Spain seems to be heading towards a new coalition Government. The elections to be held on July 23rd could offer a result that makes it impossible for either of the two major parties -Partido Popular and Partido Socialista Obrero Español- from forming a Government alone. So, a difficult negotiation process with small parties would be necessary to be able to constitute the next Executive. It cannot even be ruled out at this time that the elections would have to be repeated.

This uncertainty coincides with the period in which Spain holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, which runs from July 1st to the last day of December.

The polls predict a victory for the conservative Popular Party (PP), but with an insufficient number of seats in Parliament to be able to form a Government alone. The most feasible alliance would be with the far-right Vox party, but the negotiation could be long and complicated, since the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, has assured that he will not renounce the essential principles of his political program in exchange for being prime minister.

With regard to the party that is now the majority in the Government, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), no survey gives it as the favorite for victory on the 23rd, although the possibility of forming a Government in a coalition with all the parties at his left, as well as with other nationalist and regionalist parties, is not ruled out.

A coalition of this nature would entail a risk of political instability, since the PSOE would probably have fewer seats in Parliament than it currently has and would be forced to join very different political forces with interests and programs that sometimes clash with those of the PSOE.

Nor would it be easy to build a pact on the right either. Even if the PP were the party with the most votes, it would have to get the support to govern from a party like Vox that repeats the populist and anti-immigration speech that other far-right parties have been delivering in different European countries in recent years.

Therefore, Spain may find itself in a political blockade as of July 23rd that could even last several months. Only an unlikely victory for the PP by an absolute majority would guarantee the rapid formation of a new Government.

Article by Antonio Caño, partner at estudio de Comunicación

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