Spain election: socialist party PSOE declared winner – live updates





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Spain votes 2019: socialist PSOE declared general election winner

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Analysis: Sanchez free to govern without Catalan nationalist support

With nearly 90% of votes counted, it seems certain that Pedro Sánchez’s socialist party will be able to govern without the support of the Catalan nationalists that brought down his previous administration, leaving the pro-independence movement with a voice in parliament but little leverage. Sánchez should be able to reply on support from the Basque parties and independents to get the majority he needs in parliament.

In Catalonia itself, the story has been the rise of the Republican Left (ERC) led by Oriol Junqueras, currently on trial for his role in the illegal unilateral declaration of independence in 2017, at the expense of Together for Catalonia, the party of former president Carles Puigdemont. ERC even overtook Puigdemont in Girona, his heartland in the north of the region.

A portrait of Republican Left party leader Oriol Junqueras displayed on stage before a broadcast of him live from a prison in Madrid, as he takes part during a closing election campaign event in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, April 26, 2019.

A portrait of Republican Left party leader Oriol Junqueras on stage before a broadcast of him live from a prison in Madrid, as he takes part during a closing election campaign event in Barcelona on Friday. Photograph: Emilio Morenatti/AP

While Junqueras has taken a conciliatory line with Madrid of late, Puigdemont has continued to seek confrontation and it seems that voters have wearied of this approach. As well as supporting ERC, there has been a significant swing towards the socialists, especially in the Barcelona region, suggesting that voters want to focus on social issues rather than questions of sovereignty.

Junqueras said he was prepared to support a Sánchez government if it agreed in principle to a referendum on independence, something the socialist leader said he would never do. As things stand, he won’t need Junqueras and the Catalan issue looks set to lose its place at the centre of the national debate.

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Spain votes 2019: 73.74% turnout

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A divided Spain

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Polls: Catalans reject independence leader Puigdemont

If the forecasts are right, Junts per Catalunya, led by former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, has been rejected by Catalan voters in favour of the more conciliatory Republican Left led by Oriol Junqueras, currently on trial for his part in the illegal declaration of independence in 2017, with 14 seats to Puigdemont’s five.

Ousted Catalan regional Government President Carles Puigdemont delivers a live message on a video conference from Brussels during a Juns per Catalunya (JxCat) end of campaign electoral rally held in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 26 April 2019.

Ousted Catalan regional Government President Carles Puigdemont delivers a live message on a video conference from Brussels during a Juns per Catalunya (JxCat) end of campaign electoral rally held in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 26 April 2019. Photograph: Toni Albir/EPA

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