With about a month to go before Spaniards cast ballots in national elections, it increasingly looks likely that Spain's mainstream conservatives, now in the opposition, are prepared to govern with the far-right Vox party.
Not long ago it seemed unthinkable that Vox, given its extreme views on gays, immigrants, women's rights and the European Union, could enter into national government. But with the far-right party's popularity growing, Spain's center-right Popular Party may be forced to align with it following elections.
Polls show the Popular Party winning the elections with about 34% of the vote, but they look destined to need the support of Vox to obtain an absolute majority with which to govern. Surveys show Vox picking up about 14% of the vote.
Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's center-left Socialists are projected to come in second with about 26% of the vote; but surveys suggest a left-wing coalition headed by the Socialists appears unlikely to gain enough support to stay in power.
But since the Popular Party and Vox emerged victorious in local elections in May, the two parties have forged alliances in various municipal governments and in a second regional chamber. President Sánchez warned that the normalization of Vox was a dangerous development.
The rise of Vox is part of a wider trend across the European Union of far-right parties expounding nationalist, traditionalist, anti-immigrant, anti-EU, anti-LGBTQ and anti-environmental views. Its members also express admiration for former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.
Spain may stop Vox at the polls.