The leader of the Spanish opposition Conservative party, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, won the early elections, but not with the desired convincing result, writes the BBC.
Even with far-right support, the Feijóo People’s Party has not won a majority in parliament. This drew loud cheers from the Socialist side, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez declared that the reactionary bloc had failed.
Sanchez’s controversial decision to hold the election in the hottest summer heat has been vindicated. Voter turnout reached 70%, and
citizens who understand the importance of elections came to vote, dressed in swimsuits and carrying beach accessories.
Outside the headquarters of Spain’s Socialist Party, supporters chanted that the right should not be able to advance. Nevertheless, Feijóo meanwhile told conservative supporters that it was now his duty to try to form a government, adding that he hoped Spain would not enter a period of uncertainty.
However, this is exactly what awaits Spain. Feijóo’s party won 136 seats and the far-right Vox 33 seats in parliament, still seven seats short of a majority. Another election will likely be needed closer to the end of the year.
The right has repeatedly attacked Sánchez for allegedly weakly worded abortion laws and reforms and support for transgender rights.
The opposition has also criticized the support Sánchez is getting from Catalan and Basque nationalists.
Some supporters of the People’s Party chanted anti-Sánchez slogans during the election.
For most of the evening, the mood among the Conservatives was subdued, with celebrations only beginning when their party’s results outperformed those of the Socialists. As Feijóo concluded his speech, constituent groups wondered what would happen next. It was not a victorious celebration, despite the rhetoric blaring from the balcony above the supporters’ heads.
Voter turnout, despite the heat, was higher than in 2019. About 2.5 million votes were cast in postal ballots.
The number of votes has also increased by 1.6 million young Spaniards who went to vote for the first time.
About 10 million Spaniards went on holiday, and one man turned up at the polling station on the coast wearing a snorkel mask and flippers. In Granada, the young couple came to vote immediately after the night of celebration, still in their wedding clothes.
Many voters pointed out that there was too much at stake in this election not to attend.