BACK from Brussels where he made clear his opposition to any membership talks between the EU and Scotland to save his skin from a looming Catalonian crisis, Mariano Rajoy has set about coalition talks in his bid to secure a new Spanish government by the end of July.
On Thursday the acting prime minister, who oversaw the PP win 137 seats in repeat elections, met with Fernando Calvijo who leads the Coalicion Canaria party and is head of the Canary Islands’ regional government.
Though small, the party is one of many across different regions who could combined help push a PP-led coalition towards the magic 176 parliamentary votes needed to secure a majority.
Should he choose this path, notching up support among smaller parties without compromising with arch-rivals the PSOE, Rajoy will still need the support of Ciudadanos, a major emergent party who claimed 32 seats.
Despite being a natural ideological ally of the PP, Ciudadanos, particularly in its leadership, have expressed reluctance to enable Rajoy to continue as prime minister, although the prospect of a governing role may be sufficient to change minds.
Should Rajoy be unable to secure positive support from Ciudadanos and smaller regional parties, he may be able to convince them to simply not oppose him, abstaining from a confidence vote to enable a PP minority government to take shape.