counting on the parliamentary support of Podemos, Catalan secessionists and Basque nationalists, which also have increased their representation in the national parliament.

But though Rivera seems to have shut all doors to an alliance with the left bloc a long time ago, Sanchez could give him another chance.

Though he and Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera have sharply different views on Catalonia and both ruled out forming an alliance during the campaign, speculation persists that the pair could yet strike a coalition deal.

To do that in combination with Podemos, the Socialists would require the support of at least one lawmaker from the Catalan separatist camp.

Forging cross-party alliances has proved hard for political negotiators and has unsettled Spanish governments.

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