Spain’s center-left Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) won Sunday’s general election, while a far-right party will enter the country’s parliament for the first time since dictator General Franco’s rule ended in 1975.
The far-right Vox party — which takes a hardline on immigration and gender rights — won 24 out of a total 350 seats, after bursting onto Spain’s political scene last year.
In an election with 75.8% turnout, the governing PSOE took 123 seats, and will now seek the support of other parties to form a government, having fallen short of an overall majority.
Spain’s far-right is back — with a difference
Spanish politics is fragmenting further, as PSOE’s traditional rivals, the conservative People’s Party (PP) won 66 seats, down from 137 in 2016’s election.
For years Spain was governed by the PP or PSOE, but Podemos, Ciudadanos and Vox have emerged in recent years, shaking up the two-party established order.
A total of 176 seats is required to control parliament, and neither the leftist nor the right-leaning bloc won the required amount. Center-right Ciudadanos won 57 seats while left-wing Unidas Podemos won 35.
With more than 98% of the vote counted the PSOE was declared winner by Spanish government spokeswoman Isabel Celaá Diéguez.
Incumbent PSOE Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez addressed supporters outside the party headquarters in Madrid after the result was confirmed.
“After 11 years a socialist party has won the general election in Spain. And so the future beats the past,” he said as the PSOE gained 38 seats more than in 2016.
“We have sent a message to Europe and to the world, that we can win over authoritarianism.”