Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Socialist Party took a beating Sunday in an election in Andalusia that saw the far right win seats in one of the country’s regional parliaments for the first time in decades.
The Socialists (PSOE) — which have ruled the southern region uninterrupted for 36 years — came in first but could lose their grip on power if parties on the right team up against them.
The results spell difficulties ahead for Sánchez, who will face local, regional and European ballots next May — and who is also expected to call a snap general election sometime next year.
With over 99 percent of the ballots counted, the PSOE won 33 seats out of 109 — down 14 from the last election in 2015. The far-right Vox party won 12 seats.
Vox’s success marks the first time a far-right party has won seats in either the national parliament or one of the country’s regional chambers since 1982. Until Sunday, Spain had been spared the right-wing populist surge found elsewhere in Europe. Many analysts say Vox’s performance in Andalusia could pave the way for further growth at the national level.
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