A THIRD general election now appears inevitable, as increasingly-weary interim prime minister, Marian Rajoy, lost the second investiture debate by the same margin as the first, 170 votes to 180, on Friday September 2.
The chastening defeat came just 48 hours after Rajoy fell six seats short of a majority in the 350-seat congress of deputies following the initial vote.
Eight months of political paralysis have thus far failed to produce any form of resolution as all sides dig their heels in, and it is difficult to see how a third election would rectify the stalemate.
Socialist (PSOE) leader Pedro Sanchez has proven resolute throughout negotiations, as he maintains his refusal to support Rajoy’s conservative Popular Party (PP).
After abstaining from the vote, Sanchez used the latest debate to suggest that “forces of change” could prove the key in unpicking the current deadlock.
Unless some form of compromise is reached, the King will dissolve parliament in 8 weeks’ time, with fresh elections earmarked for December 25.
PP parliamentary spokesman, Rafael Hernando, said that while the very concept of a third election is “ridiculous,” his party would attempt to ensure that Christmas is not ruined by politics.
One solution that has been mooted is to halve the campaigning period and shunt voting day forwards to December 18.