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Mon Nov 11, 2019, 06:04 AM

Spain's Socialists win national election; right-wing Vox Party surges

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's Socialists won Spain's national election on Sunday but large gains by the upstart far-right Vox party appear certain to widen the political deadlock in the European Union's fifth-largest economy.

After a fourth national ballot in as many years and the second in less than seven months, the left-wing Socialists (PSOE) held on as the leading power in the national parliament.

With 99.9% of the votes counted, the Socialists captured 120 seats, down three seats from the last election in April and still far from the absolute majority of 176 needed to form a government alone.

The big political shift came as right-wing voters flocked to Vox. The far-right party led by Santiago Abascal, who speaks of "reconquering" Spain in terms that echo the medieval wars between Christian and Moorish forces, rocketed from 24 to 52 seats.

The conservative Popular Party rebounded from its previous debacle in the April vote to 88 seats from 66, a historic low. The far-left United We Can (Podemos), which had rejected an offer to help the Socialists form a left-wing government over the summer, lost some ground - from 42 to 35 seats.

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias expressed more openness to reaching an agreement with the PSOE this time, stating that "if after the April elections a progressive coalition government was a historic opportunity, now it is a historical necessity."

Sunday's outcome means there will be no immediate end to the stalemate between forces on the right and the left in Spain, suggesting the country could go many more weeks or even months without a new government.

At: https://www.foxnews.com/world/spain-national-election-socialists-vox-party

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez celebrates Sunday's results, which keep his 17 month-old government in power - albeit with a slightly reduced margin.

But falling well short of the 176 seats for an absolute majority, his Socialist Party will need support from the left-wing Podemos as well as Basque parties to pass legislation.

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