Spain’s Vox party has won several seats in the Andalusian regional election, the first time a far right party has gained parliamentary seats in Spain since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1975.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Socialist party (PSOE), which has held the region for 36 years, won the largest number of seats with 33 of a total 109 – 14 fewer than the last election in 2015. The conservative Popular Party came second with 26 seats, the centre right Ciudadanos won 21; liberals Adelante Andalusia won 17 seats and the Vox party gained 12, seven more than predicted.
Voter turnout in the Andalusian elections was around 59 per cent, three percentage points lower than the turnout in 2015. The PSOE and Adelante Andalusia, both left wing parties, obtained 44 per cent of the vote share – a drop of 13 percentage points since 2015 – while the right wing, as represented by the Popular Party, Ciudadanos and the Vox party, won 50 per cent of the vote.
In order to form a majority government in the region, parties will need to form a coalition comprising more than 50 per cent of the vote share. Popular Party national leader Pablo Casado has expressed his willingness to form a rightwing coalition with the Vox party and Ciudadanos; however, Juan Marin, Ciudadanos’s Andalusian leader, has ruled out forming a coalition with any of the major parties. Susana Díaz, the PSOE’s president of Andalusia, attributed the left’s loss of vote share to poor voter turnout and called on all political forces to “rein in” the far right.
Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far right National Rally party, tweeted: “Strong and warm congratulations to my friends from the Vox party, who tonight in Spain scored a meaningful result for such a young and dynamic movement.” The Vox party, which was formed in 2013 by former members of the People’s Party, is doggedly anti-immigration, anti-Islam and anti-abortion. In 2017 the party issued lawsuits against the government of Catalonia and organisers of the Catalonia independence referendum for “sedition and rebellion”.