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Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez gestures to supporters outside the headquarters of the Socialist Party following Sunday’s election, Madrid, April 28, 2019 (AP photo by Bernat Armangue).

Socialists Gain in Spain’s Election, but the Far-Right Vox Now Has a Foothold

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

MADRID—Spain’s left breathed a collective sigh of relief Sunday night as right-wing parties failed to win enough seats in parliament to put them within striking distance of forming a government that would have included the ultranationalist and far-right Vox party. Instead, voters gave a clear win to the ruling Socialist Party, led by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who is now the only party leader in a position to form a government.

But there’s been no shortage of drama in what was Spain’s third national election in just four years. Since 2015, Spain’s political landscape has fractured, amid a backlash against austerity, a raft of corruption scandals, and the ongoing fallout over Catalonia’s attempt to declare independence. Since its storied transition to democracy in the late 1970s, Spain’s government had the unusual distinction of being a parliamentary system dominated by two parties, the left-of-center Socialist Party and the right-of-center People’s Party. This system was actually built into the constitution to add stability to the then-fledgling democracy. ...

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