Spain election: socialist party PSOE declared victor

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Prime minister Carmen Calvo said that socialists would try to govern alone but the party's president Cristina Narbona said they weren't in a rush to decide.

She told Cadena Ser: "We have more than enough to steer this ship along the course it must follow".

Spanish Prime Minister and Socialist Party candidate Pedro Sanchez speaks to supporters gathered at the party headquarters waiting for results of the general election in Madrid, Sunday, April 28, 2019.

If he does seek a coalition partner, he could opt for a complex alliance with fellow leftists Podemos that would likely require support from at least one Catalan separatist lawmaker, or he could risk upsetting his grassroots supporters by joining forces across the political divide with centre-right Ciudadanos. Falling from power to now being forced to work with the far-right party Vox in order to stymie the efforts of the left reveals the mood of conservatives in Spain. It won 24 seats, fewer than expected, and split the right-wing vote.

At least five parties from across the political spectrum have a chance of being in government and they could struggle to agree on a deal between them, meaning a repeat election is one of several possible outcomes.

Right-wing parties have, for their part, lambasted Sanchez, at the head of a minority government, for his attempts to negotiate with Catalan separatists who still govern the region, accusing him of being a traitor.

On the splintered right, three parties are competing for leadership: the once-dominant conservative Popular Party, the centre-right Citizens, and the nationalist, anti-migrant Vox party, which looks set to enter the lower house of the Parliament for the first time.

The PP, along with the Socialists, had dominated the political landscape since Franco's death.

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"My feeling is that in Spain there is an ample progressive majority, and when there is high participation that becomes very clear", Iglesias said.

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

That means Sanchez will have to forge agreements with far-left Podemos and possibly smaller groupings like Catalan separatist parties, as he did over the past 10 months.

Vox takes tough positions against immigration and feminism, and opposes the Catalonian push for independence. Several are on trial for sedition. Surging far right and centrist groups seriously undercut what was until now the main opposition, the Popular Party.

"After that there'll be a ruling on the Catalan issue. and it could be permanent sabotage". Together, the Socialists and Ciudadanos would have an outright majority.

Ciudadanos leader Rivera, whose party nearly overtook PP, told supporters his centrist option "keeps growing".

Market reactions to the election result were mixed.

Spain's socialist-led government can help re-start Europe by pushing its alternative to economic austerity and prioritising the fight against climate change, writes Udo Bullmann.