Analysis News

Spanish elections impacted by timing, heat

A man votes in the Spanish election. (David Carmena/YJI)

Velilla de San Antonio, SPAIN – Spaniards voted Sunday in elections that were undoubtedly bittersweet for the two main political parties, and disappointing for the rest.

The election was marked by several factors. The first of these was the date chosen to go to the polls: July 23. The official date was set for December, but after suffering a defeat in the May 28 local and regional elections, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez dissolved the Spanish Parliament and called for quick elections.

In a message broadcast live on all the television networks, Sánchez told the nation, “I have taken this decision in view of the results of the regional and municipal elections.”

Sánchez said he thought it necessary to “submit our mandate to the will of the people.”

The second factor was the heat. In many provinces the temperature was over 30 degrees (86 degrees Fahrenheit), according to Spain’s State Meteorological Agency. According to data from this agency, in the city of Granada it was over 40 degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit), and in other places such as Montoro in Cordoba, Andújar in Jaén and in Tomelloso, Ciudad Real, temperatures were nearly as hot.

The third factor also involves scheduling. As it was a summer day, it was a vacation day for a lot of people. Many requested postal ballots.

The parties that obtained the most votes were the right-wing Popular Party with 136, followed by the Socialist Party with 122. In third place was VOX, an extreme right-wing party with 33 and fourth, Sumar, an extreme left-wing party with 31.

The main parties were followed by the pro-independence parties. In the region of Catalonia, the left and right parties each got seven. In the Basque Country, the radical left got six and the right-wing party got five. Three other independent parties in Spain got a single representative each.

A list of candidates in the Spanish election, by party. (David Carmena/YJI)

Spain requires a party to have 175 votes to form a government, so although the Popular Party was the winner, it still needed to form a coalition to move forward. Joining with VOX isn’t enough.

For its part, the Socialist Party could join with Sumar for 153, but they, too, would fall short.

Besides the tallies from smaller parties, there are votes from Spanish citizens living abroad, but they won’t be added until July 28.

If parties cannot form a coalition with enough votes, Spain will hold a new election.

David Carmena is a Junior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

Leave a Comment