DIVISIONS among Spain’s leftist parties could see the right wing take power at the next general election, which is due to take place in late 2023. That’s according to a survey carried out by pollster 40dB for the Spanish newspaper El Pais and radio network Cadena SER.
Currently, Spain has a coalition government led by the Socialist Party (PSOE) and backed by junior partner Unidas Podemos. However, the administration of PSOE Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez lacks a working majority in the lower house of parliament, the Congress of Deputies. It has to rely on lawmakers from smaller groups in order to pass legislation.
The 40dB survey considered two different scenarios. Firstly, that the leftist parties Unidas Podemos and Mas Pais ran together with the new Sumar project, which is being launched by current second deputy prime minister and labour minister, Yolanda Diaz. Under these circumstances, the platform would also absorb small groups such as Compromis.
The poll found that such an option for voters would return a similar result to the current one, with the PSOE taking 96 seats in the 350-seat Congress, and Sumar 57 seats, for a total of 153. The coalition government currently has 155 seats.
If, however, the leftist parties were to run separately, the PSOE would take 104 seats, Sumar 23 and Unidas Podemos would fall from its current 35 seats to just seven. This would give those three parties a total of just 134 seats.
A divided scenario would also benefit the right, bringing them very close to a majority in Congress, according to the poll. If the left unite, the conservative Popular Party (PP) would win 115 seats according to the poll, while far-right Vox would take 43, for a total of 158 seats in the 350-seat Congress.
If the leftist parties ran separately, the PP’s share would increase to 124 seats while Vox would take 46, for a total of 170 seats. For a majority, 176 seats are needed.
While the PP and Vox have done deals on a regional and local level to take power, their relationship on a national level has been uneasier. It is far from clear whether the current leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, and the head of Vox, Santiago Abascal, could come to a coalition agreement in order to form a government after the 2023 election.