Spain's populist Vox party hopes to exploit anti-immigrant sentiment 

Leaders from the far-right party Vox are hoping that rallies in low-income areas with large immigrant populations will win them voters for upcoming elections.

Editorial Team
Jessica Sirotin NewsMavens, Europe
Spain's populist Vox party hopes to exploit anti-immigrant sentiment  - NewsMavens
Torrejón de Ardoz, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

Vox, a Spanish far-right party that recently gained parliamentary representation in the southern region of Andalusia, is trying to win further success in upcoming local, regional and national elections. 

The party held a rally in Torrejón de Ardoz, on Sunday, February 17, in a hotel located near Madrid's most diverse districts in a hope to capitize on anti-immigrant sentiment.  The party plans six more rallies in the coming days before the May 26 and April 28 elections. 

The party's choice of locations for these rallies is not random. Their December victory in Andalusia was driven by municipalities with large numbers of non-EU residents. 

However, their strategy could backfire, as these areas of Madrid are controlled by the conservative Popular Party (PP) and there seems to be little tension between the foreign and native populations. 

Details from the story:

  • Vox leaders believe they can draw voters away from the left in substantive numbers. 
  • The party is still looking for candidates to run in the 179 municipalities that make up the Madrid region. 
  • Municipal, regional and European elections will take place in May. Following the failure of his budget plan, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Friday announced a snap general election for April 28.
  • At the rally, the loudest applause came when they described undocumented migrants as those who live off social aid.
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