Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called early elections for July 23 on Monday morning. The decision was taken a few hours after the disappointing results obtained by his party, the Socialist Party, in local elections held on Sunday in some important regions and large Spanish cities, such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville.
In the administrative elections, the centre-right Popular Party obtained a clear victory, even exceeding expectations, while the Socialists only managed to maintain the government in three of the twelve regions in which they voted. National elections were initially scheduled for December.
During a press conference, Sánchez said he wanted to take responsibility for the defeat of the Socialists “in the first person”: “Even if yesterday’s vote had a local significance, the sense of the vote conveys a message that goes beyond.” The convening of elections will be made official by the government on Tuesday, with the dissolution of the Houses, a prerogative that belongs to the prime minister under the country’s constitution.
Sánchez has been in government of Spain since 2018: his first term lasted just over a year and in April 2019 there were early elections due to an internal crisis in the government majority. But those elections had not brought out a clear majority and after six months there had been new elections. In that case, however, the Socialist Party and the second leftist force Unidas Podemos, whose leader was Pablo Iglesias, had found an agreement and had managed to form a solid government majority, together with the Socialist Party of Catalonia and the United Left coalition.
In recent years, Sánchez’s government has adopted various very “leftist” measures, both in the field of civil rights and in the field of the fight against inequality, which have made it one of the most progressive in Europe.
– Listen also: Globe: the most leftist government in Europe, with Thomas Gualtieri