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Spain's Socialists seen ahead but short of majority in election

Spain's Socialists seen ahead but short of majority in election

With over 60 per cent of votes counted, Sanchez's Socialist Party had gained 124 lawmakers out of 350, or more than 29 per cent of votes, still far from an absolute majority.

Mr Sanchez ousted former prime minister Mariano Rajoy after a no-confidence motion in June previous year, and called a snap election after a budget stalemate.

Spanish police officers hold an activist from the women's rights organization Femen, with the text, "It is not patriotism but fascism" on her chest, protesting at a campaign rally for the Spanish far-right party VOX in Madrid, on April 26, 2019. With 67 seats, the once-dominant Popular Party has lost nearly half of its presence in the Congress of Deputies, losing votes to the center-right Citizens party, which grabbed 53 seats and far-right party Vox won 23.

The PP had its worst election since the early 1980s, winning just 66 seats - less that half of its total in the outgoing parliament.

There was speculation before the election about a possible coalition between the Socialists and Citizens, though both parties' leaders have ruled it out.

True, Sanchez is Spain's first socialist prime minister since 2008, but Spain's general election revealed a growing divide in the country.

According to the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR), the election results in Spain demonstrated that moderate forces in Europe are gaining ground.

Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera built his campaign on disparaging Sanchez, criticising his attempts to negotiate with Catalan separatist parties in a bid to ease a secession crisis in the northeastern region.

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However, a Socialist-Ciudadanos deal appeared unlikely on Monday.

But this time Vox will get seats, boosted by voter discontent with traditional parties, its focus on widespread anger at Catalonia's independence drive, and non-mainstream views that include opposing a law on gender violence it says discriminates against men.

Still short of an absolute majority, however, he would have to court smaller regional parties such as the PNV Basque nationalists.

A government deal would be complicated and certainly not be clinched before next month's European Parliament elections, he added. Likewise, the rise of Sanchez and his socialist party reveals the mood of Span's leftists.

Such a tie-up, though favoured by many in the markets, would also risk alienating numerous Socialists' core supporters.

DBRS's overall view is that this election will not result in major changes in policy. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors.

Dean Popplewell has almost two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.


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