The votes of the Spaniards abroad were scrutinized yesterday, Friday, and they gave a new twist to the still indefinite result of the general elections.
The Popular Party (PP) obtained at the end of the day an additional seat from its supporters in Madrid at the expense of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE). The change gives the right-wing coalition of the PP and Vox 172 seats in the Congress of Deputies, while the leftist forces are left with 171.
Forming a stable governing coalition will require one of the blocs to win the support of 176 of the 350 lawmakers in the lower house, and neither side is expected to win enough support from the smaller parties.
The country’s main political parties had been waiting for the tally in the hope of wresting seats from their opponents and changing the final legislative picture. The results coming from different districts during the day did not show changes in any part of Spain until Madrid gave the last minute surprise. The overturn could make it even more difficult to form a government.
The president of the Spanish government, the socialist Pedro Sánchez, is considered the only leader with the possibility of forming a coalition due to the rejection by other political forces of the Popular Party, led by Alberto Núñez Feijóo, for allying with Vox, a far-right party.
But Sánchez does not have it easy either. He needs the help of the secessionist parties of the Basque Country and Catalonia, and it could be politically dangerous to seek support from the Catalan Junts party of Carles Puigdemont, who led Catalonia’s failed secession attempt in 2017.