April 28 (UPI) — Spain’s ruling Socialist Party was declared the winner of the country’s snap election Sunday, a government spokeswoman said.
The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, or PSOE, won 122 of the 350 seats in Spain’s Congress of Deputies, leading all other parties but failing to win an outright majority.
Sunday’s results indicate Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will likely enter into negotiations to form a coalition with Pablo Iglesias’ Podemos party, which won 42 seats, and will still require support from other parties to form a 176-seat majority.
The far-right Vox Party also won 24 seats in the election, becoming the first far-right party to win more than a single seat since the country returned to democracy in 1975.
The conservative People’s Party, or PP, saw its control of Congress weaken, as it won just 66 seats compared to the last election in June 2016 where it won 137.
PP leader Pablo Casado said the election was one of the most decisive in recent years, adding his party’s results were “very bad.”
Voter turnout reached a record high of 75.8 percent, up from 66.5 percent during the previous elections.
“My feeling is that in Spain there is an ample progressive majority and when there is high participation that becomes very clear,” said Iglesias.
Sanchez called for the snap general elections in February, after he failed to pass his 2019 budget deal.
After voting on Sunday, Sanchez said he hoped the election would provide a parliamentary majority to allow him to pass social and political reforms.
“After many years of instability and uncertainty, it’s important that today we send a clear, defined message about the Spain we want,” Sanchez said. “From there, a broad parliamentary majority must be built that can support a stable government.”