How polarised is Spain?

I saw a documentary today about Spains society being one of the most polarised in Europe (in terms of left wing vs right wing). Most western countries have these problems right now, but it kind of surprised me about Spain because I rarely heard anything about it before. Of course I followed the discussions about Catalonia wanting to be independent, but couldn’t really make sense of it. So what’s your impression? Is Spain really that polarised?

What is the biggest problem Spain is facing?

Edit: Thanks all for your impressions. I guess the documentary was right then. Hope we all find a way to deal with our future together as European brothers and sisters


  1. We are polarized but not up to a violent level unless you look at certain groups. Here is not uncommon find people with different political opinions talking in a bar or elsewhere and not ending in a fight.

  2. It’s pretty ingrained in our history. I don’t think it’s all that different from other Western countries right now, tho. But it’s been a thing here forever. Check out the history of Spanish anarchism; pretty interesting. It was stronger than anywhere else. There’s a reason why Spain fought WWII against itself prior to other countries.

    It actually helps a lot to see the history of Spanish liberalism and libertarian movements to see what it was all about in those times. People now seem to have a very weird understanding of what went on in the 19th and 20th centuries. There’s much less actual censure and propaganda in Spanish texts than in British/American intelectual takes of it. I suppose we are also freer to discuss certain topics than in other places. I could defend communism, say, in a bar without anyone getting violent, judging me forever or whatever; even if they didn’t agree. I suppose the civil war and later dictatorship is a reminder for all that peace is worth it and there should be diversity of ideas. So, being divided is part of our history but reconciliation is too, I gather. I’d say we tend to value humanism pretty unconsciously, except for extremists.

    The media is getting more and more limited in discourse, tho. But it has to do with the fact that there’s no independent media anymore in the whole so called West. Public TV used to be less dogmatic too. This would be impossible nowadays, for instance.

  3. Affective and ideological polarisation in Spain has been growing in recent years: political parties are increasingly far away in their ideological and territorial positions, and the feelings of one party’s voters towards the rest are among the most negative worldwide.

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