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As it happened | Socialist Party wins general election, but falls short of majority

With more than 95% of the vote counted, the PSOE has taken 122 seats, with leftist parties victorious over right-wing Popular Party, Ciudadanos and Vox

Albert Rivera (Ciudadanos) casts his vote in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat​.
Albert Rivera (Ciudadanos) casts his vote in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat​.Albert Garcia

With more than 95% of the vote counted, the Socialist Party (PSOE) of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez won the Spanish general election on Sunday. The PSOE took 122 seats, while the anti-austerity party Podemos secured 42. Together the left-wing bloc has 164 deputies in Congress, which falls short of the 176 needed for an absolute majority. This means that Sánchez will need support from regional parties if he is to govern.

Meanwhile, the conservative Popular Party (PP) has won just 66 seats – less than half the number it obtained at the 2016 polls. The PP failed to win any seats in the Basque Country region, and won just one in Catalonia. The center-right party Ciudadanos (Citizens) has picked up 57 seats, while the far-right group Vox has won 24. Together, the three parties have 146 seats in Congress.

Voter turnout at the polls was 75.79% – nine percentage points higher than the 2016 election.

This was Spain’s third general election in less than four years and was called after Sánchez failed to garner support in Congress for his 2019 budget plan. 

Below you can read our live blog of events as they happened on Sunday.

Simon Hunter

That concludes our live coverage of today’s general election in Spain.

Thank you for reading, we’ll be back in the morning with more coverage. In the meantime, here is our report on the result with some background on the campaign.

http://cort.as/-HOoc

Simon Hunter

Acting government spokesperson Isabel Celáa has just announced, with 93.04% of the vote counted: The Socialist Party wins the elections with 6,990,379 votes, 122 deputies.

Simon Hunter

With 87% of the vote counted, here is how the result is shaping up (176 seats is a majority):

PSOE: 123 deputies

PP: 65

Ciudadanos: 57

Unidas Podemos: 42

Vox: 24

Simon Hunter

Natalia Junquera reports: “Debacle,” “catastrophe,” “complete disaster.” Those are the comments being made by PP leaders, who are coming to terms with their crushing defeat today at the polls. The moderate sector of the party, which was moved aside by Pablo Casado, feels vindicated. “We have lost the center […[ for not attacking Vox.”

Simon Hunter

The day is set to be a complete disaster for Pablo Casado, the man who replaced Mariano Rajoy at the head of the Popular Party last year. His conservative group is currently on 65 seats, compared to the 137 it won at the 2016 polls

Simon Hunter

With 78.05% of the vote counted, the left-wing parties have a total of 165 seats in Congress, and the right-wing bloc 146. A total of 176 seats are needed for an absolute majority in the 350-seat chamber.

Simon Hunter

Disappointment for PACMA. The animal-rights group is set to miss out on a seat in Congress, with 63% of the votes counted. It would be a massive blow for this party, which was predicted by the polls to be about to enter Spain’s institutions, with a forecast of as many as two deputies.

Simon Hunter

EL PAÍS political reporter Lucía Abellan on far-right party Vox. “Vox has managed a considerable result, without a doubt. But if the final results do not vary much from these, the massive rise that some were predicting will not come to pass. For now they are around the 10% mark.”

Simon Hunter

10pm at the PP HQ, Patricia Gosálvez reports: “The couple have gone. The Venezuelans are about to as well. The people from Ávila are leaving too. The photographers are taking shots of them. They are the last. There’s no one left.”

Simon Hunter

“We have come to support the PP at their most critical moment,” says Iván, 14, and his father, 39, on an empty Génova street outside the Madrid HQ. “We want them to know we are here,” says the younger of the two. The Popular party has dropped to 66 seats (in 2016 it had 137), according to the results so far

Patricia Gosálvez reports.

Simon Hunter

Desolate scene outside the PP headquarters in Madrid, on Génova street.

Patricia Gosálvez reports. “A while ago they were planning to block the street, but it hasn’t happened so far. There are literally four people here. Paola and Catriel, 17 and 20, a couple, are two of them. They are upset. ‘What a disappointment. Vox and Podemos are more fashionable,’ they say

 

Simon Hunter

Pedro Sánchez has arrived at the Socialist Party HQ in Ferraz street with his wife, Begoña Gómez. From there they will be following the results as they come in. Photo: EFE

 

Simon Hunter

By contrast, jubilation among the Socialists. They are celebrating the potential rise in seats, but also the gap that is opening up between them and the Popular Party, according to the 30% vote count so far

Simon Hunter

Total silence in the headquarters of the PP, reports Natalia Junquera. The conservatives will not be making any comment on the – so far bad – results until more of the count is complete.

Simon Hunter

With 26% of count in, Socialists on for victory, left-wing parties will have a majority in Congress

Simon Hunter

No one outside the Madrid headquarters of the Popular Party, on Génova street.

Patricia Gosálvez tweets for EL PAÍS: “9.15pm Génova. Not a soul. Bored photographers. ‘Not even one with a flag,’ they say while smoking. Some of them head to the other sidewalk, on their way to Colón, where the Vox supporters are.”

Simon Hunter

EL PAÍS political reporter Inés Santaeulalia: “Nosedive for the PP. With 11.98% of the votes counted, the PP would have 64 deputies compared to the 134 it won in 2016. Ahead of more results coming in, everything is pointing to the worst result in the history of the party.”

Simon Hunter

“Thanks to the public workers and a big hug for the party activists and electoral officials.” Those are, up until now, the only words from Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias on this election night. The candidate for Unidas Podemos sent the message from his car, on the way to Madrid’s Goya Theater to join the rest of his party. “The best campaign of our history,” was how he summed up the run-up to today’s polls.

Simon Hunter

In Málaga, while some count votes, others clean up, reports Nacho Sánchez

Simon Hunter

Vox supporters draped in Spanish flags are waiting in Madrid’s Plaza Margaret Thatcher for party leader Santiago Abascal to speak, reports EL PAÍS’ Miguel González

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