A CAMPAIGN season that has gripped the imagination of the Spanish public came to a close on Friday, December 18, with the latest polls suggesting ruling Popular Party (PP) will claim the largest share of the votes but not enough to govern without forming an alliance.
The colourful offensive by four key parties, two of them insurgent newcomers, has seen Spain’s first televised internet debate (which had the Prime Minister represented by an empty chair), the strong showing of deputy PM Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría raising a few eyebrows, a fierce and vindictive last debate between PM Rajoy and his Socialist rival Pedro Sanchez, and a brutal punch to the face inflicted on the 60-year-old leader by a teenager distantly related to his wife.
Needless to say the Spanish press has enjoyed the spectacle which has provided a rich source of intrigue and excitement, whilst voters appear to be revelling in an election outcome that is still a mystery and having an unprecedented level of choice.
The last wail in this operatic epic saw Rajoy last night dismiss the notion of entering into a grand coalition’ with socialist rivals the PSOE in a bid to keep out the centre-right anti-corruption party Ciudadamos and left-wing anti-austerity rivals Podemos.
Voting will take place this Sunday, December 20, with final counting on the following Wednesday.