Spain yesterday voted in an uncertain snap general election marked by a resurgence of the far-right after more than four decades on the outer margins of politics.
Opinion polls give outgoing socialist premier Pedro Sanchez a win but without the necessary majority to govern alone, meaning he will have to seek alliances in a political environment that has soured since Catalonia’s failed secession bid.
The most significant new development of these elections is the emergence of far-right party Vox, which burst onto the scene in December regional polls in southern Andalusia and looks set to make its first-ever entrance into the national parliament. Santiago abascal is leading the party.
Polls predict it could take more than 10 percent of the votes in a country that had no far-right party to speak of since the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, in what is likely to cause further concern in Europe.
After a tense campaign, voter turnout as of 2 pm (1200 GMT) stood at 41.48 percent, up from 36.87 percent in the preceding polls in 2016, election authorities said. Turnout was notably higher in Catalonia, rising nearly 11 percentage points.
Founded by a former member of the conservative Popular Party (PP), with a strong stance against feminism and illegal immigration, Vox has risen thanks to its hard line against separatists in Catalonia.
Sanchez was forced to call Sunday’s early elections after Catalan pro-independence lawmakers in the national parliament, angered at the trial of their leaders in Madrid, refused to give him the support he needed for his 2019 budget.