“Abascal President! “, chant hundreds of supporters and affiliates of Vox in a loop. The “Long live Spain!” resound in this meeting of Santiago Abascal, leader of the far-right party, on this campaign day in Madrid, where the coalition government between the Socialists and Podemos, the radical left, is reviled.
In a packed room, heated to the max, Sergio Macian, Vox deputy in the Catalan regional parliament, does not mince his words: “This government of Pedro Sanchez is a ruin, it divides the Spaniards, it makes agreements with the separatists, abolish the offense of sedition to help the Catalan separatists, we want the unity of Spain. “The objective is clear for Vox, credited with 15%:” Put Pedro Sanchez out. »
The left-wing coalition’s feminist policy makes Javier, in his fifties, fume: “We are treated as if we hated women, but I don’t see why we are going to favor violence against women over others. Vox denies gendered violence, preferring to speak of “domestic violence”.
The disappointed of the classic right
While sympathizers of the far-right party unsurprisingly reject leftist politics, they are not kind to the mainstream right either. Many of them previously voted for the conservative right, People’s Party (PP). “Vox was born in 2013 from a split in the PP. Its leader, Santiago Abascal, is himself a defector from this party. Local leaders from post-phalangism have also joined Vox,” points out Steven Forti, professor of contemporary history at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and author of The Extreme Right 2.0.
All are disappointed, angry, determined not to return to the PP. Javier explains why: “When the Basque separatist party Bildu was legalized by the socialists, the PP did not flinch. ” Cristina, in her thirties, who came with her father, does not have enough harsh words: “The right and the left, all the same, I was frustrated by the PP which was not tough enough in Catalonia after the independence referendum. »
Since the Catalan crisis in 2017, Vox has been able to capitalize on wounded Spanish nationalism. “These voters no longer return to the PP, because they believe that the conservative right practices a policy that is too central and does not do what it promises,” explains historian Steven Forti. For some Vox voters, like Jesus, the PP “is not clear enough on abortion”, to which it is opposed.
The profile of Vox voters has not changed much in recent years, according to Jose Pablo Ferrandiz, director of public opinion and political studies at Ipsos Spain: “The feminist movement has increased the far-right vote. These voters feel out of place in a rapidly changing world. And for them, a nostalgic past brings them more certainty than the present and the future, the anchoring of Vox is based on the world before. Economically ultra-liberal, Santiago Abascal’s party is on the other hand ultra-conservative on the themes of the family, abortion and LGBT, close to Poland and Hungary.
Guillermo Fernandez Vazquez, professor of political science at Carlos III University, author of a book on the far right, points to the skill of Vox. “On many points, the conservative right is in tow of Vox who knows where to find new voters among aficionados of bullfighting, hunters or farmers. “The party has been able to exploit, according to him, the feeling of abandonment of the latter, “it then designates in a caricatural way the culprits, in this case the urban and the ecological policies”.
Vox, the country’s third political force
A populist, ultra-nationalist, climate-skeptical and anti-migrant party and which has established itself in ten years as the 3rd political force in the country.
In the municipal and regional elections last May, Spain’s right and extreme right snatched six of the nine regions it ruled and most of the country’s big cities from the left.
In 2018, Vox had already made a sensational entrance in the regional parliament of Andalusia, where he won 12 seats. The party entered the national parliament in April 2019, with 24 deputies. For more than a year, he has governed in coalition alongside the PP in the region of Castile and León.