Published: Mon, December 03, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Spanish politics shaken by awakening of the far-right

Spanish politics shaken by awakening of the far-right

EuropeElects reports that "The electoral defeat of the centre-left PSOE (S&D) in today's regional election in Andalusia reflects the downward trend of nearly all centre-left, social democratic and socialist parties in #Europe".

The blow to the Socialists contrasted with the eruption of the anti-immigrant, extreme right Vox party, which claimed 12 seats in the 109-member regional parliament of Andalusia.

In this Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 photo, supporters of Spain's far-right Vox party, wave Spanish flags as they celebrate the results during regional elections in Andalusia, in Seville, Spain.

Andalusia's election was something of a test for Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez as it was the first vote since he took office in June.

Vox will "without a doubt" win seats in next year's local and European elections and could win 5-6 seats in the next national election, he said.

France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen tweeted (in French): "Strong and warm congratulations to my friends from Vox, who tonight in Spain scored a meaningful result for such a young and dynamic movement".

The conservative Popular Party came second with 26 seats - down seven from previously - and the center-right Citizens party more than doubled its presence in the regional assembly, capturing 21 seats.

Vox was founded at the end of 2013.

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Andalusia has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe and is the main arrival point in Spain for migrants crossing the Mediterranean. There is speculation Sanchez may call early elections if he can not pass a national budget this year instead of serving out the legislative term that runs until 2020.

Senior Socialists said before the election in Andalusia that they did not expect it to trigger a general election. The number reaching Spain has grown in the past year even as traffic on the main sea route to Europe from Libya to Italy has slowed.

In the Campo, the vote echoed the trend across the region, with Vox securing votes in all municipalities.

Euronews Journalist, Carlos Rubio has more on the election result.

The surprising win - the most favorable polls ahead of the election predicted Vox would win about five seats - also launched the party's strategy to make a dent in national politics and the European elections next year.

But Vox sought to throw a spoke in their wheels by adding its voice to traditional conservative forces led by the PP and market-friendly Ciudadanos, which has in recent years challenged the PP for the mantle of Spain's dominant liberal force.

In Los Barrios, the PSOE won most votes, followed by Ciudadanos, Adelante Andalucia and Vox.

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