Spanish general election, July 2023

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Publication Date 2023
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Information Guide focusing on sources covering the snap parliamentary election held in Spain on 23 July 2023.

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Spain's prime minister Pedro Sánchez announced the dissolution of Parliament (Cortes Generales) and an early legislative election on 29 May 2023, after local and regional elections held on the previous day resulted in considerable losses for his centre-left Socialists (PSOE). All 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies were up for election, as well as 208 of 265 seats in the Senate. Mr Sánchez led a coalition government which also comprised leftist Unidas Podemos (UP) since 2019. Ahead of the election, UP eventually agreed to join SUMAR, a movement gathering different left-wing political forces.

Pre-electoral polls suggested that a right-wing coalition comprising the Conservatives (PP) and the far-right VOX could obtain a parliamentary majority, alongside the collapse of PSOE. The campaign was framed largely as a referendum on the performance of Mr Sánchez, and the support given to him by parties favourable to Basque and Catalonian independence. Hot topics included social rights, climate action, nationalism and the economic situation in the country. It also took place as Spain took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The electoral results were a lot more nuanced that suggested by most polls. The Conservatives won the election (33.1%) but did not obtain enough seats to form a majority. Governing PSOE was second (31.7%) but improved its presence in Parliament. VOX was third (12.4%) but suffered considerable losses. A right-wing cabinet would not be able to form a parliamentary majority. Left-wing SUMAR was fourth (12.3%) and its seats would also not be enough to re-edit the incumbent coalition government. While many regionalist parties vowed to support a left-wing coalition cabinet, the kingmakers were Junts, a Catalan pro-independence party which did not support either of main political parties.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
Euronews, 29/05/2023: What next for Spain after PM Pedro Sanchez calls snap general election?
The Economist, 29/05/2023: Going for broke. Spain’s prime minister gambles on a snap general election
The Spectator (UK): Coffee House, 29/05/2023: What the rise of Vox means for Spain
Reuters, 30/05/2023: Spain election 2023: who are the candidates and their parties?
Friedrich Naumann Foundation: Analysis, 31/05/2023: Early elections are the best option for Prime Minister Sánchez
ING Think: Article, 31/05/2023: The economic impact of Spain’s political uncertainty
Euro|topics, 02/06/2023: Spain: what comes after the right's election victory?
Robert Schuman Foundation: European Elections Monitor (EEM): Analysis, 04/07/2023: Spain goes to the polls on 23 July to renew its parliament
Konrad Adenauer Foundation: Country Reports, 05/06/2023: Spain has decided - and will soon have to decide again.
London School of Economics (LSE): EUROPP Blog, 06/06/2023: Spain’s snap general election: From ‘Frankenstein’ to ‘Francostein’?
Euro|topics, 07/06/2023: Snap election in Spain: the battle for votes begins
Friedrich Ebert Foundation: IPS Journal, 08/06/2023: Is Spain on the right track?
Centre for European Reform (CER): Podcast, 08/06/2023: We have to talk about Spain
Elcano Royal Institute: Blog, 20/06/2023: What May’s local and regional elections tell us about politics in Spain ahead of July’s snap general election
Foreign Policy: Analysis, 29/06/2023: The Far Right in Spain Is Different
Euro|topics, 04/07/2023: Spain: EU Council presidency during election campaign
European Policy Centre (EPC): Flash Analysis, 05/07/2023: Spain has the EU Presidency. But who will lead Madrid after the snap election?
European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR): Commentary, 18/07/2023: Showdown: What to expect from Spain’s general election
Euro|topics, 19/07/2023: Elections in Spain: another shift to the right in Europe?
Foreign Policy: Argument, 19/07/2023: Did Pedro Sánchez Make a Fatal Bet?
Social Europe, 19/07/2023: Election in Spain: Faustian pact with far right looms?
El País, 19/07/2023: Who will win Spain’s national election on Sunday? This is what the polls are saying
The Conversation, 20/07/2023: Early elections in Spain: The socialists’ risky bet against the rising power of the right
The Economist, 21/07/2023: Vox populi. The hard-right Vox could be in Spain’s next government
Politico, 22/07/2023: The Spanish elections and potential outcomes, explained
BBC News, 22/07/2023: Spain's hot summer election: A simple guide
Associated Press (AP News), 22/07/2023: Spanish general election tipped to put the far right back in office for the first time since Franco
Politico, 22/07/2023: Six moments that define Spain's chaos election
The Economist, 23/07/2023: Falling short. Spain’s election ends in deadlock
El País: Editorial 23/07/2023: National election in Spain: Voting for coexistence
Euro|topics, 24/07/2023: Spain election: political stalemate?
The Guardian: Explainer, 24/07/2023: What happened in Spain’s snap general election?
Reuters, 24/07/2023: Spain election: who won and what happens next?
The New Statesman: Quickfire, 24/07/2023: The forward march of Europe’s far right halted
ING Think: Article, 24/07/2023: Spanish elections cast a shadow over the economic outlook
London School of Economics (LSE): EUROPP Blog, 24/07/2023: Social democracy resists and the far-right flops in Spain
The New Statesman: Quickfire, 25/07/2023: Spain defies the script
Euro|topics, 25/07/2023: Spanish election: what's the message for Europe?
London School of Economics (LSE): EUROPP Blog, 25/07/2023: Spain avoids the Italian scenario

