Spain: Voting closes, polls suggest rise of far-right

OVIEDO, Spain

Voting has closed in Spain’s national election and a fresh poll suggests that the country’s political impasse is likely to continue.

The survey, conducted on Oct. 25 and this Sunday for Spain’s national broadcaster RTVE, was published as soon as the polls closed at 8 p.m. (1900GMT). It predicts that while the Socialists will win another minority government, the left-wing bloc will lose a number of seats compared to last April’s vote.

It also shows a meteoric rise for the far-right party Vox, which could become the third-largest political force in Spain. Compared to the 24 seats it won in the Spanish Parliament in the April election, the poll predicts that it will win between 56-59 seats tonight.

To form a majority government in Spain, 176 seats are needed. The Socialists are predicted to win between 114-119 seats. This means that politicians will have to negotiate to form a government – something that they have been mostly unsuccessful at since the country’s bipartisan system became fragmented in 2015.

These are Spain’s fourth national elections in four years.

According to the fresh polls, neither the left-wing bloc nor the right-wing block will have enough seats to form an easy majority. In fact, it suggests that the Spanish Parliament will be more splintered than ever.

With high levels of voter frustration, it appears that the level of participation also declined. At 6 p.m. in Spain (1700GMT), participation had dropped by four percentage points compared to April’s vote.

The official results of the election should be known late Sunday night or early Monday morning.
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