In Multipolarity

New Cold, Dec 21, 2015

The right-wing governing party in the  Spanish legislature suffered steep losses in the national election on December 20, losing its legislative majority. Partido Popular (PP) took the most votes but fell well short of a majority, raising the prospect of a coalition government. With 99% of the votes counted, the PP was on course to take 123 seats in the 350-seat legislature. The party won 186 seats in the 2011 legislative election.

Leaders of left-wing Podemos party celebrate election result on Dec 20, 2015 (Daniel Ochoa de Olza, AP)

Leaders of left-wing Podemos party celebrate election result on Dec 20, 2015 (Daniel Ochoa de Olza, AP)

The Socialist party (PSOE) came second, with 90 seats and 22% of the vote. Together, the two-party duopoly in Spain lost over 5 million votes and 83 members of parliament compared to the last legislative election in 2011. Their combined vote on December 20 was 50 per cent.

Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Podemos, has hailed the birth of “a new Spain” and the death of decades of two-party politics.

Two new parties could now hold the balance of power in a future coalition government: the anti-austerity Podemos (We Can), which won 69 seats, the center-right Ciudadanos (Citizens), which won 40. But neither the two center-right parties PP and Ciu nor the center-left of the PSOE and Podemos have a majority in the new legislature. A total of ten parties are represented there.

Map showing regions of Spain

Map showing regions of Spain

A key decision of any potential governing coalition is whether to approve an autonomy or independence referendum for the Catalonian people of Spain. Of the four large parties, only Podemos favours the right of the Catalan people to vote on their future status.

Here are the vote results of the largest parties as well as several charts of the vote results below that, from Wikipedia. Further below the charts is news of the latest developments in neighbouring Portugal, where a left-of-center governing coalition ousted a right-wing government in November 2015.

Results for largest parties in Dec 20, 2015 legislative election in Spain:
Partido Popular:                                     7,215,530, 28.7%, 123 seats (loss of 64)
Spanish Socialist Workers Party:        5,530,693, 22 %, 90 seats (loss of 20)
Podemos (We Can):                               5,189,333, 20.7%, 69 seats (new party)
Ciudadanos (Party of the Citizenry):   3,500,446, 13.9%, 40 seats (new Party)
Popular Unity:                                           923,105, 3.7%,  2 seats, (loss of 9)
Republican Left of Catalonia:                599,289, 2.4%, 9 seats (gain of 6)

Spanish election party result by province Dec 20, 2015

Spanish election result by party, Dec 20, 2015

Read also:
The new Spain: Between uncertainty and hope, by Victor Lasa, Counterpunch, Dec 22, 2015

Governing party in Spain loses majority in parliamentary election, Raphael Minder, New York Times, Dec 21, 2015

News coverage of Portugal’s left-of-center governing coalition

Portugal: The left takes charge, by Conn Hallinan, Counterpunch, Dec 1, 2015

Portugal: With anti-austerity deal, left throws out right-wing gov’t, By Dick Nichols, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, Nov 14, 2015

More on the Eurocoup and political deadlock in Portugal, New Cold, Oct 24, 2015

Portugal sells Banif to Santander as part of 2.2 billion euro rescue, by Andrei Khalip and Sergio Goncalves, Reuters, Dec 21, 2015

Greece: Why capitulate? Another way is possible, by Eric Toussaint, published by the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt (Brussels), Dec 16, 2015.
This article is the text version of a video of the same name. The text contains explanatory notes and references. The article is an important source for understanding what happened to the Syriza government in Greece and its retreat before the financial onslaught of the pro-austerity center of power in the European Union.


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