In Spain, the parliamentary balance of power has changed significantly since the national elections – Hope for a stable government

The national elections of 28.04.2019 have changed the balance of power in the Spanish National Parliament (Congreso) significantly.

The socialist PSOE of the incumbent Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is now the strongest parliamentary group (28.7%), the leading conservative Partido Popular (PP) had to accept a crash and only receives 16.7% of the votes cast. New in the national parliament is the right-wing VOX party, which attracted attention in the election campaign with its shrill national tones and which has been established in Andalusia since the last regional elections. With a good ten percent of voters, however, VOX lags far behind its own targets.

It seems that Pedro Sánchez’s rather cautious and balanced campaign management has paid off for his party and for himself in the end.

Together with the conservative-liberal Cuidadanos Party (CS), Sánchez could form a coalition with a parliamentary majority. The CS, too, was able to grow by two points to 15.9% in the elections. A coalition of the PSOE and CS would account for 180 out of a total of 350 congressional mandates.

Not only Spanish citizens but also the Spanish business community have long been calling for a stable government capable of reform. The short-term policy of small steps („Cortoplacisimo“), which has dominated Spain for years, is to be ended.

In the years following the real estate and financial crisis of 2009 to 2013, the Spanish economy had picked up speed.

Spain was able to achieve annual economic growth rates of up to just under 4%. In 2018, the figure was still 2.8%, well above the growth of the large EU member states such as Germany, Italy and France. One reason for this extraordinary economic growth was also the involvement of foreign investors, particularly in the real estate sector, tourism and the manufacturing industry.

It remains to be seen whether the forthcoming talks on forming a government will ultimately lead to a stable government with its own parliamentary majority. A coalition of the parties PSOE and CS, between which there are of course not only sympathies and similarities, would be a conceivable and promising constellation.

This would be desirable for Spain, since three parliamentary elections have been held in the last four years and only minority governments were in office at that time. A stable Spanish government would also be desirable for EU-Europe, whereby in Spain all parties except VOX are traditionally very pro-European. This reflects the generally very positive attitude of the Spanish towards the European Union and the European idea.