Spain prepares for general elections as candidates hold final debate

Spain prepares for general elections as candidates hold final debate

Four main party leaders will debate today ahead of Spain’s national elections next Sunday. Controversially, the far-right Vox party, which

a7fcd652 6069 11e9 9300 0becfc937c37

Photo: Reuters

Four main party leaders will debate today ahead of Spain’s national elections next Sunday.

Controversially, the far-right Vox party, which has skyrocketed to relevance in the last year due to its strong performance in Andalusia’s regional elections, was excluded from the debate. Polling predicts that the party will garner around 10% of the vote.

Though more than a third of the electorate is still undecided, it is likely that current Socialist PM Pedro Sanchez will come out a major winner on Sunday; he is predicted to win at least 30% of votes. Centre-right parties, like the People’s Party (PP), Ciudadanos and Vox, are unlikely to be able to form a governing coalition. However, without a majority, PM Sanchez will need to turn to other leftist parties for support.

Given the fractious nature of the right, a governing coalition could consist of the Socialists, leftist Podemos and possibly the Basque National Party and Catalan separatist parties. If the PM must rely on the support of the latter two factions, expect questions of independence, especially in Catalonia, to arise again.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.