From north to south, European voters are backing progressive politics

29/04/2019

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez waves to crowd

Sergei Stanishev, Katarina Barley, Frans Timmermans and Pedro Sanchez with other leaders at the PES Congress in Madrid

Spain is the latest country to say it’s time to put socialists and social democrats back in charge, the Party of Europeans Socialists said today as it welcomed the result of Sunday’s general election.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Wins in general elections in Spain and Finland this month show progressives have the momentum going into the European elections. Whilst conservatives in Spain were chasing the far right to try and regain power, PSOE anchored its campaign in core socialist and social democratic policies, and voters backed them. This is what all of Europe needs too, and what Frans Timmermans will deliver as Commission President. 

“I would like to congratulate Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and PSOE on their strong result. Spain and Europe are made stronger by a socialist government in Madrid.”

The result in Spain shows that progressive parties are the only alternative to hardline anti-immigrant and climate change denying populist and nationalist parties, and that the conservatives who mimic these parties, have nothing positive to offer their voters.

The campaign of PES member party PSOE focused on core progressive principles – strengthening women’s rights, investment in social policies, and a commitment to stand up against the far-right. The Spanish people emphatically backed Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s programme, with PSOE winning an extra 38 seats and becoming the largest party in parliament. Prime Minister Sanchez will now begin negotiating to form a new government with a progressive coalition.

Pedro Sanchez came to power last year after successfully bringing forward a vote of no-confidence in then prime minister Mariano Rajoy, whose party – the People's Party – continues to be mired in the Gürtel corruption scandal. As Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez appointed a majority female cabinet – the first in Spain’s history - and significantly raised Spain’s minimum wage, helping millions of low paid workers.