Spain: Socialists Win General Vote, Right-Wing Vox Surges to Third Place
By Staff, Agencies
Spain's Socialist party claimed the highest number of votes in Spain's general election on Sunday, the final results rolled out overnight show, also suggesting the winners have no clear-cut way to majority.
It lost three seats in the parliament, getting 120 in a vote that only highlighted the ongoing political crisis in the country as it bolstered the posture of the right wing.
The conservative People's Party claimed 88 seats, recovering from the blow it took in the previous vote, where it was handed only 66 seats.
Things looked even rosier for the right-wing Vox party, which rose to 52 seats from its 24, its support surging amid the recent uptick of tension over the Catalan crisis.
The voter turnout dropped two percent points compared with April's figure, standing at 69.87%.
Vox's surge drew praise from fellow right-wing leaders in Europe, with Italy's Matteo Salvini lauding its "great advance" while Marine Le Pen of France's National Rally described its electoral success as "spectacular".
In Spain, however, it was denounced by the left-wing leaders, including Pablo Iglesias, leader of leftist Podemos party, who lamented Vox's newfound place "among the most powerful and strong in Europe".
The campaign took place on the heels of fresh unrest in Catalonia after Spain's top court sentenced nine separatist leaders to lengthy jail terms over their role in a failed 2017 independence bid.
The October 14 ruling triggered days of mass protests which by night descended into chaos, with demonstrators torching barricades and hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at police who hit back with water cannon, tear gas and foam bullets.