Tuesday, 30 May 2017

As Spain goes to the polls, those staying at home may have the final say

VOTER apathy can be perplexing to die-hard political junkies who obsessively scan coverage and polls for the latest insight into what the future holds, yet an indifference to the result is paradoxically one of the strongest forces in shaping it. 

Turnout will be a hugely important factor in deciding the outcome of Sunday’s Spanish election, with experts fully expecting numbers to dip below the 69.7 per cent who participated in December’s inconclusive affair. 

With little to suggest that this second election will be dramatically different, emergent parties Podemos and Ciudadanos are pulling out all the stops on social media to try and recapture the energy and enthusiasm which drove them to capturing historic numbers of seats in the Spanish parliament.

Meanwhile the PP and PSOE are upping the ante and trying to encourage their party faithful to stop Podemos in its tracks, pointing to its support of a referendum in Catalonia and fuelling unsubstantiated rumours on communist alliances in South America. 

Whether either side will have done enough to ensure their supporters come out in full force remains to be seen but it is clear that, with a full third of the electorate expected to stay at home, Spain’s political problems will not disappear any time soon. 

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