THEY said ‘we can’ and they certainly have, storming the political scene grabbing a massive 69 seats in Spain’s national assembly.
On a historic day, anti-corruption party Podemos – meaning ‘we can’ – have changed the face of Spanish politics overnight.
Along with fellow emergent party Ciudadanos, the party led by Pablo Iglesias, seized an incredible third of the votes, signalling a break from the traditional two-party system.
“Spain is not going to be the same again,” said the radical pony-tailed leader at a rally on Sunday night.
“Today sees the start of a new political era. The forces of change are making a historic advance.”
In the most dramatic general election day in history, the ruling PP party lost a stunning four million votes, taking just 123 seats, their worst result ever.
Meanwhile, the socialist PSOE won just 90 seats, their lowest total since 1977, and the IU were practically obliterated with just two seats.
New party Ciudadanos, led by Albert Rivera, won 40 seats.
But now the problems begin, as with no party winning an overall majority, a political pact will be vital to form a government.
Podemos and Ciudadanos will almost certainly become kingmakers in any coalition.
Meanwhile, stock markets went haywire, as Spain now faces a period of likely prolonged uncertainty as the parties thrash out a deal.
Last night, the PSOE confirmed it would not consider taking power with ruling PP leader Mariano Rajoy.
This means that the PP can only stay in power with the help of Ciudadanos and a mix of other regional parties.
However with Rajoy’s clear opposition to Catalan separatism, he is extremely unlikely to get the votes he needs from Spain’s second most important region.
And on top of this, Ciudadanos has also declared it prefers to be in opposition than pact with the PP.
Should Rajoy fail to form a government after Congress reconvenes on January 13, PSOE leader Pedro Sanchez may well be the man tasked with cobbling together a leftist coalition of parties.
He will be comforted by the fact that Spain’s electorate have made a clear ‘move to the left,’ as he put it.
However, it is not certain that Podemos would consider working with a party, that is has long also described as being corrupt and out of touch with the country.
If no pact is forthcoming by mid January, Spain will have to go to the polls once more within two months.
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