By The History Man

The 2023 Spanish general election was held on Sunday, 23 July 2023, the date known in Spain as 23J, to elect the 15th Cortes Generales of the Kingdom of Spain

All 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies were up for election, as well as 208 of 265 seats in the Senate.

The second government of Pedro Sánchez formed after the November 2019 Spanish general election consisted of a left-wing coalition between the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and Unidas Podemos, the country's first such nationwide government since the times of the Second Spanish Republic

The government's tenure was quickly overshadowed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, along with its political and economic consequences. These consequences included the COVID-19 recession resulting from the extensive COVID-19 lockdowns implemented to curb the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as the economic impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On the right side of the political spectrum, the People's Party (PP) underwent a leadership change at the 20th National Congress of the PP in February 2022, Alberto Núñez Feijóo replaced party leader Pablo Casado

Since Feijóo's accession, the PP led opinion polls and finished first in the regional and local elections of 28 May 2023.

Far-right Vox has been open to support the PP in a hung parliament in exchange for government participation and programmatic concessions. Despite speculation about an early election, Pedro Sánchez, the incumbent prime minister of Spain, consistently expressed his intention to complete the legislature as scheduled in 2023. 

He had initially set a tentative election date for December 2023, near the conclusion of the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union. However, the poor results of the left-wing bloc in the May 2023 regional and local elections, with losses to the PP and Vox in all but three regions, led to a surprise early dissolution of Parliament in what was described as a gamble by Sánchez to wrong-foot the opposition.

In the closest election since 1996, the PP saw the biggest increase in support and secured 137 seats in the Congress, but fell short of expectations which had placed it at around 150 to 160 seats. 

The PSOE placed second and overperformed polls by improving upon previous results, gaining over 1 million votes and scoring its best result since 2008 in terms of votes and vote share. 

Vox saw a decrease in its popular vote and seats, while Sumar won 31 seats in the Congress, a decrease in the popular vote and seats of its constituent parties. 

Neither bloc achieved a majority and, despite losses among Catalan independence parties, the balance of power was held by the Together for Catalonia (Junts) party of former Catalan president and fugitive Carles Puigdemont. 

Following a failed attempt by Feijóo to secure investiture, Sánchez struck a deal with Junts and most of the parliamentary regionalist and peripheral nationalist parties, virtually ensuring his re-election in the first ballot of investiture scheduled for 16 November.

With thanks to Wikipedia

Copyright: The History Man