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Permanent instability

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The second round of elections, six months after the first, once again rewarded Mariano Rajoy. But forming a stable government is by no means easy.

 

On 26 June, elections were held in Spain for the renewal of the Cortes Generales. The Spanish population were called to return to the ballot box just six months after the previous elections. The December results had not enabled the formation of a government due to the interconnected vetoes from the various parties. Round two saw another victory for the conservative Partido Popular (PP), but again without enough votes to form a majority government. The acting prime minister, Mariano Rajoy of the Partido Popular (PP), is the clear winner in the election, his party taking almost eight million votes (33%) and increasing its share of seats in the Congreso from 123 to 137 compared with the December vote (out of a total of 350). The sluggishness of the economic recovery, rising social inequality and numerous episodes of corruption involving members of the PP did not have a notable impact on the electorate. The low turnout of around 70% (3% less than in December) rewarded the conservatives, who predominantly won in the central provinces of Spain and among older voters. The PP based their election campaign on the fear of a lurch to the left if the coalition between Unidos and Podemos came to power and the necessity of recovering the ‘useful vote’ (against the centrists of Ciudadanos), but mainly the party promoted its presumed ability to manage the current uncertain scenario. This strategy enabled them to earn 700,000 more votes than in the last elections.

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