Spanish election winner unclear

Published 25 July 2023
- By Editorial Staff
Left: Pedro Sánchez, leader of the socialist PSOE; right: Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, leader of the conservative PP.

The elections in Spain were decided last night. The conservative party PP (Partido Popular) increased its seats significantly, but neither it nor the incumbent social democratic party PSOE got a majority to form a government.

Spain’s general elections were scheduled for December, but current Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez decided to call them early. The reason for this is unclear, but there is some speculation that the left, with whom he had previously worked, would be a stronger opponent if the elections were postponed until the end of the year.

The issues surrounding the election have been characterized by value issues around transgender rights, abortion, and immigration. Transgender issues in particular have been highlighted by the recent implementation of a law in the country that allows 16-year-olds to change their legal gender without undergoing any examination or treatment.

The election pitted the two main parties, the social democratic Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE), which has been in power since 2018, against the conservative Partido Popular (PP).

The PP made progress in the election, winning 136 seats, a significant increase from the November 2019 election, when it won 89 seats in the 350-seat parliament, taxpayer-funded Swedish state-television SVT reported. The PSOE won 122 seats, an increase of two seats since the last election. Both parties declared victory at midnight, although neither has the 176 seats needed for a majority. However, it seems likely that the PP will have the first shot at forming a government, something its leader Alberto Nuñez Feijoo also mentioned after the election.

– As the candidate of the party that won the most seats, I think it is my duty to try to form a government, Nuñez Feijoo said.

The right-wing Vox party suffered a significant setback in this year’s elections, winning only 33 seats, a decrease of 19 seats since the last election.

Voter turnout was estimated at 53 percent.

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