Spanish elections to see Socialist plurality, right-wing gains

Spain will today hold its fourth general election in four years. Up for grabs are 350 seats in Congress and

SPanish elections

Source: REUTERS/Susana Vera

Spain will today hold its fourth general election in four years. Up for grabs are 350 seats in Congress and 208 in the Senate.

The April 28 elections earlier this year did not yield a clear winner, and parties failed to negotiate on forming a government.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and his Socialist party have suffered in public opinion polls, partly because his stance against Catalan separatism has been portrayed as weak by opposition parties.

While Sanchez is expected to lead the polls today, he is not expected to win the majority. In this scenario, he may build a coalition with left wing Unidas Podemos and Mas Pais.

The April elections indicated growing popularity for the far right Vox, which won 24 seats—the first time the far-right entered parliament since 1975. While polls predict more seats for Vox and the conservative People’s Party, they may fall short of the 176 needed for a majority.

An indecisive mandate spells further political distress for Madrid. With the unemployment rate at 14.2%—the second highest in EU—and growth projections at 2% for next year, the uncertainty in policy decisions is likely to adversely impact the economy in the medium to long term.