MADRID (AP) — Spain’s voters will go to the polls Sunday in a general election to swing to the right on whether to remain a member of the European Union.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called the early elections after Spain’s Socialist Workers’ Party and its far-left partner Unidas Podemos suffered defeats in local and regional elections in May. Sanchez has been premier since 2018.
A majority of opinion polls for Sunday’s vote put May’s popular ring-wing populist party ahead of the Socialists, but the far-right Vox party will need support if it is to form a government.
Since the country transitioned to democracy in the late 1970s. At the end of the 1970s, following the 40-year rule of dictator Francisco Franco, the radical right returned to the Spanish government for the first time.
Opposing them are the Socialists and a new movement called Sumar, which brings together 15 small left-wing political parties for the first time.
With no party expected to win an absolute majority, the choice is essentially between another left-wing coalition and a right-wing coalition.
The Sánchez government has led Spain through the Covid-19 pandemic and an inflation-driven economic crisis exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
But his reliance on minority coalition parties, including separatist forces from Catalonia and the Basque Country, and his passage of liberal-minded laws could cost him his job.
The right wing parties did not like everything about Sánchez, he betrayed and ruined Spain. They have pledged to roll back dozens of laws that have benefited millions of citizens and thousands of companies.
The election will be held at the height of summer, when millions of voters may be away from their regular polling stations on vacation. But requests for postal ballots have increased, and officials estimate a 70% voter turnout.
Temperatures on the tail end of a month-long heat wave are expected to average 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) and rise by 5 to 10 degrees Celsius.
Spain’s 36 million voters can cast their ballots between 9am and 8pm (0700 and 1800 GMT); The final result is expected at midnight.