Spain's right wing wins European election in blow to Socialist PM

Spain votes in the European Parliament election

MADRID (Reuters) -Spain's centre-right People's Party (PP) came out on top in Sunday's European election, garnering 22 seats out of the 61 allocated to the country, and dealing a blow to the Socialist-led government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Sanchez's Socialists, spearheaded by Energy Minister Teresa Ribera, earned 20 seats after a campaign in which the opposition honed in on private corruption allegations against the premier's wife and an amnesty law for Catalan pro-independence leaders passed just one week before the election.

With 99.7% of the vote counted, far-right Vox finished third with six lawmakers, up from the four it had in the previous legislature.

Still, in terms of vote share, support for Vox dipped to 9.6% from 12.4% in the July 2023 general election. The far-right party is struggling to break a vote ceiling of 14%, making it an outlier compared to its peers in other EU countries.

Alvise Perez, a far-right social media influencer running against what he describes as universal corruption, managed to obtain three seats with a campaign mostly conducted through the messaging app Telegram.

The combined right won nearly 50%, while the left followed with 43%.

The leftist vote was split between Sumar - the junior partner in the government coalition - that won three seats and hard-left Podemos, led by former Equality Minister Irene Montero, which got two.

(Reporting by Belén Carreño, Andrei Khalip and Graham Geeley; Writing by David Latona; Editing by Andrei Khalip)