31 seats would remain in the hands of third regional forces. Photo: AFP.
More than 37 million Spanish citizens will be able to decide in the general elections this Sunday if the government remains in the hands of a progressive coalition led by the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) or if, for the first time since the death of the dictator Francisco Franco, a right-wing and far-right alliance will govern, made up of the Popular Party (PP) and Vox, to which most projections give the lead.
In Spain, one of the ten parliamentary monarchies in force in Europe, the Executive is voted by the composition of the Parliament (the Cortes Generales) of 350 members, which this Sunday will be elected in its entirety. Whoever gathers the absolute majority, 176 seats, stays with the Government, although abstentions also play a role.
Although there are some polls that report an advance by the PSOE, and even the Center for Sociological Research (CIS) gives the Socialists the lead by a bare 1.4% against the conservative PP, the same study indicates that in the general sum, in the province by province account, the right-wing and extreme-right coalition could add 173 seats (135 from the PP and 38 from Vox), just three below the absolute majority, with what they would need at least three abstentions to reach La Moncloa, seat of the Executive.
The leaders of the PSOE, President Pedro Sánchez, and Sumar, Second Vice President Yolanda Díaz, will not have an easy time seeking hypothetical support to retain the Government
The government coalition would reach, according to the average of the projections of this poll, 146 seats, 110 from the PSOE and 36 from the left-wing Sumar alliance, which is disputing vote by vote with Vox for the strategic third place.
Thirty-one seats would remain in the hands of third regional forces, such as the PNV (Basque Nationalist Party) with Christian Democratic roots and ideologically aligned with liberalism; EH Bildu (also a Basque nationalist, but from the left), or the left-wing Catalans of the CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy). Each one with their demands when negotiating support at the national level.
The leaders of the PSOE, President Pedro Sánchez, and Sumar, Second Vice President Yolanda Díaz, will not have an easy time seeking hypothetical support to retain the Government. But the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, does not have everything resolved either with his far-right partner, Santiago Abascal, the leader of Vox.
Filtered messages come out daily from the Vox bunker to condition the eventual agenda of a shared government. The most daring, as highlighted by the San Sebastian newspaper Naiz, is the claim to occupy the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
Vox, alone or as an ally of the PP, was installed in the administration of several districts, based on the success of the right-wing bloc in the regional and municipal elections on May 28.
Various cultural groups, prominent actors and actresses, theater and film directors denounced the censorship of plays and films that address gender issues and the LGTBIQ+ collective in several of these municipalities.
In Valdemorillo, a municipality located in the Commune of Madrid, kilometers north of the Spanish capital, the City Council, made up of a vast majority of the PP and Vox, determined the cancellation of the play “Orlando”, based on the novel of the same name by Virginia Woolf, which addresses the complexities of female sexuality, the artificiality of gender roles and homosexuality. This literary work had already been censored in 1944 by the Franco regime and was only published in Spain in 1978.
Between the left and the right: Spain chooses.
Also censored were “La villana de Getafe”, the work of Lope de Vega, in the city of the same name, also governed by the right, and the Disney Pixar film “Lightyear”, in the municipality of Santa Cruz de Bezana, located in the northern province of Cantabria.
These and various other prohibitions prompted prominent figures of Spanish culture such as Pedro Almodóvar, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Alba Flores, Marisa Paredes and Juan Diego Botto, among others, to publicly denounce censorship, and to viralize the hashtag #StopCensura on Twitter.
But this revival of policies, which are described as anachronistic and backward, appears as the symptom of an exhausted system of representation.
The Spanish electoral system is designed for a bipartisan logic, with an alternation in the national power of the PSOE and the PP, but in the last decade new political expressions have appeared, with weight in various regions and reaching Parliament, which show that monocolor governments have been replaced by those of coalitions.
The Spanish embassy in Buenos Aires was also a point of suffrage.
For this reason, despite the efforts of the PSOE and the PP to consolidate their own votes, in this step from bipartisanship to “bibloquism”, as some political scientists call this scenario that tends to consolidate in this Sunday’s elections, the dispute for third place between Sumar and Vox becomes important.
When the election closes, the leading role will be the D’Hondt proportional distribution system, which rewards the first minority. The dispute for third place is strong, for example, in Cádiz, Málaga and Seville, where the progressives dispute the last seat of the cast vote by vote.
Not coincidentally, both Sánchez and Feijóo, even given the evidence that they will have to negotiate and make concessions if they want to win, seek to differentiate themselves from their inescapable allies in these last stages of the campaign.
The most emphatic in this objective is the leader of the PP, who this last Thursday said that he is not seeking an agreement with Vox, and assured that this is “the scenario that the current government wants to set up.”
When the election closes, the leading role will be the D’Hondt proportional distribution system, which rewards the first minority. The dispute for third place is strong, for example, in Cádiz, Málaga and Seville, where the progressives dispute the last seat of the distribution vote by vote
“My goal is not to agree with Vox,” said Núñez Feijóo, and emphasized, before a journalistic question about the anti-European positions held by Abascal and his supporters, that “there is not a single coalition in the European Union whose prime minister governs with the support of parties that want to break the unity of the nation they represent.”
From the words it could be inferred that the PP would not accept the support of Vox under the conditions that force proclaims, but that coalition is already working in several districts after the elections last May.
On the other hand, if the PP replaces the PSOE in La Moncloa, it must assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union, which is held by Spain, when the PP-Vox coalition had the flags of the bloc and the LGTBIQ+ collective removed from their buildings in several town halls.
If the PP replaces the PSOE in La Moncloa, it must assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union, which is held by Spain, when the PP-Vox coalition had the flags of the bloc and the LGTBIQ+ collective removed from their buildings in several town halls
In this scheme, where parity will force a vote-by-vote dispute, the level of turnout at the polls is not a minor issue.
The newspaper Naiz reports that during a recent breakfast with journalists in a Madrid hotel, sociologist José Juan Toharia, director of Metroscopia, estimated that electoral participation will oscillate around 68%, a lower-than-expected turnout at the polls that also sets the tone for the social climate in which these elections are taking place, which were originally scheduled for the end of the year, but were brought forward by Sánchez after the defeat in May at the hands of right-wing forces.
At the same breakfast, the electoral analyst Ignacio Varela provided additional information about this social humor: he assured that among the million and a half new voters, the segment that goes from 18 to 22 years old, “the most voted party is Vox”.