Spain voted in repeat general election on Sunday in efforts to end its worst political stalemate in recent history. With aftershocks from Brexit still being felt, all eyes were on the leftist Podemos party that was calling for structural reforms of the EU.
But with almost all of the votes counted in Sunday’s General Election, Spain’s conservative People’s Party (PP) of acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has won over 30 percent of the seats, with up to 137 PP politicians to be represented in the parliament.
The victory has cemented the acting prime minister’s right to continue governing Spaniards, Mariano Rajoy said, praising the success of his PP party.
“We won the election, and we demand the right to govern,” he said during a victory speech in Madrid. On Twitter, Rajoy thanked all PP members, saying “the victory is yours and of those Spaniards that believed in this project.”
The Unidos Podemos party showed disappointment with its third place in the election results, saying it expected to perform better.
“These are not good results, they are not what we expected,” Podemos political press secretary Inigo Errejon said.
“They are not good for Unidos Podemos and we don’t think they’re good for Spain because they reverse the move for political change.”
The leader of Spain’s Ciudadanos party said he is ready to initiate talks with the PP party and discuss the question of forming a coalition government.
The collaboration between the PP and Ciudadanos party, which garnered 32 seats, would still be seven seats short of securing a majority. However, the coalition could potentially gain another six seats from regional parties.
According to exit polls, the Unidos Podemos (United We Can) alliance led by the leftist Podemos party would have from 91 to 95 seats in the 350-strong assembly, Reuters reported, citing the poll by state broadcaster RTVE. The Socialists could get 81-85 seats, while Spain’s liberal Ciudadanos (Citizens) party might have up to 30 seats.
The preliminary numbers mean the PP party didn’t get enough seats to form a government on its own, not reaching the required majority of 176 lawmakers.
Over 36 million Spaniards were eligible to vote Sunday, with four big parties and six smaller regional ones expected to win seats in the parliament. Turnout was 51.17 percent at 16:00 GMT, according to official data. Voting closed at 18:00 GMT.