If the polls and pundits are correct, Spain’s Vox party will achieve its much-prophesied breakthrough in Sunday’s general election, becoming the first far-right grouping to win more than a single seat in parliament since the country embarked on its post-Franco return to democracy.
Although Vox’s chances of attracting around 11% of the vote have hogged the headlines, another small party – and one with a markedly different worldview – is also gearing up for a historic day at the ballot box.
The animal rights party Pacma, founded 16 years ago to put an end to bullfighting, could win two seats in the congress of deputies, according to the most recent poll by the country’s Centre for Sociological Studies (CIS).
Vox and the conservative People’s party (PP) have taken the opposite tack, signing up bullfighters and the widow of a torero killed in the ring three years ago as candidates, and seeking to portray themselves as the guardians of Spain’s rural traditions.
But Barquero believes that more and more Spaniards are coming to reject bullfighting and “don’t feel able to identify with a country which sees it as a national celebration”.
She added: “There’s a new generation of people who are worried about animals and the environment and who have an understanding of social justice that goes far beyond what you see in Spanish politics at the moment.”