The New York Times, 29/05/2023: Spanish Prime Minister Calls Snap Election for July
Deutsche Welle, 29/05/2023: Spain to hold snap general election in July
Associated Press (AP News), 29/05/2023: Spanish prime minister calls early general election after battering in regional vote
Bloomberg, 29/05/2023: Spanish Premier Calls Surprise Election After Socialist Loss
The Guardian, 29/05/2023: Spain’s PM calls snap election after opposition triumphs in local polls
El País, 29/05/2023: Spain calls snap general election after right, far-right, inflict heavy local and regional defeat
EurActiv, 29/05/2023: Sanchez calls snap election, left wants united front against ‘dark Spain’
Le Monde, 29/05/2023: Spain swings right in local and regional elections
Politico, 29/05/2023: Spanish PM Sánchez calls snap general election after disastrous local polls
El National (Catalonia), 29/05/2023: Pedro Sánchez calls a snap general election in Spain for July 23rd after local election losses
RTÉ News, 29/05/2023: Spanish PM calls snap general election in July
RFI News, 02/06/2023: Collapse of Spain's far-left complicates vote for PM
France24, 10/06/2023: Spain's hard left unites ahead of July election in boost to PM Sanchez
TVP World, 19/06/2023: Spain: opposition with wind in their sails ahead of national election: poll
EUObserver, 03/07/2023: Von der Leyen has 'confidence' in Spain — despite far-right election fears
EurActiv, 06/07/2023: Spain’s left could govern despite PP win, fresh poll predicts
Euronews, 21/07/2023: Spain set for major economic & social change if conservatives win election
EFE Agency, 22/07/2023: Polarized Spain prepares to head to polls in snap election
Bloomberg: Features, 22/07/2023: Spain’s Climate Election Pits Water Police Against Angry Berry Farmers
BBC News, 23/07/2023: Spain faces stark left-right divide in hot summer vote
The Guardian, 23/07/2023: Spain poised for shift to the right as polls open in snap election
BBC News: Live Reporting, 23/07/2023: Spain's conservatives win tight election but no clear majority
Euronews, 23/07/2023: Spain's Conservative Party wins general election but falls short of governing majority
Associated Press (AP News), 23/07/2023: Spain at risk of political gridlock after conservative win falls short of toppling PM Sánchez
RTÉ News, 23/07/2023: Left and right parties neck-and-neck in Spain election count
Deutsche Welle, 23/07/2023: Spain election: Conservatives win but fall short of majority
Le Monde, 23/07/2023: Spain faces risk of political gridlock after elections yield no clear majority
El País, 23/07/2023: Election in Spain: PP wins, PSOE resists and the right-wing bloc falls short of majority
Le Monde, 23/07/2023: Spain: Far-right party Vox takes center stage in the early parliamentary elections
France24, 23/07/2023: Polls close in Spain snap election that could see return of right wing to power
Politico, 24/07/2023: Spanish election: Sánchez holds off right surge
BBC News, 24/07/2023: Spain's conservatives miss out on all-out victory as left celebrates
Euronews, 24/07/2023: General election results in Spain leave future of next government up in the air
The Irish Times, 24/07/2023: Spain faces political gridlock as no clear winner emerges following general election
Associated Press (AP News), 25/07/2023: Ties with far-right hinder Spain’s Popular Party forming a government despite election win

Spanish Ministry of Interior: Official Website for the General Parliamentary Elections in July 2023
Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE): ODIHR: Spain: Early Parliamentary Elections, 23 July 2023
Spanish Government: News, 29/05/2023: The Council of Ministers approves dissolving Parliament and calling a general election on 23 July
Associated Press (AP News), 24/07/2023: Specter of right wing entering Spanish government fades after inconclusive national election

Wikipedia: 2023 Spanish general election
Europe Elects: Parties, Parliaments and Polling Averages: Spain
International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES): Election Guide: Election for Spanish Congress of Deputies, 23 July 2023

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