Votes and wallets

The pact announced between the PSOE and Unidas Podemos to try to ensure Pedro Sánchez's investiture as prime minister (he will still need another 21 seats) has been enough to take Vox and its spectacular results out of the news headlines, for the moment at least. Nevertheless, and even though all the news these days is on the other side of the political equation, it would be imprudent to turn our attention too far away from the warning given by the electorate and the more than three and a half million votes received by the far-right party.

The support from the poorest areas of this country is particularly significant. For example, Vox received 20 per cent of votes in La Palmilla (Malaga); and with 31 per cent, Las Albarizas was the area where Vox gained the highest percentage of support in the whole municipality of Marbella, well above that from areas home to residents with higher income.

We need to analyse why the poorest districts have given such support to a party which proposes radical fiscal reform that would not benefit workers but would be beneficial to those with the highest incomes, and whose manifesto includes such extreme measures as cancelling the minimum wage, reducing revenue from social security contributions and replacing them with an increase in IVA, changing the current pension system for a semi-private one and delaying the age at which people can retire, limiting the right to strike and the scope of agreements over working conditions and changing legislation to prevent courts being able to take action against forced redundancies.

If the parties that are now lamenting the electoral gains by Vox had done their work, especially in the pre-election debates, they would have drawn people's attention to Vox's proposals for education - discontinuing finance for State education through a voucher system which would favour private and semi-private schools - and health, where they would allow those with private health insurance to withdraw from the public system, something that would have a devastating effect on financing of the health service.

Vox was clever enough to focus on its battle against progressive values, which not everyone shares, and immigrants, with lies and half-truths which were never challenged, making voters in La Palmilla, Las Albarizas and elsewhere believe that their enemies are the foreigners who live next door and not the extremist who comes to ask for your vote so they can then steal your wallet.