SPAIN’S socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will today find out if his gamble on a snap election pays off, or if a far right party will take a place in government for the first time since elections were held after General Franco’s death.

Sanchez called today’s general election after his PSOE socialists suffered heavy defeats in May’s regional and municipal elections.

Polls suggest that the opposition conservatives Partido Popular (PP) will become the biggest party, but without an outright majority.

In this case they will probably have to rely on the support of the far-right Vox party 

While the opposition conservative People’s party (PP) is expected to finish first, polls suggest it is likely to fall short of an absolute majority and to have to rely on the support of the far-right Vox party  if PP leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo is to form a government.

The PP and Vox have formed several coalition regional governments in the past month.

Pedro Sanchez and Alberto Nuñez Feijoo
Pedro Snachez (left) and Alberto Núñez Feijóo. Photo: Cordon Press

The PSOE and their leftist coalition partners have been at loggerheads with the PP and Vox on culture-wars issues.

The PSOE programme of reforming sexual offences legislation has been botched, says the PP, with 100 sexual offenders being released early, while Vox has banged the anti-immigration drum for years.

But it seems voters’ priorities are elsewhere. A recent IPSOS poll for La Vanguardia backed US President Bill Clinton’s line that ‘it’s the economy stupid’ (written by advisor James Carville ).

Some 31% of people surveyed put the economy as the main issue for voters, with 31% of those surveyed putting it at the top of their list of single biggest issues.

Next was unemployment (10%) and healthcare (9%).

Vox’s bete noire of immigration was named as the biggest problem voters were worried about by just 2% of respondents.

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