A small radical right party (predictably described as ‘far-right’ by the lazy liberal media) called Vox has made a stunning electoral breakthrough in the country’s latest general election at the weekend.
Vox, which means ‘Voice’ in English, founded by dissident members of the main Conservative party (called the People’s Party) which at the last two general elections only polled around 50,000 votes across the whole of Spain managed over two and a half million votes this time winning 24 seats with just over 10% of the vote.
Topping the poll was the Spanish Labour party (PSOE) which pushed back the far left (Podemos) but still failed to win an overall majority.
The People’s Party is now in crisis, already wracked by various scandals and endemic corruption after a recent spell in power. Not only did Vox make its breakthrough, but the rival Citizen’s Party (a liberal conservative party also set up to challenge the dead hand of mainstream politics in Spain) also increased its share of the vote and came within 10 parliamentary seats of becoming the main opposition party and replacing the People’s Party altogether .
And turnout was much higher than previously (well over 75%) as voters across Spain sensed a historic political moment with the rise of Vox, rather than the two horse race that had dominated Spain’s politics for decades after the death of Franco in the early seventies, As a result, voters on the left decided to consolidate support for the old Socialist Party (and push back the far-left which had previously challenged them) while voters on the right fragmented and began to turn their back on the old Conservative Party.
And the ongoing battle between Madrid and the country’s historic regions and nations also intensified as voters in the Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia, among others, continued to back separatist and sovereigntist parties, most of which want to break up the country altogether.
And the rise of Vox mirrored that standoff between the Spanish heartland and those rebellious fringes in the north of the country, particularly Catalonia where the hardline separatist Republican Left increased its support, with Vox’s vote share much lower in those regions than elsewhere in Spain.
How the political stalemate in Spain can be solved is anyone’s guess, but the country is in flux at the moment and it remains to be seen whether it can hold together much longer.