The arrival of Vox in Spain’s parliament has left Portugal as one of the few countries in the European Union – alongside Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta – without a far-right political party in the national parliament.
Sunday’s elections in Spain marked the first time since the end of the country’s military rule in the 1970s that a far-right political party enters parliament. Vox received over 10% of the votes (around 2.6 million) and was the fifth most voted party, helping cement the rise in popularity of far-right and nationalist ideals across Europe. The election was won by the ruling socialist party PSOE.
As Portugal’s Lusa news agency points out, Vox’s success in Spain could be a sign of what is to come in the European elections which will be held between May 23 and 26.
Far-right parties already rule the governments in Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic and are part of coalition governments in Spain, Austria, Finland, Latvia, Slovakia and Bulgaria. They have also gained increased power in Denmark and France.
Earlier this month, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini of the right-wing League party announced the formation of a parliamentary group – the European Alliance for People and Nations – which aims to bring together nationalist parties from all over Europe to run together in the European elections.
Lusa says that the rise of the far-right in Europe is a result of the “economic crisis, migration and the distrust of politicians and institutions”.
The political party that leans furthest to the right in Portugal is the Partido Nacional Renovador (PNR), which has yet to gain a single seat in Parliament. In the 2015 elections, it received only 0.50% of the votes of the Portuguese people (27,269). It is known for its strong anti-immigration stance and has been linked to the Portuguese Hammerskins.