THE Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, has, along with most other European leaders, been heavily criticized over his government’s handling of the pandemic, but that was to be expected.

Apart from the latest polls showing that, when push comes to shove, Sánchez’s Socialist party would still be the most voted in Spain and maintain the keys to government. However, over the past 48-hours, Sánchez has been given a welcome boost with regional agreements and pacts made between the centre right Partido Popular and the liberal Ciudadanos, having collapsed.

The split has forced early elections in Madrid and motions of no confidence being tabled in the PP in a number of regions. Spain’s traditional two-party system has broken up over the past six years with the emergence of new groups that forced both the PP and the Socialists into new alliances at local, regional and national levels.

Ciudadanos has been in the middle of those negotiations, shifting back and forth between the two establishment parties.

Sánchez governs in a minority coalition with the far-left group Podemos and the opposition is split between the PP, Ciudadanos and the far-right group Vox and if the PP can’t hold the line in the face of what’s happened this week, it could fall further down the political pecking order opening the door for Vox to gain even more power while securing Sánchez’s position.