Spain: Resistance of the South

A report on the results of the European elections in Spain by our member organisation Fundació l’Alternativa.


source: (party results below after the article)


Aggregated data:

  • The PSOE (S&D) and Unidas Podemos (G.U.E.-NGL) got together 9,450,000 votes and 26 MEPs 
  • The Popular Party (P.P.E), Citizens Party (ADLE & P) and Vox (extreme right-wing) got together 8,000,000 votes and 22 MEPs
  • Others (Republicans, Nationalists and Progressives) reach almost 2,000,000 votes and have achieved 6 MEPs.
  • The right and the extreme right wings weakened deeply from the electoral cycle, when only a few months ago they were foretold to be successful.


The national context

In Spain, the recent election for European Parliament was singular as it came just after a recent general election in April, becoming a “super-Sunday” electoral process, coincidental with the municipal, autonomous and European elections: a very particular case within the European context.

There is a viable possibility of building a progressive government, a progressive institutional framework between the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party and United We Can (PSOE + Unidas Podemos) for the government of Spain; but also, the similar for various Autonomous Communities and many important municipalities of the whole country. This shows a “European exception”, and indicates a resistance of the South that in future, at least, could contrast with what has been dominant in Europe up to now.


Diverse political outcomes

It is interesting to focus on the results of socialists, the extreme right and those of our political space.

The European elections meant an unquestionable triumph for the PSOE: they have overcome the very positive electoral result of the general elections in April 2019. The PSOE exceeded the 30% of the votes and distanced from the other forces by more than 12 points. The Socialists have been favoured by the strong wind of progressive voting, the so-called useful votes, and the “Pedro Sánchez-moment”. At this moment, the socialists are constituted as the reference party of the European Social Democracy.

The rise of the extreme right of VOX in Spain, that “bad news” of the European election 2019, broke into Parliament, although very weakened (3 deputies), certainly, as a clear regression to the modest results reached in the general elections of April 28th.

The transformative left of Unidas Podemos’ results have been quite deficient with no appeal possible: a 10% of the votes and 5 MEPs for the GUE-NGL (6 MEPs with the incorporation of Bildu). Certainly, it is a remarkable result in relation to the percentages of other European countries, but too far away from the percentages of representation of the space of change, in recent years in Spain. In 2014, without going any further, Podemos and Izquierda Unida (United Left) had reached together the 18%, with 11 MEPs; or, more recently, with the 14,3% obtained in the general elections, celebrated only a month ago.

There are three fundamental reasons for these negative results: the logical decline in participation for running the European election, a political and organisational crisis of our political space (both at a general level and in certain Autonomous Communities, which would be long to explain clearly and require a critical analysis that goes beyond the reason of this article), and, finally, an issue that sometimes goes unnoticed: more and more citizens (also supporters of the left) express their political preferences through the dual vote (in one or the other elections, they vote a different party). This has also happened in these European elections, including our political space.

To sum up, Spain is today in a situation both equivalent and dissimilar to the one in France or Italy — its sempiternal political references…