With over 98% of the votes counted, Spain’s right-wing People’s Party (PP) led by Alberto Núñez Feijóo won the biggest share of votes and seats in the general election held on Sunday, but fell short of any overall majority.
The PP won 136 seats (up 47 from 2019), but even with a possible coalition with the far-right Vox party, led by Santiago Abascal, who secured 33 seats (down 19 from the 2019 election), it is not enough to secure the 176 majority required in the 350-seat chamber of the Spanish Congress.
Current Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s PSOE socialist party won 122 seats (up 2) – and with the promised support of Sumar (31 seats) and other parties from Catalonia and the Basque Country, he looks set to be able to continue his term in government, albeit with complicated negotiations to secure the support.
Sumar, which brings together 15 small left-wing parties, is led by second Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz, the only woman among the top four candidates.
The PP had led in the polls since Sánchez announced a surprise snap election on 29 May, after his party and its previous junior coalition partner, Podemos, performed poorly in regional and local elections held on 28 May. All polls found the PP would need the support from Vox to form a government. ALSO READ: Spain’s right-wing make significant gains in local and regional elections.
Voters braved soaring summer temperatures to cast ballots in the election. Spain has never previously held an election at the height of summer and in parts of the south, temperatures were touching 40C.
The mid-summer vote took place just three weeks after Spain took over the rotating presidency of the European Union.
By 6pm, with two hours until the close, turnout stood at 53.12%, nearly 4% points lower than the previous 2019 election, with many voting earlier in the day to avoid the scorching heat.
An embargoed tracking poll published by Spanish public broadcaster RTVE on the closing of the voting at 8pm pointed to an uncertain outcome. According to the poll, the PP would win between 145-150 seats. Vox would get between 24-27.
The tracking poll said that Sánchez’s PSOE would get between 113-118, not far below the 120 won in 2019. Sumar was tipped to fill 28-31 seats.
The tracking poll was based on 17,500 phone calls and carried out in the two weeks prior to the election. It normally has a 3.5% point margin of error.