THE far-right Vox party has won its first regional seats in the Andalucian elections on Sunday.
Campaigning with messages of anti-immigration, anti-independence and vows to ‘make Spain great again,’ Vox took 12 seats, despite only being predicted to get 5.
Santiago Abascal’s party, founded in 2014, recorded 396,000 votes, 11% of the total, as they made it into the 109-seat regional assembly for the first time.
On an historic night voter turnout was only 58.6%, which is over 5% lower than in the 2015 elections.
France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen said: “Strong and warm congratulations to my friends from Vox, who tonight in Spain scored a meaningful result for such a young and dynamic movement.”
It is the first time a far-right Spanish political party has gained seats in a regional election since 1975, when General Franco‘s death brought the return of democracy.
The dictator’s death also marked the last time the socialist PSOE performed this badly in Andalucia, while the conservative PP recorded their second-worst showing since 1975.
Diaz, the regional first minister claimed the results consolidated her worst night in politics.
She said: “Despite having won the elections, it is a sad night for the socialists of Andalucia and the opposition as a whole.
“The retreat of the left is real, but the most serious thing is that the extreme right has entered the Andalucian parliament.”
The focus will now turn towards creating a coalition in the region, and Diaz, whose PSOE party lost 14 seats, said she ‘will open dialogue’ with all political forces.
It comes as the leader called the elections early in Andalucia, Spain’s most populous region, which is seen by many as a political thermometer for the rest of Spain.
The elections were the first major political test for the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez after he came to power in June, following a no-confidence vote in his predecessor Mariano Rajoy.