Two-bloc logic, polarisation and coalition government: The November 2019 general election in Spain Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2020

start page

  • 533

end page

  • 563


  • 3-4


  • 25

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1360-8746

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1743-9612


  • This article focuses on the role played by polarisation in the Spanish party system. It first analyses the failure in the attempts to form a government after the 28 April 2019 general election in Spain. It shows how polarisation and short-term calculations made government formation impossible and led to a new general election in November that year. The article also describes how prior to the electoral campaign, the exhumation of Francisco Franco"s body and the riots in Catalonia, which added to the saliency of territorial conflict, fostered votes for the radical right-wing party Vox. It will also be shown how the election results led to a fragmented and more polarised Congress. Finally, the article discusses the formation of the first minority coalition government in the recent democratic history of Spain - one made up of the PSOE and UP - its structure and its potential implications for the Spanish party system.


  • Politics
  • Sociology


  • psoe; pp; unidas podemos; ciudadanos; vox; catalonia