Parties and alliances of Spain's stateless nations seek key role in next parliamentary term

Polls predict tight race in June 26 early election to the Spanish Parliament · A full review of pro-independence, sovereignist, autonomist and regionalist parties standing for election

The Congress of Deputies.
The Congress of Deputies. Author: Roy Luck
Parties and alliances of the Catalan Countries, the Basque Country and Galicia are standing for election to the Spanish Congress of Deputies with an eye to emerging as key players in the formation of any coalition government after the June 26 snap election. According to surveys, Spanish left-wing and right-wing parties are in a close race, and none of the two blocs might secure the absolute majority at the Spanish Parliament. In that event, pro-independence, sovereignist and pro-autonomy parties might hold the key to government formation.

What follows is a full review of such parties, not only from the Catalan, Basque and Galician areas, but also from other territories in Spain, including regionalist and city-based parties. Many of them are running on the same platforms and manifestos as they did in the last December 2015 election, but even though, some new developments exist.

The global picture

After months of negotiations, Spanish parties were unable to strike a deal on government formation. This means that for the first time since the end of Francoist dictatorship, Spain goes to a second consecutive parliamentary vote.

Four are the main Spain-wide contenders: from more left-wing to more right-wing, they are United We Can (left to centre-left, an alliance of Podemos and United Left), PSOE (centre-left to centre, social democrat), Citizens (centre to centre-right, liberals) and PP (centre-right to right, conservatives).

None of them is set to win an absolute majority, so an agreement between at least two of those parties will be needed. Potential deals include a United We Can-PSOE left-wing government, a PSOE-PP grand coalition, a centre-oriented PSOE-Citizens deal, or a right-wing PP-Citizens agreement.

The deal could also need the support from one or more parties of stateless nations. This might prove difficult as almost all four Spain-wide political parties -a little less in the case of PSOE- are raising the banner of Spanish patriotism during the election campaign. PP and Citizens are particularly reluctant to devolve further self-government to autonomous communities, let alone to accept sovereignty or independence of any territory.

Catalan Countries

In Catalonia, left-wing En Comú Podem alliance (linked to United We Can, includes both Spanish, Catalan and Barcelonan parties, with pro-autonomy, sovereignist and federalist tendencies) is leading polls and it might secure an even larger win than it got in December 2015.

Pro-independence voters will have two main options to vote: centre-left ERC and centre-right CDC. According to polls, ERC is well placed to retain its current 9 seats, but CDC (8 seats) is in a downward trend. Both parties say their support to any Spanish government must be in exchange for the organization of a binding referendum on independence.

In the Valencian Country, the A La Valenciana alliance has been again formed between Compromís (Valencian federalists and sovereignists), Podemos and United Left. The coalition aims to improve its 2015 result (9 seats) and maybe surpass PP, which received the most votes in the Valencian Country. A La Valenciana calls for a left turn in government policies and the launch of constitutional processes in both Valencia and Spain that allow the recognition of Spain's plurinational character.

Som Valencians (Somval) is also running for Parliament. With little to no options to win seats, the party calls for fiscal autonomy for the Valencian Country and opposes closer links to Catalonia.

In the Balearic Islands, the main new development if compared to the December 2015 election is the formation of an alliance including the Balearic pro-sovereignty Més party together with Podemos and United Left. Surveys are predicting 3 seats for the alliance, one of them for Més. This would be a landmark win for Balearic pro-sovereignty parties.

Besides Més, a Balearic pro-independence party (Sobirania per les Illes) is also contesting the election. According to polls, the list has no options to obtain seats. Centre-right, pro-autonomy Proposta per les Illes (El PI) is not running this time.

Basque Country

Pro-independence left-wing EH Bildu is running candidates in all four Basque constituencies (three in Euskadi and one in Navarre) seeking to improve its December 2015 results, when the party was only able to secure 2 seats, down from 7 in 2011. Pro-sovereignty (but running under an autonomist manifesto) Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) stands for election in Euskadi's three territories, and has options to get 5 or 6 seats that could emerge as essential to the formation of any parliamentary majority in Madrid.

In Navarre, pro-sovereignty Geroa Bai aspires to regain the seat it lost in the last election. In the territories of Alava, Navarre and La Rioja (the last one not usually regarded as a part of the Basque Country by Basque nationalists), the Navarrese Freedom party stands under a manifesto demanding the restoration of a Navarrese independent state. Pro-sovereignty, left-wing Batzarre has entered an agreement with Podemos in Navarre. Finally, pro-autonomy, foralist, pro-Spanish UPN has formed an alliance with PP.


Two lists are aiming to attract pro-sovereignty votes. On the one hand, the En Marea alliance (includes pro-independence Anova together with Podemos and United Left) seeks to improve its December 2015 results, when it got 6 seats. On the other, pro-independence BNG will try to get enough votes to re-capture at least one seat in the Spanish Congress (the party lost in December all 2 seats it previously had).


Chunta Aragonesista (left-wing, includes federalists and sovereignists) decided not to enter the election race after refusing to join the United We Can alliance. A pro-sovereignty list, Entabán, is standing for election in Aragon's northernmost province of Huesca. PAR (regionalists) again agreed to form an alliance with PP. The Federation of Independent of Aragon (FIA, regionalists) also stand for election, with very little chance to capture any seats. It should be noted, in order to avoid confusion, that a Spanish nationalist party is running in Aragon under the Social Aragonese Movement (MAS) banner.


Asturian sovereignist parties are not contesting the election, with the exception of Asturian Left (IAS), which has joined the United We Can alliance. In addition, Foro Asturias (centre-right regionalists) have formed an alliance with PP.


After the dissolution of the Andalusian Party in 2015, a new Andalusian-only party was formed, Somos Andaluces (We Are Andalusians), which is running for Parliament. Somos Andaluces says it wants Andalusia to achieve sovereignty, and seeks to organize it under a federal model.

Canary Islands

Again as it was the case in December 2015, centre-right Canary Coalition stands for election on its own while centre-left New Canarias runs in joint alliance with PSOE. Sovereignist, left-wing Unidad del Pueblo is also contesting the election.

Other territories

Leonese pro-autonomy parties UPL and PREPAL are running candidates as usual in Leon and Zamora (both) and Salamanca (PREPAL only).

In Castile, left-wing IZCA supports the United We Can alliance in the Valladolid constituency, while in Burgos a regionalist party (the Merindades Initiative) is also contesting the election. In the Segovia constituency, local party Segoviemos has entered into an alliance with United We Can.

In Extremadura, but only for the Senate election, local party Adelante Badajoz runs candidates.