Spanish Liberals U-Turn on Deal with Socialists — Again

Spanish party leaders Pedro Sánchez and Albert Rivera sign a coalition agreement in Madrid, February 24, 2016
Spanish party leaders Pedro Sánchez and Albert Rivera sign a coalition agreement in Madrid, February 24, 2016 (PSOE)

Spain’s liberal Citizens party has changed its mind about a deal with the center-left Socialists — again.

They now say they would be willing to abstain in an investiture vote to allow the Socialists’ Pedro Sánchez a second term as prime minister.

If they had done that a month ago, Spain wouldn’t have needed to go to elections again in November.

The Citizens still rule out a formal coalition with the Socialists, but not with the conservative People’s Party. Which suggests their return to the center is purely tactical. Read more

Little Movement in Spanish Election Polls

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez speaks at a congress of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party in Huesca, October 1
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez speaks at a congress of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party in Huesca, October 1 (PSOE/Eva Ercolanese)

There hasn’t been a lot of movement in the polls since Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez failed to form a government in September and early elections were called for November. Read more

Spain Will Almost Certainly Have to Call Elections Again

Spanish party leaders Pedro Sánchez and Albert Rivera speak in Madrid, February 4, 2016
Spanish party leaders Pedro Sánchez and Albert Rivera speak in Madrid, February 4, 2016 (PSOE)

A possible last-minute deal between Spain’s ruling Socialist Party and the liberal Citizens collapsed on Tuesday, forcing caretaker prime minister Pedro Sánchez to either attempt a stitch-up with the far left or call elections in November, which would Spain’s fourth in as many years.

The Citizens, who had for months ruled out voting in Sánchez’ favor over his willingness to negotiate with the ruling parties in Catalonia, offered to abstain from an investiture vote if the Socialist ruled out taxes increases on the middle class and pardons for Catalan leaders who are on trial for organizing an unauthorized independence vote two years ago.

Sánchez claims he agreed to the terms; the Citizens insist he did not.

Polls suggest the Citizens could lost a quarter of their support in an early election. Their indecisiveness is causing them to lose voters to both the Socialists on the left and the People’s Party on the right.

But the Socialists are unlikely to gain enough support for a majority, meaning in two months Spain could be back where it is now. Read more