It will have been barely six months since
they last trooped to the ballot box but the people of Spain are being
asked to vote again in 26 June’s repeat general election.
In those six months it has been impossible for any combination of parties to form a government.
With the conservative People’s party expected to once again be the
largest group in the Cortes, the real battle is for second place. The
radical movement Podemos aims to repeat the feat of Syriza in Greece and
steamroller the traditional social democratic party, in Spain the
Socialist Workers’ party (PSOE), to become the leading party on the left
of the political spectrum.
The outcome of this tussle will have profound implications for the left
across Europe – can venerable old parties draw a line in the sand
against the rise of the populist left? Or are they doomed to be left
behind? A lot hangs on the race for power in Spain.