Will Spain go to the polls again at Christmas after 23-J election results?

by Lorraine Williamson
election results

The results of the Spanish general election seem to point to the scenario of deadlock. No absolute majority for the right, nor for the left. Spain is divided. 

Yet Prime Minister Sánchez expressed confidence that he will remain in Moncloa after the right-wing front failed to win a majority. “Democracy will find a way and the PSOE will succeed in forming a government,” Sánchez said. 

He said this during a PSOE board meeting following Sunday’s elections.  Sánchez wanted to reassure the party that there will be no new elections. The socialist candidate is confident that the party will succeed in forming another government after the results.  

According to procedures, however, the PSOE will let the PP take the initiative to pursue a government. A right that Feijóo also claimed Sunday night after the results. Consequently, it is still unclear who will become Spain’s new prime minister.  

Cogesa Expats

Difficult negotiations 

Moreover, it seems likely that a period of difficult negotiations for a new coalition awaits Spain. As after the 2016 and 2019 parliamentary elections, it may take a long time before a government will be formed, experts say. It is a difficult puzzle for both the PP and the PSOE; society in Spain seems deeply divided, see the overview of the results by municipality. 

Start of negotiations  

Negotiations start on August 17 when the Spanish parliament – led by Feijóo – reconvenes. To be sworn in as prime minister, there are two ways: get an absolute majority in the first vote (176 deputies) or at least get more votes for than against in a second opportunity, 48 hours later. If no candidate can form a majority within two months of the first vote, Spaniards must go to the polls again. If it ends in deadlock, the parliament will be dissolved two months after that date. Elections would then follow 47 days later, which would be around Christmas. 

More about the Spanish elections: Catalans demand amnesty and self determination in exchange for supporting Sánchez and PP wins Spanish elections yet right wing falls short of majority.

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