Formation of Spanish government following general election in April 2019

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Publication Date 2019
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Reports and analyses of the process of government formation in Spain, following an inconclusive general election on 28 April 2019 from which none of the competing political parties managed to acquire a parliamentary majority.

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Spain's centre-left Socialists (PSOE) - the winners of the election and yet short of a majority - engaged in talks with the main political parties in the country as it sought to understand the best way forward in terms of parliamentary support to the future cabinet. Media reports suggested the party would attempt at governing without a formal coalition, but commentators still noted the Socialists would be likely to require some degree of support from the leftist Podemos party and/or from the centre-right Ciudadanos party.

The issue regarding Catalonia and the best way to engage in talks with those demanding independence of the region is a major sticking point in any negotiations.

On 6 June - following consultations with the main political parties - King Felipe VI indicated PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez as the most likely contender to form government. Mr Sánchez announced meetings with Ciudadanos, People's Party (PP) and Podemos. Despite lengthy negotiations with the latter, the two sides were not able to find an agreement which could support the cabinet. Analysts suggested the prospects of yet another parliamentary election had increased. A confirmation vote in Parliament for a proposed government was scheduled to be held in any scenario.

Mr Sánchez failed to secure a parliamentary majority in the first round of the confirmation vote on 23 July (155-124). Following further negotiations, PSOE and Podemos failed to reach an agreement on ministerial posts, which would have secured a coalition cabinet. On 25 July, a second round of votes also resulted in a defeat to the caretaker head of government. Should the last round of votes - scheduled to be held in mid-September 2019 - prove unsuccessful, the country would head for yet another snap election later in the year.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
openDemocracy: Can Europe Make It?, 07/05/2019: Saviours of the nation? – on the breakthrough of the radical populist right in Spain
Social Europe, 08/05/2019: Polarisation, fragmentation — the challenge after the elections in Spain
Politico, 09/05/2019: Spain’s post-election puzzle
Politico, 07/06/2019: Spain’s Sánchez waiting game
Foreign Policy, 16/07/2019: Here’s How to Finally Solve Spain’s Governmental Standstill
BBC News, 25/07/2019: Pedro Sánchez: The rise of Spain's accidental PM
Euronews, 25/07/2019: 'Podemos is asking for too much, too early,' political analyst tells Euronews
Euro|topics, July 2019: How Spain could get a new government after all

Reuters, 29/04/2019: Spain's Sanchez weighs options after election win, outlook murky
Euronews, 08/05/2019: Sanchez meets with opposition leaders as coalition talks get underway in Spain
El País, 08/05/2019: Post-election Spain: “Agreeing to agree” is the only certainty so far
El País, 09/05/2019: Spain’s acting PM and opposition leader agree to open talks on Catalan crisis
The Guardian, 06/06/2019: Spanish king asks Socialists to form new government
France24, 06/06/2019: Spanish king tasks Sanchez to form new government
Reuters, 06/06/2019: Spain's Sanchez says he will seek confirmation vote as PM, asks for wide support
El País, 07/06/2019: After long wait, Spanish PM is ready for talks to form new government
The Local (Spain), 02/07/2019: Spain could have a government by July 23rd (or face new elections)
Reuters, 02/07/2019: Ready or not, Spain's Sanchez to face July 23 confirmation vote for PM
Euronews, 09/07/2019: Spain's Socialists won't form government if they lose investiture votes
El País, 10/07/2019: In Spain, political gridlock increases likelihood of fresh elections – again
Reuters, 11/07/2019: Spain's Sanchez says no new election planned despite government impasse
El País, 12/07/2019: Spain’s acting PM wants constitutional change to prevent new stalemates
Deutsche Welle, 15/07/2019: PM Sanchez says talks with far left have failed
Bloomberg, 15/07/2019: Spain Risks Repeat Election as Podemos Holds Sanchez Hostage
Reuters, 15/07/2019: Spain PM's talk of breakdown raises concern of repeat election
El País, 15/07/2019: Acting Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez says deal with Podemos is dead in water
El País, 23/07/2019: Spain’s acting PM accuses center-right of shunning 'the wrong party'
BBC News, 25/07/2019: Spain's Pedro Sánchez loses vote to form government
France24, 25/072019: Spain's Sanchez fails to win parliamentary backing to form government
Euronews, 25/07/2019: Spanish MPs fail to back Sanchez as prime minister in second vote, raises prospect of new elections
El País, 25/07/2019: Spain wonders how bid to form a government failed so badly
Politico, 25/07/2019: Sánchez loses bid to be reelected Spanish PM
Reuters, 25/07/2019: Spain's Sanchez loses bid to be confirmed as PM, eyes fresh attempt
El País, 07/08/2019: One hundred days since election, Spain still no closer to forming government
Reuters, 07/08/2019: Spain's Sanchez will keep trying to form government until September deadline
Bloomberg, 30/08/2019: Spain’s Sanchez Withdraws Offer to Let Podemos Into a Coalition
EurActiv, 02/09/2019: Sanchez hopes new programme with Podemos can avoid new election
El País, 02/09/2019: Acting Spanish PM: 'No coalition, no elections. There is a third way'

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Spanish general election, 28 April 2019

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