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General election results in Spain leave future of next government up in the air

Popular Party leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo leaves a polling station after voting in Madrid - Derechos de autor Manu Fernandez/AP

Sunday's general election results in Spain have created uncertainty with regards to the future of the next government - causing a possible deadlock. 

The right-wing bloc only managed to secure 169 seats, with the left-wing winning 153 seats. In turn, both parties have fallen from forming an absolute majority - given the marker for forming an absolute majority sits at 176 seats.

The respective candidates of the PP (Spain's Populist Party) and PSOE (Spain's Socialist Workers' Party) do not have enough seats for their leaders to be invested to lead the government.

Vox performs badly - down on seats from 2019 election

The PP candidate, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, has won the elections without meeting expectations. Chances of forming a majority with Vox were dismantled after the far-right party achieved a worse result than in 2019.

Pedro Sánchez, for his part must hold on. Whether he can find a way to keep his position as the head of the Executive will depend securing the backing of the Catalan pro-independence party, led by Junts de Carles Puigdemont. 

Given the setback suffered by the Republican Left of Catalonia party - the other Catalan pro-independence party - in these general elections which has lost 6 seats.

Pedro Sanchez performed better than expected

With 94.97% of the votes counted, the PP obtained 136 seats, 47 more than 4 years ago. The far-right Vox party scored 33 seats - 19 less than in 2019 - which adds up to a total of 169 deputies under a coalition in the Congress. 

This figure does not allow them to govern, not even with the hypothetical contribution of the deputy of the Navarrese People's Union (UPN) and Coalición Canaria - due to the 176 seat threshold. 

The left's bloc however scored 153 deputies. 122 of these deputies are from the PSOE and 31 from Sumar, the coalition of 15 parties of Yolanda Diaz.

Nationalist parties in the Basque Country EH Bildu are close to becoming the first party in the region /Catalan big losers is ERC probably because it supported Pedro Sanchez

To obtain the 176 seats Sanchez's party would need a total of 23 more deputies and their traditional allies in Parliament - ERC, Bildu, PNV and BNG (all regional parties) - together have 19 seats. 

So the investiture of Pedro Sánchez would end up depending on what Junts decides. 

The Catalan ex-president on the run in Belgium already assured before the beginning of the electoral campaign that his party would not support either Sánchez or Feijóo, so everything is still up in the air. 

The surprising element is the result of EH Bildu, close to becoming the first party in the Basque Country, while the ERC is the big loser of the elections, falling to secure 7 seats.

Most likely outcome is a new election

With these results, there will be a deadlock in Parliament. For the time being this will allow Pedro Sánchez to remain in Moncloa - but could lead to new elections soon.

Posted on 24 Jul 2023 01:09 link