Laura Perez Maestro and Amir Vera, CNN, November 10, 2019
The Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) won the country’s election Sunday with 120 seats, but fell short of securing a working majority, as the far-right Vox party shot to third place by more than doubling its seats in parliament.
This second election in Spain in just over six months — and the fourth in as many years — has failed to clear a political impasse in Europe’s fifth-largest economy.
The conservative Popular Party (PP) won the second-most seats on Sunday with 87. Vox made major gains, seeing its seat count rise from 24 to 52. A party needs at least 176 seats in the Congress in order to gain control of the government.
Spain has been in political stalemate since former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was ousted by a no-confidence vote over a corruption scandal in his party in June 2018.
The country’s two-party system has also fragmented in recent years, with both the PSOE and the PP coming under pressure following the 2008 financial crisis and a series of corruption scandals.
The emergence of the left-wing Unidos Podemos (UP) and the center-right Ciudadanos (Citizens) party, and the growth of Vox, also shook up the established political order. A number of groups representing Spain’s autonomous regions, such as Catalonia and the Basque Country, have also risen in prominence.
The election was called after Sanchez failed to secure enough support in the 350-seat Parliament to form a government, despite months of negotiations. He announced in September that Spain would go to the polls November 10, less than seven months after the April general election that proved inconclusive.