The new Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez keeps ruling out early elections, but really the matter is not in his hands. Sanchez leads a minority government and he could be defeated at the drop of a hat. I suspect that the chances of him still being prime minister at Christmas are slim to say the least. He prefers to govern with a minority government than pacting with other parties to form a coalition. This leaves him in a very weak position.

Sanchez is an "accidental prime minister". His Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) has been in decline for many years and he has just 84 MPs. To remain in power he is going to have to make a series of pacts with smaller nationalist parties who will obviously want something in return. It is a dangerous business. Every time there is an important vote Sanchez and his team will be doing their numbers. The centre-right Partido Popular is the biggest party in parliament. Sanchez last month ousted them from office so they are not going to make his life easy. In fact, they have said so; getting ready for a rough time.

Sanchez doesn't want to call early elections because he know that he will not win. The new pro-business party, Ciudadanos, appear to be in the driving seat and while they may not win the elections they will certainly decide who will be in power if there is no overall majority. These are difficult times for Spain. The Catalonian issue has still not been resolved and there are many problems on the horizon.