SPAIN is in a state of political chaos. For the fourth time in four years Spanish voters are heading to the polls to decide their political fate, but what time do the polls close?
Spanish politics has been stuck in a deadlock for several years with no clear majority governing the country. The last election held in April put the Socialists leader, acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in charge of the country. But lacking a majority, the party needed support from others to form a government leading to a fractious political climate. In an attempt to bring about an end to the political stalemate a fourth election is being held, but what time do the polls close and when will we know the results?
For more than three decades the Spanish political environment has been dominated by a two-party landscape.
However, in 2015 that all changed.
Two relatively new parties, Podemos (We Can) and Ciudadanos (Citizens), underwent a surge in popularity, taking votes from the two main parties.
The more recent arrival of the far-right Vox party means that the Spanish political scene is now dominated by five parties.
Voters in Spain are heading to the polls on Sunday for the country’s second general election this year.
The five key contenders are Pedro Sanchez’s Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, Pablo Casado’s Conservative Popular Party, Albert Rivera’s Ciudadanos Party, Pablo Iglesias’ Podemos Party and Santiago Abascal’s Vox Party.
In April 2019, the seats won were as follows:
- Podemos – 42
- Socialist – 123
- Ciudadanos – 57
- Popular Party – 66
- Vox – 24
- Others – 38
Polls suggest that the acting PM Mr Sanchez will win the election again, but will once again fall short of a majority.
Neither the left or right will win a majority on Sunday according to a calculation by El Pais newspaper based upon dozens of opinion polls.
There is a 60 percent chance that neither the left or right will reach the 176 seats needed for a majority in the 350-seat parliament.
Instead, polls suggest the incumbent Socialists will lead with 117 seats, down six from the previous election.
Its main rival is forecast to reach 92 seats, a significant increase since April.
While the far-right party Vox is likely to almost double its number of seats to a predicted 46 from 24.
Similarly to Britain, Spanish voters do not choose their prime minister directly.
Instead, the elections will distribute the 350 seats in the Spanish lower camber and 265 sears in the higher chamber.
A candidates needs 176 seats to win an overall majority and be sworn in as the new prime minister.
If that fails to happen, which appears likely according to the latest polls, a second-round vote is held, which is determined by a simple majority.
The deadlock has been the main topic of discussion during the campaign period.
Politicians must be seen trying to break it to avoid further rounds of elections, that could ignite an already jaded population.
Spain’s political landscape is fragmented, but the difficulties that have plagued the country for four years do not appear to be close to an end.
For the current government, the Socialists had to undertake drawn-out negotiations with their most natural ally, the leftist Podemos party.
However, the negotiations descended into a bitter row and the two parties fundamentally disagreed about how to run the government – leading to King Felipe IV to call for another election.
Voting on Sunday is expected to open at 9am local time (8am GMT) and close at 8pm local time (7pm GMT).
Exit polls are banned until voting ends, but will likely be published within minutes of the polls closing.
The official results, however, will begin rolling in at 9pm local time (8pm GMT).