Political instability and social struggles will follow Spain’s general election

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Mitchell
8 March 2008

Latest polls suggest the Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) led by current Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero is just 1.5 percentage points ahead of Mariano Rajoy’s opposition right-wing Popular Party (PP) in tomorrow’s parliamentary election. Neither side looks likely to win an absolute majority in the legislature and will probably need to reach an agreement with smaller parties in order to form a government.

Irrespective of who emerges as victor on Sunday evening, the Spanish election augurs a profound lurch to the right within official politics and escalating class conflict. Spanish society is already highly polarised. Many commentators refer to the re-emergence of “the two Spains’ of the 1936-9 civil war” as the “consensus” created during the so-called peaceful transition from fascism to parliamentary democracy following Franco’s death in 1975 unravels. The economic downturn threatens to bring these tensions to breaking point.


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