Spanish nationalist party surges ahead

Vox leader Santiago Abascal addressing a party rally

Yesterday’s general election in Spain saw the nationalist party Vox double its number of MPs from 24 to 52, after its vote increased from 10.3% to 15.1%.

Vox has been in existence for less than six years, and achieved its first significant electoral success at regional elections in Andalusia, southern Spain, last December.

Yesterday was the second Spanish general election in seven months. In April Vox (who had never previously polled above 1% in a general election) managed 10.3% and won parliamentary seats for the first time. Following yesterday’s result, left-wing opponents feared that Spain’s “far-right” is now “one of the strongest in Europe”.

Some observers perceived the latest Vox success as partly a backlash by traditionalist voters against the vindictive decision by Spain’s leftwing rulers to exhume the remains of General Francisco Franco (who ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975 after a successful anti-communist revolt).

Spain’s leftwing rulers recently exhumed the remains of former leader Gen. Francisco Franco from his tomb at the Valley of the Fallen (above) near Madrid.

This year’s two general elections have been a disaster for Spain’s mainstream conservative parties, the long-established People’s Party (some of whose right-wing broke away to form Vox at the end of 2013) and the ‘centre-right’ Citizens party.

Yesterday the PP won back some seats at the expense of the Citizens, who lost 47 of their 57 seats. The important fact however is that while Spanish nationalism (which had been electorally insignificant since General Franco’s death in 1975) is rapidly advancing, the conservative parties are in crisis.

The two conservative parties combined now have only 98 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, down from 123 in April this year and 169 in 2016.

This is a phenomenon repeated in several European countries, notably Germany where Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU-CSU is divided over whether to continue ruling out future coalitions with the ever-stronger anti-immigration party AfD.

The one big exception is the UK, which while politics remains dominated by the Brexit question has had no chance to develop any serious nationalist and anti-immigration force.

Later this week H&D will begin detailed coverage of the UK’s 2019 General Election, comparing our political line-up with the rest of Europe, and asking how our movement can progress in a post-Brexit nation.

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