The ruling center-right party won the Spanish parliamentary elections Sunday, gaining several seats more than it currently has, but, as in December, again not enough for a majority to form a government on its own.
The conservatives had won the most votes and seats in Parliament six months ago, but fell short of a majority. No party was able to form a government, which led King Felipe VI to call this election. The conservatives have continued to hold office as caretakers in the meantime.
Unlike other European States, Spain has never had a coalition government, as its politics are usually dominated by the two main conservative and liberal parties, but, as in December, two other parties also won a large enough number of seats to deny either of the two largest a majority, thereby potentially ending Spain’s two-party system. In addition, smaller regional parties, such as in the Basque Country and
Catalonia, hold a significant number of
seats, as usual.
By contrast, coalition governments are common in
Europe, especially in some
States. Italy, for example, always has
one. In recent years, even various
left-right coalitions have formed governments, such as in Germany, the United
Unless Spain’s conservatives can somehow form such a grand coalition with the second-place liberals, and if no other party can form a government, either a third election would be necessary or Felipe VI could ask the current, caretaker conservative Prime Minister to form a minority government, whom the King would ask first because the premier’s party won the most seats. No other likely combination of the four parties would ad up to a majority of parliamentary seats to break the deadlock, at least without support from the regional parties. Even if the conservatives formed a coalition with the fourth-place business-friendly party, such a coalition would still fall a few seats short of a majority and it would be unlikely to gain support from the other parties.
A minority government would require the confidence of a majority in Parliament and always be subject to being ousted by a loss of Parliament’s confidence.
continued economic difficulties, the win by the conservatives was a reward by
Spanish voters for the fiscal and economic progress of the ruling center-right
party and demonstrated that there has been sufficient public support for the
fiscal austerity that has reduced Spain’s public debt.