Spain heads to polls with political future on knife edge

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Spain’s political future was on a knife edge on Sunday night as polls closed and counting began in a general election marked by the emotive issue of Catalan separatism and the emergence of hard-Right party Vox.

High turnout figures boosted expectations that the incumbent Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Socialist party (PSOE) would win, albeit falling far short of a majority.

Two hours before polls closed, 60.7 per cent of voters had cast their ballots, compared to 51.2 per cent at the same point in the previous general elections in 2016. The most recent PSOE general election win, in 2008, came the last time the final turnout figure topped 70 per cent.

Vox, which won just 0.2 per cent in 2016, was polling at around 10 per cent throughout the campaign, the ultra-Catholic and anti-immigration party threatening to make an already complex political situation even more fraught.



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