MADRID: The main candidates in Spain’s fourth national election in four years have already dismissed several possible scenarios for forming a government by agreement should the result be inconclusive.
But all parties are well aware that voters do not want a fifth election, and they might have to strike a deal in the end.
Here are possible scenarios:
MINORITY SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT
The most likely scenario. Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialists lead in opinion polls though most see them winning slightly fewer seats than in the previous election in in April, down from 123 out of 350 to about 120.
The question is who their allies could be. In the past, their natural partners would have been the far-left Unidas Podemos. But there is bad blood between them after failed talks following the April election. And their chances of having enough seats to govern together are slim.
Other options could include a pact which regional parties would join, but considering the tensions over Catalonia’s independence drive, that would also be tricky.
The option gaining traction would be an unusual one – the conservative People’s Party (PP) abstaining in parliament to let Sanchez be voted in as prime minister.
But their support would not come for free and would likely come at the last minute to avoid a repeat election. It would not guarantee the budget can be adopted or that the government would last.