Looking for affective polarisation in Spain: PSOE and Podemos from conflict to coalition Articles uri icon

publication date

  • September 2020

start page

  • 351

end page

  • 379


  • 3-4


  • 25

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1360-8746

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1743-9612


  • Voters in many advanced democracies increasingly dislike their political opponents, a phenomenon that is known as affective polarisation. The growing animosity between electorates is particularly challenging in multiparty systems, where ruling is more dependent on cross-party alliances. In this work, we examine the case of Spain, a multiparty democracy that exhibits one of the highest levels of affective polarisation among advanced democracies. Using public opinion databases as well as extensive qualitative evidence, we operationalise and explore the evolution of affective polarisation in the Spanish electorate and its main drivers, with a particular focus on the competition for the left–wing electorate between the PSOE and Podemos during the 2015–2020 period.


  • Politics


  • elections; socialist party; coalition government; radical left;ideology; catalonia; left-wing parties; territorial cleavage