World

Spanish elections: New parties win big

21 Dec 2015 | By Gaurav

A strong electoral victory by two new political parties in the general elections has shaken up the political balance in Spain.

The ruling Popular Party won the elections with 28.7% votes, while the opposition Socialist Party won 22%.

The new anti-austerity Podemos party and centre-right Ciudadanos party together accounted for over 35% of votes.

The parties will now enter negotiations to form a coalition.

In context: The 2015 Spanish elections: A break with tradition

1939End of the Spanish Civil War

In 1939, the Spanish Civil War ended and a dictatorial regime under General Francisco Franco was established.

He declared that Spain was a Monarchy and that he would appoint a king at an opportune moment to succeed him.

In 1969, he appointed Juan Carlos as "Prince of Spain" to be his successor and upon his death in 1975, Juan Carlos became ruler of Spain.

Democracy The transition to democracy

On coming to power, Juan Carlos announced his intention to turn Spain into a Constitutional Monarchy and appointed Aldofo Suarez as the new Prime Minister.

In 1977, the first general elections were held and Suarez's Union of Democratic Centre Party came to power.

In 1978 a new democratic constitution was promulgated and approved by referendum.

In 1982, the Socialist Party was elected to power.

Reforms 13 years of the Socialist Party

The Socialist Party's Prime Minister, Felipe Gonzalez began reforming Spanish education and economics, in order to shed its feudal past and facilitate integration with Europe.

Spain became a member of NATO in 1982 and gained entry to the European Economic Community in 1986.

During this time period, Spain was modernized and economically developed on a large scale, closing the gap with other EEC members.

Liberalization The Popular Party and liberalization

In 1996, Jose Aznar's Popular Party came to power.

Aznar began privatization of state enterprises and initiated labor market reforms and liberalized the energy sector to improve Spain's economic competitiveness.

In 2002, Spain qualified for the European Monetary Union and adopted the Euro.

The Socialist Party won the elections in 2004 and stayed in power until 2011 when the Popular Party was re-elected.

Why is this election so important?

The ruling Popular Party and opposition Socialist Party have run the government for over three decades. For the first time since then, new political parties will play a role in Spanish politics.

21 Dec 2015Spanish elections: New parties win big

Austerity Why the split in votes?

Spain emerged from a recession in mid-2013 after a raft of austerity measures and labor reforms.

Even though it has one of the highest economic growth rates in the EU, it is still coping with a massive 20% unemployment rate.

Experts assess that the surge in migration to Europe, and Spain's economic conditions led to anti-incumbency votes being taken up by new political parties.

Future What now?

The incumbent party has secured only 123 seats, far less than the 176 required to have a Parliamentary majority.

The opposition Socialist Party secured 90 seats, while new parties including the Podemos won 69 and the Ciudadanos, 40.

The ruling party will first try to form a coalition government, failing which, experts assess, it is likely that fresh elections will be held in 2016.

27 Apr 2016Coalition talks fail, Spain expects fresh elections

Spain is set for fresh elections after King Felipe announced the failure of the latest round of coalition talks.

King Felipe said no candidate to replace Mr Rajoy (caretaker PM during coalition negotiations) was possible, after parties failed to achieve a consensus on coalition rule, triggering a new vote.

Sources have indicated that fresh elections may be held on 26 June.

24 Jun 2016Campaigning intensifies in Spanish repeat elections

Campaigning has intensified ahead of Spain's repeat parliamentary elections, scheduled for 26 June.

Opinion polls indicate that the ruling Popular Party would garner a majority of the votes.

Other parties like the Unidos Podemos, Socialists and Ciudadanos are also expected to gain a significant number of votes, and analysts predict that no party would be able to secure an overall majority.

26 Jun 2016Spain goes to polls in repeat elections

As the four main political parties failed to form a coalition after December's general election in Spain, voters have queued up for a second attempt.

Early polls depict a repeat of the political deadlock, with the Popular Party gaining a majority of the votes, but with no outright majority for a single party rule.

Analysts say the possibility for a coalition remains slim.

27 Jun 2016PP wins, PSOE in second place, but no majority

Spain's conservative Popular Party won a major share of the repeat parliamentary election; however, it fell short of an absolute majority.

The PSOE socialist party won the second highest number of votes.

Unidos Podemos and Ciudadanos came in third and fourth.

The new election gave 15 more seats to the PP than they won in December, and PM Mariano Rajoy sought to take office again.