Centre-Right May Have to Govern with Populists After Madrid Election Victory

Leader of the far-right party Vox, Santiago Abascal gives a speech during a campaign meeting at the bullring in San Sebastian de los Reyes, near Madrid, on April 24, 2021 ahead of regional elections in Madrid. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP) (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty …
OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Despite a large margin of victory in Madrid’s local election, the Spanish Popular Party (PP) could not secure a majority, with speculation it will need the help of populist party VOX to govern.

The centre-right PP candidate Isabel Díaz Ayuso led her party to huge gains in the Madrid election, more than doubling the party’s seats, but only managing to secure 65 of the 136 seats in the Madrid assembly, just short of a majority.

The election was a big defeat for the leftist Socialist Workers’ Party (SPOE), which lost 13 seats. It was also a complete disaster for the liberal Citizens party, which lost all 26 of its seats.

Spanish populist party VOX, meanwhile, increased its presence in the Madrid assembly, picking up an extra seat and finishing in fourth place.

Some, including the BBC, have theorised that VOX could enter the next Madrid government, calling the prediction a “real possibility”. There is also speculation that the PP could simply require VOX votes to pass legislation, even if the populists do not formally enter the government.

The PP’s Díaz Ayuso had previously stated that she wanted her party to govern alone but admitted in a prior interview with Spanish media that the two parties “agreed on fundamental issues”.

Rocío Monasterio, who led the VOX campaign in Madrid, stated on Wednesday that she would support an Ayuso government without demanding her party be formally included in the government itself, newspaper El Paìs reports.

VOX leader Santiago Abascal said that Ayuso would have to decide “whether she wants to govern by relying on left-wing parties or VOX”.

Both Abascal and Monasterio congratulated Ayuso and the PP on their election victory, and said that VOX’s goal had been “to curb the social-communist assault on the Community of Madrid”.

Abascal also singled out politician Pablo Inglesias, who resigned as leader of the far-left party Podemos after the election results, accusing him of “sending his minions to blow up Vox’s rallies”.

Abascal had been attacked by far-left militants who throw rocks and other objects at him while giving a speech during a Madrid rally in early April. At least 35 people were injured following the rally, as leftist extremists attacked VOX supporters and police, injuring 21 officers.

According to El Paìs, VOX will be looking to influence the new Madrid government to repeal the current Wuhan coronavirus lockdown curfew, along with other restrictions.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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