Spaniards voted on Sunday in a parliamentary election in which the anti-austerity party Podemos is expected to make big gains, potentially delivering a fresh jolt to Europe\’s political mainstream after Britain voted to leave the European Union.
The last election, in December, broke the mold of 40 years of stable conservative or Socialist majorities and failed to produce a government, as upstart parties channeled growing resentment of the establishment following an economic crisis and a series of corruption scandals.
Turnout was 36.9 percent at 1200 GMT, the same reading as in December at the same time.
According to the Spanish Constitution, a government must win a vote of confidence in Parliament with more than 50 percent of the possible 350 votes before taking office. If it misses that, in a second vote 48 hours later it must get 50 percent of only the votes that are cast — a lower bar that allows parties to abstain and let another party into power in return for concessions.
The election in Spain comes four days after the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the 28-nation European Union. But Antonio Barroso, a London-based analyst with the Teneo Intelligence political risk consultancy, said it\’s "unlikely" the Brexit decision would have much of an influence on the Spanish election.
Polls were to close at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT) for Spain\’s roughly 36.5 million voters.
SOURCE: TOE and agencies