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ELECTION

Spanish election results: Socialists win most seats, PP and Vox make huge gains, C’s collapse

With 98 percent of the vote counted, the results show the PSOE drop three seats but remain the largest party while the PP and Vox both make great gains.

Spanish election results: Socialists win most seats, PP and Vox make huge gains, C's collapse
The results with 96 percent of the vote counted.

With 98 percent of the vote counted, the Socialist Party has won 120 seats, the Popular Party 88, Vox 53, Podemos 35 and Ciudadanos 10.

It means the Socialists will still be the largest party but yet again far short of an absolute majority and without enough seats even with the support of Podemos to meet 176 seats in the 350 seat parliament. 

The PP have bounced back from the 66 won in April in what was the worst result for the party in its history and have won 85 seats. Meanwhile support for Vox has surged with the party doubling the number of MPs who will enter parliament from the 24 in April to 50 seats, leapfrogging Santiago Abascal's party over Ciudadanos and Podemos to become the third largest.

It's a devastating result for Ciudadanos who see their number of seats cut from 57 to 10.

While parties supporting independence for Catalonia won 13 seats.

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No block, either through a pact of left wing parties or of those in the right, looked able to secure the absolute majority required to form a government.

The last election produced a near-record 76 percent turnout, which helped Sanchez who had mobilised left-leaning voters to oppose Vox.   

But participation dropped by a massive 8 points this time round. 

READ ALSO: What do the election results mean for Spain?

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ELECTION

Madrid puts off separatist talks over Catalan snap election

Spain's central government on Thursday said the announcement of snap elections in Catalonia would delay planned talks between Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and the region's separatist leadership.

Madrid puts off separatist talks over Catalan snap election
Catalan regional president Quim Torra (R) meets with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at the Palacio de Pedralbes in Barcelona on December 20, 2018.Photo: AFP

News that the regional election would be brought forward was announced by regional president Quim Torra on Wednesday but he did not give a date, suggesting some time after mid-March.

The date was brought forward following a major dispute between Catalonia's two ruling separatist parties, Together for Catalonia (JxC) and the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC).

The announcement came ahead of a key February 6 meeting in Barcelona between Torra and Spain's Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to lay the ground for talks on resolving the separatist conflict.

In response, Sanchez's office said the meeting would go ahead but that the negotiations would not begin until a new regional government was in place.   

“The government is hoping to be able to begin the dialogue after the Catalan people have spoken… as soon as the elections are over and there is a new (regional) government, then we will begin talking,” said a statement.

“The government remains willing to start the process of dialogue with the Catalan institutions to resolve the political conflict.”

The talks had been agreed as part of a deal with ERC in exchange for its support in getting Sanchez through a key investiture vote earlier this month.   

But the delay was swiftly denounced by the ERC as a “flagrant breach of the agreement which was completely irresponsible,” its party spokesman Sergi Sabria said.

Sanchez, who himself is in a fragile position at the head of a minority coalition government, still needs ERC's support to pass Spain's own much delayed national budget.

In a radio interview Thursday, Torra said he would bring up the right to self-determination and amnesty for the nine jailed Catalan separatist leaders when he meets Sanchez — both of which have already been rejected out of hand by the Socialist leader.

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