A bitterly divided Spain headed to the polls on Sunday for its second parliamentary election in just over six months, likely to deliver an even more fragmented parliament with no clear winner and a sizeable showing by the far-right.
Spain has been struggling to put stable governments together since 2015, when new parties emerged from the financial crisis following decades during which power oscillated between the Socialists and the conservative People’s Party (PP).
Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called this election – the fourth in four years – after his Socialist Party won a ballot in April but failed to form a government, betting that a new vote would strengthen his hand.
“There are only two options: either vote for the Socialists so that we have a government, or vote for any other party to block Spain from getting a progressive government,” Sanchez told supporters at a closing rally in Barcelona on Friday.
Voting started at 9 a.m.(0800 GMT) on Sunday and will end at 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) in mainland Spain. Results should begin filtering through in the early evening, with almost all votes counted by midnight.