The 2019 Spanish election results are in, and who won?
It has been a rocky last few years for the former governing party of Spain, the Partido Popular (People’s Party, PP). Scandal rocked the government of Mariano Rajoy, and he was soon ousted in a non-confidence motion. Now, in 2019, the party he used to lead has taken a hard hit as the Socialists are back in the driver’s seat. (Further Reading: The Guardian, “Spain election: socialist party PSOE declared winner”)
With near certainty, Pedro Sánchez of the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers Party) will remain as prime minister. His party won the most seats, and has a much more realistic chance of forming a coalition from the left than the PP does from the right.
This election also marked the rise of Vox, the right-wing nationalist party which found their way into the Congress for the first time.
See below the overall results and where each party did well.
2019 Spanish Election Results: Seats
The PSOE won 123 seats, a jump of almost 40 from last time that put them into a clear first place. In the previous legislature, the PP had the most seats but it was the PSOE that cobbled together enough votes to take down the government.
As for the Partido Popular, they lost over half of their seat share, falling from 137 to just 66. This left the door open for the rise of Ciudadanos (C’s), a center to center-right that fed off of discontent with the Partido Popular. Of course, Vox, further right than both of them, did this as well. Ciudadanos picked up 25 seats while Vox increased from none to 24.
Unidos Podemos, a left-wing party, saw much of its vote share drop with the bettered fortunes of the PSOE. They fell 29 seats to 42, putting them into fourth place overall.
Minor parties as a whole saw a worthwhile result. Among them was the Republican Left of Catalonia-Sovereigntists (ERC-Sobiranistes), jumping six seats to 15; this makes them the sixth-largest party in the Congreso de los Diputados. The rest, all regional parties, took another 23 seats. In total, regionalist parties claimed 38 seats, up 11.
2019 Spanish Election Results: Votes
The PP saw their vote collapse in 2019. Last time, they claimed just over 33 percent of the national vote, over 10 percent clear of the second-place PSOE. This time, the PP was in a distant second at 16.7 percent, less than a point ahead of Ciudadanos. Over 3.5 million votes for the Partido Popular last time went elsewhere.
Unidos Podemos saw a drop in support of over five percent to 14.31. Vox, in their first election run, claimed over ten percent of the vote.
2019 Spanish Election Results: Regions
Pedro Sánchez and the PSOE turned most of Spain red this time. Only a handful of provinces saw another political party finish first, which is an achievement considering how many parties there are.
In Madrid, the PP finished in third place behind PSOE and C’s; after having won 15 seats in the capital province in 2016, they were reduced to only seven in this vote.
The provinces around Barcelona went for ERC-Sobiranistes, but the PSOE carried Barcelona itself. The vast majority of the provincial map of Barcelona was yellow, but the PSOE ran up larger margins in the areas they did win.
Just four provinces were success stories for the PP in 2019 in their electoral rout: Avila, Lugo, Ourense, and Salamanca. The Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) defended its home turf in Araba/Álava, Bizkaia, and Gipuzkoa. Navarra Suma won the most votes in Navarra, eking out the PSOE but tying them in seats.
2019 Spanish Election Results: Coalition Math
Should the PSOE and Unidos Podemos work together once again, they would command 165 seats. Keeping in mind that 176 is needed for an absolute majority, this is not going to get it done. Some have suggested Ciudadanos may listen, but as the party has nudged to the right over the years, it may not be the best fit for now. If the PSOE has an appetite to work with separatists, and vice versa, the left-leaning ERC-Sobiranistes would put them over the top.
The math is much harder for the Partido Popular, if not impossible without some ideological bending. A PP, C’s, and Vox coalition would get them to 147 seats. There are not another 29 friendly seats in this Congress to get them over the top, as it is constructed following this election.
There is just one party that could lead a stable government, being the PSOE. They enter the new Congreso de los Diputados in a much better position than last time and should be able to form an administration, at least for a little while. This was Spain’s third election in less than four years and doubtless there is no appetite for another one soon.
For more on other European elections we have tracked, visit our dedicated Electionarium page.