OVIEDO, Spain 

Spain’s far-right party Vox is demanding to be part of a government for the first time after obtaining surprisingly strong results in the Castile-Leon regional elections on Sunday.

The anti-immigration party tripled its support from the 2019 elections, securing 13 seats in the regional parliament.

The conservative Popular Party (PP) came out on top with 31 seats in the large, rural region that it has governed since 1987. But it fell short of the 41 seats needed for a majority, despite having called the election.

Meanwhile, Cuidadanos, the PP’s former center-right coalition partner, was left barely clinging to life with just one seat.

This falls in line with the trend seen over the past three years in which Vox has been devouring the seats of the more moderate Ciudadanos as voters shift farther to the right.

“Vox has the right and the duty to form a government in Castile-Leon,” said Vox leader Santiago Abascal late Sunday.

And while central PP leadership is opposed to a coalition government with the far-right Vox, the regional PP leader said he was weighing all his options.

One unprecedented possibility could be the PP seeking support from the Socialist Party, either in the form of a grand coalition or by securing socialist votes to form a minority government.

But the PP’s most obvious alliance is with Vox.

In past regional and national elections, Vox has always supported the PP without asking for a spot in a coalition.

But Vox is both relatively new and gaining ground quickly.

Running on an anti-immigration, socially conservative, and patriotic platform, the party obtained its first seats in 2018 in the Andalusian regional elections.

In Spain’s national elections in November 2019, Vox was the third-most voted for party, surpassing Podemos and Cuidados for the first time.

As the country’s political scene has become highly fractured in recent years, both Podemos and Cuidadanos have secured their spots in coalition governments.

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