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Spain’s election will have over 1.5 million new eligible voters

More than 1.5 million Spanish citizens are eligible to vote in the upcoming regional and municipal elections on Sunday and in the general election due in December, making it a highly coveted vote for all political parties.

Since the last general election in 2019, 1,570,299 people have reached the legal voting age of 18 in Spain, data from the Spanish National Statistics Institute (INE) recently revealed, although it has yet to be known how many will exercise their right.

Key policies to boost emancipation, among them housing or the combat against record youth unemployment, have been at the centre of the local election campaign and will likely be at the heart of all political programmes ahead of the next general election.

According to INE, the figure of new voters in Spain is even as much as 1,767,909 if the four years since the last municipal election, held on 26 May 2019, are taken into account.

This fresh “harvest” of voters could also influence the vote in the general election, as many analysts consider this first electoral round as the litmus test for Prime Minister Pedro S?nchez’s left-wing coalition with Unidas Podemos (EU Left).

Tailor made policies to ‘seduce’ young voters

Sanchez’s progressive government recently approved social measures to help the youth.

These include the state offering a 20% guarantee on new mortgages – a measure fiercely criticised by centre-right Partido Popular (EPP) – and plans to make social housing more available to young people in the future.

On education, the government approved a EUR560 million package to train 5.5 million primary and secondary school students in robotics and programming and recently announced that about five million people in the 18-30 age bracket would benefit from Interrail discounts – 50% off in Europe, 90% in Spain.

Spain will hold regional and municipal elections on 28 May, with a general election expected to take place in December, during the country’s final month of presidency of the EU Council.

(Fernando Heller

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