CENTRE ground has been cut out of Spanish politics in the most fragmented and polarised election result since returning to democracy in the late 1970s in Spain after holding a fourth general election in so many years last Sunday.
The collapse of the centre in Spain’s political landscape was confirmed by the surge of votes given to far-right Vox who won 52 seats.
Ciudadanos, which describes itself as Spain’s only centrist party, lost all but 10 of the 57 seats causing its leader Albert Rivera to resign, warning his country not to succumb to the allure of extremism. Albert Rivera not only resigns but has stated he will withdraw totally from politics and the public eye to focus, from now on, on his family.
The election was formally won by the Socialist (PSOE) with 120 seats, but not enough to form government, more alarmingly, with no obvious route to even a minority government as Spain’s parties remain deeply divided over how to deal with the separatist threat from Catalonia’s independence movement. The 120 seats won by PSOE is the lowest-ever total for a winning party.
Lluís Orriols, a political analyst from Madrid’s Carlos III University has said:
“We will continue to see even more destabilisation from the Catalan pro-independence parties, and now Vox has arrived to worsen the existing instability. Governability is as difficult as ever after Sunday’s election,”
With Mr Sánchez indicating he will not rely on pro-independence forces to prop up a minority Left-wing coalition, Sunday’s result means that any majority in parliament requires cooperation between the PSOE and its historical rival, the mainstream conservative Popular Party (PP).
PSOE said yesterday (Monday) that Mr Sánchez would be contacting the leaders of other parties across the spectrum to push for parliamentary approval as quickly as possible.
But the PP’s chief spokesman, Teodoro García Egea, was quick to rule out any chance of his party supporting a Socialist administration, instead saying his party was “the only option for government”.
The deadlock continues…