December 2, 2018 / 3:12 PM / 2 months ago

Survey suggests Spanish far-right could win seats in regional vote

A man takes his ballot before casting his vote for the Andalusian regional elections in Seville, Spain, December 2, 2018. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo

SEVILLE, Spain (Reuters) - A survey published as voting closed suggested that Spain’s far-right Vox party could win 8-10 seats in an election on Sunday in the region of Andalusia, in what would be the first parliamentary representation for the far-right in decades.

The GAD3 poll, carried out for the newspaper ABC between Nov. 19 and 30, had the Socialists who hold power in Madrid getting most votes but losing ground compared to the last election.

Preliminary official results are expected at around 10:15 p.m. (2115 GMT).

The vote was the first electoral test for Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, whose minority government has been unable to pass a budget in Madrid since taking office last summer.

The election in Spain’s most populous region took place in a political landscape in which major parties find it harder and harder to secure majorities.

If it is confirmed that Vox won seats, it would be the first sign of the nationalist surge that has swept other European countries reaching Spain, long seen as immune because many still remember the military dictatorship that ended in 1975.

Andalusia has some of the highest unemployment rates in Europe and is the main arrival point in Spain for migrants crossing the Mediterranean. The number reaching Spain has grown in the past year as traffic on the main sea route to Europe, from Libya to Italy, has slowed.

There are 109 seats in Andalusia’s regional parliament.

Reporting by Marcelo del Pozo in Seville, Sam Edwards in Barcelona, Belen Carreno in Madrid; Writing by Ingrid Melander and Sam Edwards; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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