Monday, 27 June 2016

My analysis of the Spanish general election of June 2016

Yesterday, Spain went to the polls for another general election even though it was only held because the Cortes could not form a government after the last election of December 2015, causing King Felipe VI to invoke his right to dissolve the Cortes after 3 attempts to find a Prime Minister to govern for the next term failed.

Despite the fact that this election occurred only six months after the last one, and the fact not much had actually changed, voter turnout increased albeit only by 1/6th of a percent. In seat terms, though, very little change occurred. The Partido Popular, still led by Mariano Rajoy, won 14 extra seats but this was not enough to put it in a firm position to form a stable government, as the Citizens Party only lost 8 seats and will likely again refuse to cooperate with the PP for reasons of differing principles. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, PSOE, lost a further five seats whilst surprisingly, a pact between United Left and Podemos, called Unidos Podemos, failed to win any extra seats and actually lost support during this election. This may be due to declining positive perception of Podemos' leader, Pablo Iglesias. The only other party to lose or gain any seats was the Basque Nationalist Party, losing 1. Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD) continued to decline into irrelevance, with their vote share falling to 0.2% from 0.6% and finishing behind the communist Zero Cuts-Green Group alliance.

Otherwise, little has happened here, although political parties in Spain will probably be more willing to negotiate than last time even if simply to avoid the prospect of a third general election in the space of one year. However, the left in Spain is in a weaker position to form a coalition this time than the right, although any such coalition that forms will still have to be rather compromised.


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