The ruling socialist party of Spain won the most seats in the country’s parliament by far. It does however need the support of smaller parties in order to stay in power.
With 99 percent of the votes counted, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) led by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez had won 29 percent of the vote and captured 123 seats in the 350-member Congress of Deputies. At the other end of the political spectrum, the far-right Vox party is about to enter the lower house of Parliament for the first time with about 10 percent of the vote, giving it 24 seats.
It was definitely a bad night for the once-dominant Popular Party of Spain, which saw its representation cut to 66 seats from 135 following the last election in 2016. The onetime behemoth of Spanish conservatism lost votes to Vox as well as the center-right Citizens party, which will increase its number of seats to 57 from 32 three years ago.
After decades of having two main political parties in Spain, political landscape has fragmented into five parties. Voters have been disillusioned as the country struggled with a recession, austerity cuts, corruption scandals, and the divisive Catalan independence demands.
Speaking Sunday after voting, Sánchez said he wanted a mandate to undertake key social and political reforms.
The prime minister said he wanted “a stable government that with calmness, serenity and resolution looks to the future and achieves the progress that our country needs in social justice, national harmony” and in fighting corruption.
Having voted in all elections since Spain returned to democratic rule four decades ago, Amelia Gómez, 86, and Antonio Román, 90, said they had little faith in any of the candidates.
“All I want is for whoever wins to take care of the old people,” Gómez said, complaining that together the two of them receive less than 1,000 euros ($1,100) a month in state pensions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.