Spanish General Elections: Exploring the Impact of the Debate

Pedro Sanchez and Albero Nuñez Feijóo

Spanish General Elections: Examining the Impact, Reactions, and Road Ahead. Image: Shutterstock/ OSCAR GONZALEZ FUENTES

The recent face-to-face debate between Pedro Sánchez and Alberto Núñez Feijóo has dominated discussions in the Spanish political landscape. The encounter was marked by personal attacks, accusations of lying, and interruptions, with the candidate from the Popular Party (PP), Feijóo, emerging as the victor over the socialist candidate (PSOE), Sánchez according to polls. The outcome of the debate has sparked a wide range of reactions, from comparisons to historic victories to concerns about the Socialist Party’s electoral prospects with only two weeks remaining until the general elections on July 23, 2023. The decision to hold early general (In July rather than December) elections was made by Pedro Sánchez due to significant losses suffered by his Socialist party in regional and municipal elections. The shortened timeframe before the elections may pose challenges for far-left parties like Podemos and Sumar in their bid to form a government.

In the wake of the debate setback, the PSOE is striving to regain momentum in the campaign. Government ministers and party members are actively working to turn the post-debate situation around, aiming to shift the focus from the heated exchange between the candidates to Feijóo’s statements. The Socialist Party highlights Feijóo’s alleged lies, such as his opposition to pension reforms that aim to ensure automatic revaluation based on the consumer price index (CPI). You should definitely have your say and vote in our poll in our article detailing why July 23rd is a important date in Spain this year.

The unexpected difficulties Sánchez faced during the debate have surprised many within PSOE. The inability to regain control of the narrative and challenge entrenched anti-Sanchezism narratives highlighted the unique dynamics of a debate setting compared to interviews. With two weeks left in the campaign, PSOE is now shifting its focus to upcoming milestones, such as the three-way debate with Santiago Abascal (President of Vox) and Yolanda Díaz (Leader of SUMAR) on RTVE and various international summits attended by Pedro Sánchez.

Meanwhile, the Battle between PP and Vox continues…

PP and the far-right party Vox are currently engaged in a political battle ahead of Spain’s snap general election. Vox’s rise in popularity, winning over 11% of the popular vote in municipal elections in May, has sparked concern for Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez (PSOE). If Vox enters the federal government as a part of the coalition, it could disrupt Spain’s growing progressive movement and set the Council of the European Union‘s agenda during Spain’s presidency. This has led to increased competition between the PP and Vox, with both parties vying for right-wing voters.

Vox’s Campaign

Vox has been campaigning on anti-immigrant and nationalist rhetoric, advocating for measures such as deporting illegal immigrants and closing mosques. They also oppose laws protecting women from gender violence and seek to undermine LGBTQ rights. Vox’s leader, Santiago Abascal, aims to ‘make Spain great again’ by restoring the country’s ‘traditional values.’ However, the party’s prospects for gaining power in the upcoming elections remain uncertain.


Meanwhile, Sumar, a left-wing and progressive electoral platform led by Spanish Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz, and Podemos, a far-left political party founded as a response to social protests against corruption and inequality, have formed an alliance. Together, they aim to encourage left-wing voters to unite against the ruling conservative People’s Party, marking a significant development in the political landscape

As the Spanish election campaign enters its final stages, the outcome remains uncertain. The intense debate between Pedro Sánchez and Alberto Núñez Feijóo has injected a sense of urgency and volatility into the race, with both sides vying to sway public opinion and shape the future of Spain.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!