Is the two-party system in Spain coming to an end?

16 Jun 15

Two parties have dominated Spain’s political arena for more than 30 years, but the advent of new players, such as Podemos and Citizens, looks likely to change that.

The two-party system has been an untouchable phenomenon in Spain since 1982. Just two parties have formed the Spanish government: the People’s Party (PP: Right of centre, conservative) and the Spanish Socialist Working Party (PSOE: Left of centre party, liberal).

But 2015 is a year that could change all that. We have three elections coming up: municipal and regional ones on May 24 (with the exception of Andalucía) and a general election between November 20 and December 20.

The outcome of these elections could throw the bases of the investment entrepreneurial, political and social sectors in Spain out of balance. It could mean a big shake-up to the political arena, bringing in about pacts that had never before been imagined.

November 20 2011 was the last Spanish general election that yielded a clear outcome. The two main parties of PP and PSOE between them took almost three quarters (73,35%) of the votes. PP won 44,62% and PSOE 28,73%). But what lies in the store from the upcoming general

The rise of the anti-austerity Podemos party after its foundation in January 2014 has prompted alarm in the major parties. Although Podemos was set up in a short time on a limited budget and has relied on social media networks for its campaigning it has already gathered more than a million votes and five seats in the European Parliament.

Another new entrant on to the political scene is the centrist Citizens party (Ciudadanos). Founded in 2006, it secured almost half a million votes in the European elections, winning two seats in the European Parliament.

Spain, like other European counterparts, is in a deep crisis (against which we are fighting). A consequence of this is the widespread anger and indignation of the people. How can citizens express their anger? We’ll be able to see when the time comes to vote.

Spanish Sociological Research (CIS) last month published its latest forecast for the general elections, which shows something that all citizens expected: the two-party system is coming to an end. The polls for the general elections shows the next possible hypothetical result: PP with 27,3% of the vote, Podemos with 23,9% and PSOE with 22,2%.

However, to ratify the CIS’ data, we just have to analyse the results of Andalucia’s elections last March, which can be seen in the chart below:

2012-2015 Comparative Results of the Andalucia's Election's

Paraphrasing the Spanish proverb… The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. Later this year we’ll know what citizens prefer.

Marta Riera López is Auditor at the Auditing Authority of the Principality of Asturias in Spain

  • Marta Riera López
    Marta Riera López

    auditor at the Auditing Authority of the Principality of Asturias in Spain

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