SPAIN’S far-right party Vox has made unprecedented gains as the second general election this year failed to break the country’s political deadlock.
Spain’s ruling socialist party has won the country’s fourth general election in as many years but once again failed to secure a majority in a vote in which the far-right Vox party vaulted into third place and the centre-right Citizens party suffer a humiliating collapse.
The Spanish Socialist Workers’ party (PSOE), led by the acting prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, won 120 seats, three fewer than in April’s inconclusive election.
The conservative People’s party (PP) rallied after its dismal showing last time, winning 87 seats, while Vox finished third as its seat count more than doubled from 24 to 52.
The anti-austerity Unidas Podemos came fourth with 35 seats, followed by the pro-independence Catalan Republican Left with 13 seats. Citizens slumped to sixth place as the 57 seats it picked up seven months ago dwindled to just 10.
Frustration and apathy appeared to have affected turnout, with participation dropping from 75.5% in April to 69.9%.
The result suggests Spain is no closer to ending its impasse and is again bound for months of negotiations and horse-trading to try to assemble a government at a time of unprecedented political fragmentation.
Sánchez said he intended to form a progressive government and urged his rivals and opponents not to stand in his way. “I’d like to make a call for the rest of the political parties to act generously and responsibly to unblock the political situation in Spain,” he said on Sunday night. “The PSOE will also act generously and responsibly to unblock it.”