Elections to the Parliament of the Cortes Generales are underway in Spain. Voting takes place in over 20,000 polling stations. It will end at 8 pm. Representatives of 75 political parties and electoral blocs are taking part.
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 state 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 voting 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.
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 favorite of Sunday’s vote is – according to the latest polls – the centre-right People’s Party (PP) led by Alberto Nunez Feijoo. According to a study by Sigma Dos, this party intends to support 35 percent of voters, and PSOE – 28 percent.
Main photo source: EPA/ANA ESCOBAR