Our regional elections, which took place yesterday, produced two salient results: the far right returns and an empire topples.
The socialists took the regional parliament by storm 40 years ago and had ruled supreme until last night: the word ‘Junta‘ was synonymous with ‘Socialistas.’
However, the 2015 elections shook the foundations of the socialist empire because although they were still the most voted party, they had to be propped up by Ciudadanos; a centre-right party. Last night however, even though they remained the most voted party, the game was up because the three right-wing parties outnumbered the left-wing block.
Just the mention of ‘three right-wing parties,’ is a novelty. Whilst the left has always been split between a far-left and a centre-left party, the Spanish right wing was firmly a monolithic-block under the Partido Popular. The clue to it really being made up of different right-wing tendencies is that this party was originally known as the AP (Alianza Popular). Now that block has been shattered and its contents spilt onto the electoral floor: the centre-right Ciudadanos, the right-wing Partido Popular and the far-right Vox.
To understand what Vox represents you need only know that the first message of congratulations that they received was not from within Spain’s borders, but from Marine Le Penn. It is, generally, the equivalent of the British BNP, but there are differences between Vox and the other far-right parties emerging in the rest of Europe.
Vox is basically made up of Franco nostalgics, in so much that they are fundamentalist Catholics, therefore against abortion and they aim to roll back the law against gender violence. They are heavily anti-immigration and have called for a Trumponian wall to be built in Ceuta and Melilla… and they are anti-EU but along the lines of soft EU-scepticism.
Going back to the results, there was a low voter turn out and many of those that stayed home were disgruntled, traditionally left-wing voters, hence the debacle in the socialist PSOE and far-left Adelante Andalucía.
Yet the shift in parliamentary seats also indicates that some left-wing voters actually voted for Vox, probably because the popularist messages fell on fertile ground in their minds. Anybody that speaks out against corruption and immigration in Spain, after all, will find many eager ears
Also, their call for the abolition of the 17 region governments and return to just one central government has appealed to many, many Spaniards.
But let’s speak about the centre-right Ciudadanos, who virtually doubled their parliamentary seats from 12 to 21 becoming the third most-voted party, putting them into a key position, so much so that they’re speaking of putting forward their candidate as the new First Minister of the Junta.
We’ll go into greater details about how voting went along the Costa Tropical, in a separate article.