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Exit polls predict PP victory and Unidos Podemos in second place

The Socialist Party (PSOE) gets bumped down to third place for the first time in democratic history

Zaragoza Mayor Pedro Santisteve votes on Sunday.
Zaragoza Mayor Pedro Santisteve votes on Sunday. EFE

There are already some certainties, but mostly still doubts.

Exit polls agree that the Popular Party (PP) has won the June 26 general election in Spain, as it did in December 20, when a first inconclusive vote was held.

They also agree that Unidos Podemos, the alliance of the anti-austerity party and the United Left federation, has overtaken the Socialist Party (PSOE) to become the second-most-voted forced in Spain. If confirmed, this would make Podemos chief Pablo Iglesias the main opposition leader.

It is the emerging Ciudadanos which has apparently performed the worst

But it is still unclear whether the six-month political stalemate will be broken following this fresh election. Although one exit poll, by Forta, forecasts that Unidos Podemos and the PSOE would together have just enough seats for a parliamentary majority (176), it remains to be seen whether these two forces will ever agree to come together – something which they have refused to do during protracted cross-party negotiations over the last few months.

Although the Socialists appear to have sustained heavy losses at this second election, it is the emerging Ciudadanos which has apparently performed the worst, dropping from 40 seats in December to fewer than 30.

Polls suggest that the PP will secure anywhere between 116 and 127 seats, compared with 123 in December, despite a late-breaking scandal involving the acting interior minister. But the poor performance by Ciudadanos, which seemed the most likely party to offer the PP its support, means that acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy is by no means assured of a majority.

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Not that things are much clearer on the left. Unidos Podemos gets 91 to 95 seats according to exit polls, compared with the 69 Podemos had in December (before teaming up with the United Left). Meanwhile the PSOE slides to between 81 and 85, down from 90.

At the regional level, there is very little change among the Catalan and Basque parties, which appear to have obtained similar results.

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