Unidos Podemos (Together We Can) party leader Pablo Iglesias. (La Veu del País Valencià / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Spaniards were given another opportunity to choose their leaders on Sunday after a general election six months ago resulted in a deadlock, and yet the results feel a bit like déjà vu. Well, with one exception: the scandal-ridden right-wing incumbent People’s Party (PP) increased the number of seats it holds–but still doesn’t hold a majority.

From The Guardian:

Spain is facing further political deadlock after the country’s second general election in six months proved a near rerun of the December vote, leaving the conservative Partido Popular (PP) with the most votes but once again short of an overall majority.

Exit polls, which had suggested that the far-left Unidos Podemos coalition was on course to stage a historic breakthrough by pushing the socialist PSOE into third place, were thoroughly confounded as it became clear that the anticipated surge would not materialise.

By the time the count was finished, the PP had increased its lead on last time, taking 137 seats on 33% of the vote, and strengthening the hand of its leader, acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy. The socialists came second with 85 seats, Unidos Podemos third with 71 seats, and the centrist Ciudadanos party fourth with 32.

Contrary to expectations, the results followed the pattern in December, when the PP won 123 seats, with 29% of the vote, the PSOE 90 seats with 22%, Podemos 69 seats and 21%, while Ciudadanos took 40 seats with 14%. But despite picking up an extra 14 seats, the PP was still unable to reach the 176 needed to secure a majority in the 350-seat congress of deputies.

Even so, as he appeared before a jubilant crowd waving Spanish flags and PP banners, Rajoy bounced up and down, saying he was “enormously proud of his party”, a party he had served since he was 22 when democracy had returned to Spain.

Read more.

— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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