AT A meeting held in Madrid on Sunday October 23, members of the PSOE voted 139 to 95 to abstain if and when there is a vote of confidence in Mariano Rajoy as he tries to form a new government.
This means that with the positive support of centre party Ciudadanos, the PP will be able to take control of the Cortes and proceed with a minority government to the relief of an estimate 65 per cent of the Spanish electorate which was against the concept of a third election.
The fact that Mr Rajoy is able to form a government actually means that the opposition will have more opportunity to take action against his party in the coming weeks and months and there is no promise that the 2017 budget will be accepted by the majority of MPs.
What it does do is to give the PSOE some breathing space in which to appoint a new leader and hope that public opinion which has seen a steady erosion of support for the left wing opposition party changes so that it will have a greater chance of being re-elected in the future.
This decision has not been well received by a number of PSOE members who demonstrated outside the Madrid meeting demanding a continued stance against Mr Rajoy but the general consensus of opinion, which prevailed, was that they could only be a true opposition party if they had a proper government to oppose.