Elections to the Parliament of the Cortes Generales are underway in Spain. It will end at 8 pm. Representatives of 75 political parties and electoral blocs are taking part. The favorite is the centre-right People’s Party (PP) led by Alberto Nunez Feijoo. However, as Reuters notes, in order for it to form a government, it would probably have to cooperate with Santiago Abascala’s far-right Vox.
Spaniards elect the 350 members of the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of parliament, and 208 senators for four-year terms. The other members of the Senate, the 265-member upper house, will be chosen later by the parliaments of the autonomous communities.
According to information from the Spanish National Electoral Commission, 37.5 million people are allowed to vote on Sunday, of which 1.6 million have the opportunity to vote for the first time. The office responsible for conducting the elections announced that a record number of Spaniards, 2.47 million, had already voted by correspondence.
Among the 75 political parties and electoral blocs competing in the elections, almost half are small local groups.
Nine thousand liters of water, or elections in the shade of heat
As reported by the National Meteorological Agency (AEMET), in most of Spain’s territory on Sunday afternoon, temperatures of 30-40 degrees Celsius remain in the shade.
According to local media, which write about “massive” voting in the elections, the Spaniards were not scared by the heat. The Ministry of the Interior reported that by 2 p.m., 40.5 percent of voters had cast their votes. entitled. The election commission reported that compared to the 2019 parliamentary elections, the turnout is now 2.56 percentage points higher.
It was reported that due to the heatwaves, nine thousand liters of water and nine thousand windmills – fans were delivered to over 60.3 thousand polling stations where voting is conducted.
Voters who arrived at the polls before noon emphasized that they wanted to avoid waiting in queues to cast their votes in the heat. The most efficient voting was in the village of Villarroya in the autonomous community of La Rioja in the north of Spain. On Sunday, a record was set for all eligible voters to vote – seven citizens. They voted in just 26 seconds, extending their own record by three seconds.
Elections after the dissolution of parliament
Sunday’s vote is taking place in connection with the decision of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who, after the defeat of the ruling socialists from the PSOE in the May elections to regional and local authorities, dissolved the Cortes Generales.
When announcing early parliamentary elections, the leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party declared that he wanted to give citizens the opportunity to express their opinion on the situation in the country.
The far-right Vox party may be in the new government
The favorite of Sunday’s vote is – according to the latest polls – the centre-right People’s Party (PP) led by Alberto Nunez Feijoo. However, as Reuters notes, in order for the party to form a government, it will likely have to work with Santiago Abascala’s far-right Vox group. It would be the first time in nearly 50 years that a far-right party would enter government since the end of Franco’s dictatorship in the 1970s.
According to a Sigma Dos survey, the People’s Party is going to be supported by 35 percent of voters and the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party by 28 percent.
Reuters adds that political success may depend on whether Feijoo or Sanchez gain the support of enough smaller parties to form a coalition government. The agency also adds that a possible People’s Party government could weaken the “green agenda” of the previous cabinet and take a much more conservative stance on social issues.
Prime Minister Sanchez’s minority socialist government is currently in a coalition with the far-left Unidas Podemos party, which is running in Sunday’s elections on behalf of Sumar’s platform.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/ALEJANDRO GARCIA