Neither the left nor the right has won a majority in Spain. Catalan and other regional parties will hold the balance of power in the new Congress.
The only options for a majority government are a grand coalition of the center-left Socialists (PSOE) and center-right People’s Party (PP), which has never been tried, or a coalition of left-wing and regional parties.
The Socialists remain the largest party, although they are down three seats. This will be a disappointment to Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who called the election in hopes of breaking the deadlock in Congress.
He is expected to try to form a minority government.
The Citizens gambled they could replace the People’s Party as the largest on the right and lost.
Spaniards better get used to multiparty democracy. They are right to demand more than a left-or-right choice, but they need to accept that means the outcome will often be something in the middle.