After one of Spain's most divisive and open-ended election in decades, the Spanish Socialist Worker's Party (PSOE) are the major winners of the 2019 elections yet falling far from a majority, political alliances will mark the road ahead for months in order to form a government.
Socialist Party Gets Most Seats in Spain Election, Falls Short of Majority: Results
According to official results from 100 percent of votes counted, the left of center Socialist party will have 122 seats in parliament, returning to a majority after more than a decade of right-wing Popular Party (PP) rule. Meanwhile, the left-wing parties United Podemos (UP) gained 42, and the three nationalist parties Catalunya Republican Left (ERC) 15, Together for Catalunya (JxCAT) 7 seats and Basque party (EH Bildu) with 4 seats.
“We would have liked a better result, but it is enough to achieve our two main objectives: to stop the right and the far-right and to build a left coalition government," General Secretary of UP and legislator Pablo Iglesias said after the Spanish electoral body announced the official figures.
By mere mathematical conclusions, a left coalition could be formed between the PSOE and the left-wing parties, adding more than the 176 seats needed to form a government. However, things aren’t so clear as the right also has enough to entice the Socialists to form a government.
The PP won 66 seats, Citizens 57, and the far-right Vox party 24 seats, making it the first party with such politics to sit in Spain's parliament since 1982. In regards with certain party results, the 2019 process showed the demise of the conservative PP with 66 seats, meaning less than half of those won in the 2016 elections. Thus, a less alarmist reading of the figures can see that most of the Vox votes migrated from past PP voters, which now can clearly identify as far-right extremists.
At the same time, the left-wing UP lost seats, which Iglesias called out as due to internal issues that will have to be fixed looking forward to local elections. However, overall results show a divided Spain, where alliances and negotiating between political parties will have to happen in order to obtain a majority.
During his speech, the Spanish President and General Secretary of the PSOE, Pedro Sanchez didn't specify anything about a possible coalition but said that democracy won and that the Spanish people showed the world an Europe that the right can be defeated.
Yet the people gathered to celebrate the PSOE’s win were clear in their message “Not with Rivera." Albert Rivera is the right-wing Ciudadanos party Secretary General, yet during his speech, it seemed his party placed themselves as opposition which would come to mean that they’re expecting the PSOE and UP to form a left coalition.
But Spanish politics have shown that anything can happen and these results will lead to months of negotiations in order to form a government in a bitterly divided parliament.
In the Senate, with 80.67 percent counted, the PSOE achieved 123 senators and the PP, 55. In third and fourth place would be ERC (10) and PNV (9).
Voting started at 9:00 am local time and ended at 8:00 pm in mainland Spain for what will be the country's third national election in four years, each of which has brought a further dislocation of the political landscape.
After a tense campaign dominated by issues such as national identity and gender equality, the likelihood that any coalition deal will take weeks or months to be brokered will feed into a broader mood of political uncertainty across Europe. Spaniards flooded the voting polls in numbers close to record highs, which was 75.56 percent, nine points higher than in the 2016 elections, in the country's most highly-contested election for decades.