Spain heads to the polls amid low turnout and political crisis

10 Novembre, 2019, 22:06 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Nov. 1 2019 a worker moves portraits of Spanish socialist candidate Pedro Sanchez ahead of a campaign rally in Pamplo

Polling suggests that almost a third of voters are unsure who they will vote for, which is set to result in a stalemate with no party or bloc gaining a majority in the 350-member parliament.

The governing Socialist Workers' Party hopes to solve the situation through dialogue.

An attempt to form a coalition government failed.

"We face a genuine national emergency in Catalonia", he said "Because today a supporter of a coup d'etat (against Spain) is in charge of the Catalan government".

The four main parties contending centered their campaigns chiefly on ways to deal with Catalonia's independence push and the feared surge of the far-right party Vox (Voice).

Spain's political leaders have made a last-ditch appeal to undecided voters before a snap election on Sunday that looks unlikely to resolve the country's entrenched parliamentary gridlock.

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The far-right Vox party says Catalonia should be stripped of its autonomy and that separatist leaders should be punished.

Abstentions loom, with polls suggesting up to 35% of the electorate could stay away from the polling booths, up from 28% in April.

Meanwhile, polls show Vox is on track to nearly double its seats in Parliament, leapfrogging Podemos and Ciudadanos to become Spain's third largest party after taking a hardline stance against separatism.

One of the latest polls shows that the Socialist Workers' Party has a support rate of 27 percent, the People's Party has 21 percent, and Vox has 14 percent.

Voting stations opened at 9 a.m. (0800 GMT) and are set to close at 8 p.m. (1900 GMT), with results expected within hours.

Vox has already joined forces with the other two right-of-center parties to take over many city and regional governments and no one doubts the three would readily band together to oust Sánchez.

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