Upstart party is on course for 10% of the vote as Spanish right fragments after decades of dominance by People’s party

The symbolism of Vox’s election campaign launch in Madrid on Thursday was not particularly hard to fathom. In the central square named after Christopher Columbus, near a statue of Blas de Lazo, the battle-scarred, one-legged Spanish admiral who vanquished the British fleet off Colombia 278 years ago, the far-right party’s leader issued a familiar call to arms.

Vox weren’t after anything as prosaic as votes, Santiago Abascal told the crowd. What he had in mind was a political crusade to fly “the flag of Spain and of liberty” across the country and to take the fight to the “illegitimate” socialist government, an administration propped up by parties he termed “separatists, populists and friends of terrorists”.

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Read More Far-right Vox party set for breakthrough in Spanish elections

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