Mariano Rajoy is looking to secure backing for a new PP-led government. | Juan Medina - Reuters


Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says he hopes the Partido Popular can form a strong, four-year coalition government - or else be allowed to run a minority one and avoid fresh elections. Rajoy reiterated his offer to link up with second-placed PSOE and fourth-place Ciudadanos (C's), although both have already said they will not back him.

Speaking in Brussels, Rajoy said that if the other political groups don’t want that, "I hope they at least let the party that won take office even though it would do so in difficult circumstances".

The PP won 137 seats in Sunday’s repeat election but again fell short of capturing the majority in the 350-seat parliament that put it in power in 2011. Rajoy won in December too but no other major party would help him form a government, a political scenario that may be repeated this time and leave Spain with his caretaker government for many more months. Rajoy, who is expected to launch negotiations this week, said fresh elections would be "madness"-

The newly elected deputies will take their seats 19 July, after which King Felipe will consult party leaders and likely nominate one to try to form a government. Following the December election, Rajoy renounced the opportunity to even try to form a government. This time he is expected to accept if the King proposes him. He would then face a parliamentary vote of confidence: in other words, investiture or not.

In a first vote, he would need a majority but if he fails then he would only need more votes in favour than against in a second vote. However, without the support or abstention of PSOE (with 85 seats) and the C's (with 32) the bid would almost certainly fail.