Podemos was the dazzling new force in Spanish politics. What went wrong? | Giles Tremlett

Photo of Podemos was the dazzling new force in Spanish politics. What went wrong? | Giles Tremlett
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Internal strife and a narrowness of vision has halted the party’s rise – and left room for the far right to creep in

It was only five years ago that Spain’s break-out party Podemos became a dazzling new lodestar for Europe’s lost and troubled left. But with a snap election just weeks away, it now risks a crash as spectacular as its rise. Has the leftwing populist model of ponytailed rebel Pablo Iglesias and his gang of talented young thinkers, so admired by many Jeremy Corbyn backers and others around Europe, proved a failure?

Polling suggests the party is in deep trouble. Podemos once led the polls and very nearly snatched leadership of Spain’s left from prime minister Pedro Sánchez’s Socialist party at the 2016 elections, but it is now only the voters’ fourth favourite party. The meltdown means it is slated to lose half its deputies, while Sánchez gallops ahead, taking well over twice as many votes as Podemos on 28 April.

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