Hughie Beag is a West Belfast native and recovering legal scholar who spends lots of time in his spouse’s native Basque Country
The expected centre right / far right surge didn’t happen and today, Incumbent Pedro Sánchez is poised to remain the Spanish President as a result of Sunday’s inconclusive national election in which the center-right Popular Party won the most votes but was left with no clear path to form a government.
Prior to the vote, conservative leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo indicated that he would be willing to form a coalition government with Vox, but both parties fell short of the 176 seats needed to control the Spanish parliament.
I watched the count live last night and with around 96% of the votes being counted the professional psephologist on television stated that the only way there can be a PP/Vox coalition government is if they bring the Basque centre right PNV into it.
For the PNV to go anywhere near a coalition gov with VOX would be electoral suicide.
The outcome opens the door to Sánchez remaining in power.
Together with Yolanda Díaz’s left-wing Sumar coalition, Sanchez’s PSOE could form a coalition that controls 153 seats in parliament, but in order to govern, he’ll need to forge deals with a variety of political groups such as Basque and Catalan independentists.
Negotiations by the two blocs to form governments will start after a new parliament convenes on 17 August. Spanish King Felipe will invite the PP’s leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, to try to secure the prime ministership. In a similar situation in 2015, PP leader Mariano Rajoy declined the king’s invitation, saying he could not muster the support. If Feijoo declines, the king may turn to the incumbent, Pedro Sánchez, with the same request. The law does not set a deadline for the process but if no candidate secures a majority within two months of the first vote on the President, new elections must be held.
For me one of the most enjoyable moments of the count was VOX leader, Santiago Abiscal, after VOX lost almost half of their previous seats stating:
I’d like to point out something that’s bad news for many Spaniards: despite losing the election, Pedro Sánchez can block the formation of a new government. Worse still, Pedro Sánchez could even be invested as prime minister with the help of communists, [Catalan] independence supporters and terrorists.
Hung parliament after conservatives fail to secure expected majority in Spain electionshttps://t.co/LuNKeWwlAS
— Breaking News (@jooilong) July 24, 2023
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