Updated 29 April: Spain’s PSOE led by Pedro Sánchez has won yesterday’s General Election comfortably. The Party hasn’t achieved an outright majority, and so will need coalition-type support from Podemos which, with fewer seats this time than last, will nevertheless now become the means by which the Socialist Government can actually achieve its manifesto commitments. Most importantly, perhaps, it will allow Sánchez, whose minority Government was unable to get the national budget approved, to succeed at last in getting it through Congress to bring to an end Spain’s economic paralysis.

The Socialist victory came against the background of the rout of the conservative Partido Popular who are clearly still not trusted by huge swathes of the population after repeated, long-standing and ongoing corruption scandals. The party achieved its worst ever election result, cutting its number of seats by more than half. The PSOE win came, also, against the background of a far-right surge with Vox now clearly a national force rather than a regional one, gaining seats for the first time in the country’s Parliament. Many see the PP collapse as being behind the surge of the pro-bullfighting, anti-gay and anti-feminist Vox, but the far-right party is not at all alone in Europe, or even further afield, in capturing the votes of the politically disenchanted by extreme and populist rhetoric.

From the perspective of British nationals in Spain concerned with Brexit, however, the result will be a great relief. It has been, after all, Sánchez himself who has given us, as Brits, all the support we’ve failed to get from our own country, and he will now be able to maintain the measures and legislation he’s put in place to protect us, and we need have no concern about potential changes to the support we believed we had from Spain. We still have it, thanks to the PSOE.

Source: Janet Anscombe 

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