Spain's political future is looking increasingly fragmented. A projection of what Congress might look like after the next election, based on figures from June to the present, shows an overall collapse of the current two-party hegemony, forcing groups to achieve multilateral agreements to pass legislation on a bill-by-bill basis.
Although the vote projection by Metroscopia for EL PAÍS shows that the Popular Party (PP) would be re-elected, it would lose its absolute majority, yielding 40 seats to the opposition and coming in at 146 representatives.
The main opposition Socialist Party (PSOE) would start recovering from its 2011 debacle and gain 21 seats to reach 131. The best performers would be United Left (IU) and the centrist Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD), which fully double their representation to 25 and 11 deputies, respectively. The trouble for both is that none would alone be strong enough to become indispensable in creating a majority.
The rest of the seats are shared out chiefly among nationalist parties from regions such as Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia.
What emerges from this scenario is that both major national parties, the PP and the PSOE, would have a smaller combined total of seats than ever before, forcing them to negotiate with other groups to reach the absolute majority of 176. Even the PP, as winner, would need at least two other parties to agree to join a coalition deal. The alternative is a — right now — unthinkable alliance of the PP and the PSOE.
This means that Mariano Rajoy, should he remain in the prime minister's seat, would be forced to radically change his strategy of steamrolling bills through Congress for a policy of deal-making.