Talk of a wall, and changes to the immigration system were a big part of the election – the parliamentary election held in Spain over the weekend. The Socialist party won the most seats, but in Spain’s parliamentary system, no party won complete control. The far-right Vox party won 10% of the vote, and 24 seats in the 350-seat Parliament.
Longtime Texas Standard contributor, Lucia Benavides is in Barcelona, and says voter turnout in last weekend’s election was the highest it’s been since the 1990s. 75% of voters participated in the election, which is nine percentage points higher than their election in 2016.
“Through social media, people are saying that the far-right mobilized the left,” Benavides says.
Spain transitioned to democracy a little over 40 years ago, and Benavides says this is the first time a far-right nationalist party has won seats in Parliament. The Vox party isn’t only focused on immigration issues, as other European far-right parties are. Instead, Benavides says, the biggest part of their rhetoric was aimed against independence for the Spanish region of Catalonia. The Vox party believes that Catalan independence is a threat to Spanish unity.
“They [the Vox party] also have an anti-feminist narrative,” Benavides says. “They say that ‘feminazis’ are threatening the Spanish identity and they want to repeal a gender-violence law that protects female survivors from their male abusers. They argue that law criminalizes men.”
Written by Morgan Kuehler.