Spain faces more uncertainty after inconclusive election

MADRID (AP) – Spain looked set to face months more political uncertainty after the country’s fourth elections in as many years further complicated an already messy political situation, giving no party a clear mandate to govern while the far right became a major parliamentary player for the first time in decades.

Incumbent Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Socialists won the most seats – 120 – but fell far short of a majority in the 350-seat chamber and will need to make deals on several fronts if they are to govern.

Sánchez called last Sunday’s election after he failed to gain enough support to form a government in the previous election in April.

In his victory speech last Sunday, he promised again to “obtain a progressive government”.

His plans to do that emerged when he met his party’s executive yesterday.

Despite poll predictions to the contrary, Sánchez had hoped the poll would give him a stronger footing but he actually saw his party seat count drop by three while his closest allies, the far-left United We Can, dropped from 42 to 35.

“Sánchez fails in his plebiscite and makes government even more difficult,” was the front-page headline in Spanish daily El Mundo.

The next step will be for parliamentarians to select a house speaker in the coming weeks and for talks then between King Felipe VI and party leaders to begin so that one of them, most likely Sánchez, will be called on to try to form a government.