1. No clear majorities for coalition-building. The results of the general election leave no clear majority to form a government. The People’s Party (PP) and Vox are seven MPs short of reaching the 176 absolute majority. A likely outcome is a new government led by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Socialist Party (PSOE) with the support of progressive Sumar, and the separatist parties. In any case, we cannot rule out another general election before the end of the year.

2. A bitter victory for Feijóo. After a landslide victory in the May 28 local and regional elections, the leader of the PP had built momentum for the July 23 snap election. However, the high expectations of the campaign fell short. Despite winning the most votes and seats in Parliament, it will be difficult for Feijóo to govern.

3. Pedro Sánchez applied his “Resistance Handbook”. With all forecasts against him, the leader of the Socialist Party gave a major upset. He even bettered PSOE’s results from 2019. An intense campaign, especially in the last week, mobilised the left and opened up a path to form a new government.

4. The “hidden” vote went for the PSOE. Every election has a “hidden vote” that polls cannot predict. PSOE got it this time. In fact, the Socialists obtained better results that in 2019, two more MPs.

5. Sumar gets worse results than Podemos. Yolanda Díaz, despite her position as Second Vice President, did not win more votes than Unidas Podemos (Sánchez’s progressive governing partners). However, she may remain in government, provided Sánchez rallies enough support for a majority in Congress.

6. Vox wins fewer MPs but still is the third-largest party. Despite the 19-seat slump, Santiago Abascal’s Vox resisted as the third most-voted party in Spain. This has not been an easy campaign for Abascal. Vox has been the target of ideologically motivated attacks from both sides of the spectrum. The results of PP’s call for a “useful vote” rendered arithmetically impossible a government coalition with Vox.

7. Separatists and nationalist forces lose strength but will be decisive. Catalonian and Basque separatist parties lose representation in the new Congress. It is worth highlighting EH Bildu’s first-ever victory over the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), six MPs against five. In Catalonia, Esquerra Republicana (ERC) lost 6 MPs, and Junts per Catalunya, one. Nevertheless, their support will be indispensable for Sánchez to build a majority.

8. Polls and forecasts failed. Polls have been one of this campaign’s hot topics. Most of them gave the right an absolute majority—or something close to it. This was not the case.

9. The campaign was key. PSOE came to this election with all polls against it and a demoralised base after the May 28 defeat. However, Sánchez’s campaign and press tours mobilised his base and gave him options to remain in power.

10. A period of uncertainty. As the two blocs negotiate potential agreements, the next couple of weeks will be filled with uncertainty. Those who foresaw a new wave of political change in Spain will have to wait. 


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