A previously unknown “right wing extremist” party, Vox, is making huge gains in polls Spain:
Spain’s Socialists, who were in power since June with a minority government, are set to gain more seats than any other party but fall well short of a majority, the surveys showed.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called the early election on Friday after Catalan pro-independence parties who had previously backed him joined opposition parties in defeating his 2019 budget bill this week.
The far-right party Vox would win up to 46 seats out of 350, according to a GESOP poll published by El Periodico newspaper, while the GAD3 polling firm for La Vanguardia newspaper forecast 16 seats.
Vox is a newcomer on the Spanish political scene and pollsters had underestimated its score in a regional election in Andalusia in December, where the anti-immigration party won 12 seats.
Sanchez’s Socialist Party would win 115-117 seats in the election, according to the GESOP poll. The conservative Popular Party would get 75-77 seats.
With such an outcome, one of the two main parties would need the support of at least another party to secure a majority.
Let me offer a prediction on the short term future of Spanish politics, based on how nearly every other government has functioned in the EU in the face of threats from angry citizens voting for upstart populist parties.
The elections will result in Vox getting more seats than anyone expected, but not enough to run the country. To counter the rising threat of “right wing extremism,” the mainstream nominal “conservative” party will join with the ruling left wing party in a national unity government to “save” Spain from the terror of the far right.
Despite being a Unity government, the coalition will be dominated by the left. The nominal conservatives in this coalition will vote in lockstep for left wing policy priorities, and essentially be absorbed by the left, rather than dirtying themselves by recognizing the changes in the attitudes of the voters.
This has been the case in Germany, and with many other governments since the populist electoral uprisings started in the middle of the decade. This strategy will continue to gradually fail, as the existing leaders fail to address the root problems that are causing the uprisings in the first place.