It is also another gain for the far right in Europe, which has extended support in countries such as France, Italy and Portugal by taking aim at immigration, feminism and LGBT or other minority communities.
The PP called the election in the hope of jettisoning the previous centrist partner it ran the region with by winning an absolute majority.
However, the PP failed, securing just 31% of the vote to the 30% of the Socialists – the national ruling party – and Vox’s 17%.
Vox’s national chief Santiago Abascal said the party’s local leader could become the deputy regional president in Castile and Leon.
“Vox has the right and the duty to form a government in Castile and Leon,” he told a political rally on Sunday evening.
The result is a blow for the PP, which until a decade ago was the only conservative force in Spain but saw its vote split by a series of corruption scandals, and a boon for Vox, which was started in 2014 and is now the third largest party in parliament.
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