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Latest On Spain Election Results


It's now Spain's turn to experience the fragmented politics that have swept through other parts of Europe. Voters cast ballots yesterday in the fourth parliamentary election in as many years. No party won an overall majority, but a far-right party gained seats. As Lucia Benavides reports, months of coalition talks now lie ahead.

LUCIA BENAVIDES, BYLINE: Nemesio Lopez is from a small town in Catalonia, traditionally dominated by separatist parties. Yet this Catalan, opponent of the region's independence, has always voted for the conservative People's Party, until this year.

NEMESIO LOPEZ: (Foreign language spoken).

BENAVIDES: Now he's supporting the far-right party, Vox.

LOPEZ: (Foreign language spoken).

BENAVIDES: "I don't know if they'll be better or worse," he says, "but we have to try something new." He's lost faith in traditional politicians and says the reason people are voting for Vox is because of the Catalan independence crisis.

LOPEZ: (Foreign language spoken).

BENAVIDES: "They're destroying our democracy and our ability to live in harmony," he says of the leaders of the campaign for Catalan independence. Vox has repeatedly promised to end the separatist movement by any means, including canceling Catalonia's autonomy and banning pro-independence parties. Lopez is one of more than 3 million Spaniards who cast their ballots for Vox on Sunday. The party more than doubled its seats in Parliament - from 24 to 52 - making them the third strongest party in the 350-seat parliament. Their success was in contrast to the center-right Citizens Party, whose support collapsed, dropping from 57 to just 10 seats.


ALBERT RIVERA: (Foreign language spoken).

BENAVIDES: Today the Citizens Party leader Albert Rivera resigned from his post and quit politics. The socialist party won the most votes but fell short of a majority in Parliament. Political researcher Berta Barbet from the Autonomous University of Barcelona says it's still unclear how negotiations to form a new government will pan out.

BERTA BARBET: After what has happened with this election, the incentive for many of the parties to avoid a new election are even bigger than they were.

BENAVIDES: Since neither the left nor the right have enough lawmakers to create a coalition, Barbet says the socialist party could try to form a minority administration. Many Spaniards say they're sick of this endless bickering. They just want a stable government.

For NPR News, I'm Lucia Benavides in Barcelona. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.