Spanish election: Socialists set to remain largest party
Partial results suggest prime minister likely to say with far-right Vox polling below expectations
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialists remain the largest party but fell short of a majority in elections held on Sunday night.
Neither the rightist or the leftist political bloc in Spain held a clear majority, according to a tally of results from the interior ministry with 80 per cent of votes counted.
By party, the Socialists led with 123 seats in the 350-seat parliament while centre-right Ciudadanos would have 57 seats.
There was speculation before the election about a possible coalition between them though both parties’ leaders have ruled it out. The preliminary data would give them a potential parliamentary majority.
The mainstream conservative Popular Party took a severe hit with its share down to 65 seats, far-left Unidas Podemos at 42 and far-right Vox at 24.
Spaniards cast their votes in numbers close to record highs in the country’s most highly-contested election for decades, and one likely to lead to months of negotiations to form a government in a bitterly divided parliament.
This is the third national election in four years, and both the first two eroded the decades-long dominance of the two biggest parties, the Socialists and the conservative Popular Party. Another repeat is a distinct possibility. – Reuters