Spanish citizens went to the polls on 10 November to elect the new members of the two chambers – the national Parliament and the Senate. These elections are the fourth in four years and took place in a context of political instability and deadlock following the failure of the socialist leader Pedro Sanchez to secure the support needed to form a government after the last elections.
In these elections, the socialist party PSOE (PES) obtained the highest number of votes but did not manage to secure a majority to form a government (176 out of 350 votes are needed). Partido Popular (EPP) and Vox (ECR) followed with 20% and 15% respectively. ALDE member party Ciudadanos secured 7% of the vote share.
Following the results, Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera resigned and announced that he will not take his seat in the Spanish Parliament and will leave politics. Ciudadanos is expected to hold an extraordinary congress to choose a new leadership and the future of the party. In the meantime, the Council of the party will take the lead.
“It’s time to unite Spaniards. The political leaders can divide or look to build bridges”, said Rivera in his resignation speech. See full speech (in Spanish) here.
The outcome confirmed the fragmentation existing within the right and left blocs. This division has made the formation of a stable government more difficult as none of the blocs can form a majority government without the support from other parties including regional parties. In this new context, a liberal party such as Ciudadanos is needed more than ever to shape the future of Spain in the short and long term.
Ciudadanos, given its tempory election setback, will anyhow play with its newly elected members of the Cortes a mayor role in shaping the future of Spain both in the short and long term!