The PSOE party gained the most seats in last Sunday's general election in Spain, but lost three seats compared with the last election in April and still does not have a majority in parliament. The result was no surprise, as pre-election polling had indicated that the socialist party would be the largest party and that the far right Vox would make significant gains.
Gibraltar takes a keen interest in Spanish elections, as the results can impact relations between the two governments. The chief minister, Fabian Picardo, who is head of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party and governs in a coalition with the Gibraltar Liberal Party, wrote to congratulate PSOE Pedro Sánchez on his victory.
In a statement, Picardo said: "The fact that the PSOE is the largest party to emerge from the Spanish election this weekend will be welcomed by many in Gibraltar ... the rise of Vox, a party that has made false and disparaging remarks about Gibraltar, will nonetheless also be a concern to many. As we celebrate 100 years since the end of the first World War, 75 years next year since Victory in Europe and 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, we have to be conscious of the rise, once again, of the far right in Europe. We must combat the populist narrative of parties like Vox with something as damning and dangerous to it as the truth. Let no one have any doubt that we will do that, fighting their attempt to spread lies about us and to incite hatred against us, in every relevant forum and tribunal."
Vox received more votes than any other party in Algeciras and came second in La Línea de la Concepción. Its leader, Santiago Abascal, has often threatened to close the border with Gibraltar if he comes to power.