Pro-independence parties could hold key to governability in Spain

  • Election results show there is no clear winner • ERC and Democracy and Freedom could be decisive in a potential partnership between Podemos and PSOE

21.12.2015 - 11:41
Actualització: 01.07.2016 - 10:47

The results of Sunday’s elections are threatening to throw Spain into a state of ungovernability, as they yielded a deeply fragmented parliament where no party holds the absolute majority of the vote needed to form a government.

The PP came out the winner; however, not only has it lost the absolute majority it had until now, but it has suffered a huge setback: with a total of 122 seats in parliament, it has lost more than sixty representatives. The PSOE has also lost ground, though less than polls predicted, and has been left with 91 seats. Podemos has burst on the scene with great force, gaining 69 seats and capitalizing on its electoral success in Catalonia (where its affiliate Together We Can won a dozen representatives), Valencia (with the great result of Compromís-Podemos), and Galicia (with the success of En Marea).

Meanwhile, Ciudadanos suffered a significant electoral defeat, given the high expectations outlined in the polls and the push it had received from the Spanish media. Rivera’s party obtained 40 seats, and is therefore far from being decisive to forming a government.
The spro-independence parties did not achieve good results, although they find themselves in a better position than exit polls had predicted: ERC tripled its parliamentary presence, obtaining nine seats, one more than Democracy and Freedom, which lost significant ground with respect to the previous election.

In Catalonia, the Socialists also got 8 representatives, while Ciudadanos and PP obtained 5.

The pro-independence and political pacts

The fractured parliament will yield a period of fraught negotiations, given that, together, the PP and Ciudadanos do not hold the majority needed to form a government, nor do the Socialists and Podemos, not even with the support of Izquierda Unida. However, if the pro-independence parties are able to negotiate an agreement, they could prove decisive to tipping the balance of power. For example, if they join forces, the PSOE, Podemos, ERC, and Democracy and Freedom would have the necessary seats to govern.


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