Spanish election exit polls suggest massive voter turnout for socialist win, but the far-right also scored a major victory

  • The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) is projected to win the most seats in Spain’s snap election, according to exit polls.
  • But PSOE won’t have enough seats to form a government and will have to join forces with another party.
  • The country’s far-right party, Vox, scored a significant victory, taking in nearly 10% of the vote.
  • This will be the first time a far-right party will be represented in Spain’s parliament since the end of military rule in the 1970s, according to the BBC.
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Nearly 75% of eligible Spaniards turned out to vote Sunday, with exit poll’s projecting a large victory for Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) against the far-right party Vox and the conservative People’s Party. But the victory isn’t a slam dunk for those worried about the populist wave seemingly sweeping the globe.

It’s projected that PSOE, the party of the country’s current Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, will secure the most parliamentary seats, between 116 and 120, but ultimately split the majority with the People’s Party, according to The Guardian, which is projected to win 65 or 66 seats. In 2016, People’s Party won 137 seats.

PSOE will have to join with another party to form a government. If they don’t, it’s possible that another election could be called.

The much-watched far-right party Vox is projected to only win between 36 and 38 seats. The low numbers may seem like a loss on their face, but in fact, the number of seats won mark a significant victory for the party. A far-right party has not been represented in Spanish parliament since the end of military rule in the country in the 1970s, according to the BBC.

Vox, whose leaders have outspokenly opposed feminism, free immigration policy, and social welfare programs, has centered their existence around resisting the effort of Catalan separatists to make the Spanish state separate from Spain as a whole.

The party won its first major victory in a regional election in December, where it took 11% of the vote. With its national victory, it’s cemented itself as a major political player for years to come.

The Catalonia question continues to loom

CataloniaGonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty ImagesCatalonia’s Independence supporters march during a demonstration on November 11, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.

Besides playing an extremely important role as a foil for Vox, the issues of Catalonia was key leading up to the election.

PM Sanchez was only elected through forming a coalition with autonomous Basque and Catalan parties. They would eventually reject Sanchez’s budget in February which led the prime minister to call snap elections in an attempt to solidify more power.

While Sanchez did not support succession, his cooperation and work with Catalan secessionists appeared to fuel criticisms from Vox.

Now, it’s not clear who Sanchez will seek out to form a government. Left-wing party Podemos shares similar values with PSOE, but are only projected to win around 14% of the vote.

Read more:

Spain is headed for its tightest election in decades – here’s how it could all go haywire

Here’s what you need to know about 8 big elections that will affect 2.2 billion people

Femen protest interrupts far-right Vox’s Spanish election rally

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