The 2015 Spanish national elections ended in a deadlock with no one able to form a majority. A second round of elections was held on June 26. Voter turnout was a lowest in history 66.5%.
Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party (PP) was expected to lose seats. Instead PP picked up seats, but still not enough to for a majority except in a three-way coalition or scenarios involving abstentions.
Rajoy makes his case before Parliament today.
Bloomberg reports Rajoy Seeks Support to Avert Spain’s Third Election in a Year.
Caretaker Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will ask the Spanish Parliament to back him for a second term on Tuesday, as he seeks to end an eight-month political impasse.
Rajoy has secured support from the liberals of Ciudadanos and a lone nationalist lawmaker from the Canary Islands, giving him 170 votes in the 350-seat chamber. But with all the other party leaders opposed to Rajoy’s candidacy, the incumbent is set for defeat unless the grandees within the Socialist Party can persuade its leader, Pedro Sanchez, to back down at the last minute. Rajoy needs a majority to get through when the debate concludes on Wednesday. If he loses, a plurality will suffice at a second ballot on Friday.
If he fails this week, he has another two months to rustle up the votes before King Felipe has to call a third election.
“The important thing in this occasion is that the countdown is being triggered,” said Antonio Barroso, a London-based political analyst at Teneo Intelligence in London. “It’s unlikely that Rajoy manages to win the vote.”
Rajoy will have a chance to form a government. If he fails, the socialists (PSOE) will have a chance, then Podemos (United We Can). It’s not accurate to say Rajoy has two months to pull this together.
Rajoy could step down, and that would make a “grand coalition” more likely, but politicians seldom step aside.
Even if Rajoy somehow manages to pull together a 3-way coalition, it’s not likely to be stable.
If Rajoy fails, the most likely outcome is new elections. No other coalitions seem possible.
In a sense, there may be no winning position for anyone. Brussels will be breathing down the neck of whoever wins, demanding more tax hikes and spending cuts, exactly the opposite of what PSOE and Podemos want.
It is conceivable PSOE abstains, letting Rajoy have his hollow victory.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock