Spain and Poland at the ballot box: what’s next for Europe?

Last week, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, leader of Spain’s People’s Party, lost his second bid at leading the country’s government. All eyes are now on Pedro Sánchez, acting prime minister and leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, as he tries to gather enough support to hold his office for another term.


Across the continent, Poland is preparing for the next parliamentary election on 15 October – and the rising far-right party Confederation is set to swing the balance between right-wing incumbents Law and Justice, and the liberal opposition.


In this week’s episode, Mark Leonard welcomes senior policy fellows José Ignacio Torreblanca, head of ECFR Madrid, and Piotr Buras, head of ECFR Warsaw, to discuss how Spanish and Polish politics will affect Europe’s political map, the bloc’s support for Ukraine, the growing debate on enlargement, and next summer’s European elections. Are mainstream parties in Poland willing to form a government with Confederation?


Whose support will Pedro Sánchez need to form a new government, and what happens if he too fails? What is causing voters to flock to right-wing parties in Poland but punish them in Spain? How are Poland’s pre-election debates on refugees and grain affecting European support for Ukraine?


This podcast was recorded on 29 September 2023.




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