The Popular Party (PP) of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy won the most seats in the Spanish General election.
With over 98 percent of the votes counted, the PP polled slightly over 7 million votes to claim 122 seats in the 350 seat Spanish Congress, well below the 176 needed for an overall majority and 64 seats less than the 186 seats they won in November 2011.
Meanwhile, the PP share of the vote fell from 44.63 percent four years ago to 28.69 percent, a descent of almost 16 points.
The result, which is the worst for the PP since 1989, means that even if Rajoy agrees a pact with the center-right Citizens he will be well short of a majority given that Citizens won 40 seats in their first appearance in a general election.
The Socialist Party (PSOE) also had their worst ever election results, polling 22.03 percent of the overall vote (less than their previous worst ever performance of 28.76 percent from 2011) and have claimed 91 seats, or 19 less than four years ago.
Meanwhile, the left wing Podemos enjoyed a positive night winning 69 seats and 20.63 percent of the vote, less than 1.5 percent behind the PSOE.
The United Left’s two seats came despite them winning over 900,000 votes, the fifth most voted force in the elections.
Other parties which will be represented in the new Congress are the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) which will have six seats, while Artur Mas’ pro-Catalan independence Democracy and Liberty will have eight.
In total 24,899,558 Spaniards, or 73.21 percent of the electorate, cast their votes more than in 2011 when 24,666,441 (68.94 percent) voted.