A clear winner failed to emerge from Spain's snap general election on Sunday as parties on the right and left had no clear way forward towards establishing a new government.

The People's Party (PP) won the election but fell short of a much larger victory in ousting the country's Socialist Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez. 

The centre-right PP gained 136 seats in parliament, whilst Sánchez's PSOE party gained 122 seats, both short of the 176 seats required to govern, Reuters reports. However, the Socialists fared better than expected. 

The two leading parties will now look to negotiate coalition deals to form a governing majority, but according to analysts, this could end in a hung parliament and another election. 

A bigger win was forecast for the PP, headed up by Alberto Núñez Feijóo, as per pre-election polls, along with the possibility of forming a coalition with the far-right Vox party, Sky News reports. 

The parties with the highest probability of being kingmakers were Vox, with 33 seats, and the far-left Sumar party, with 31 seats.

Joy turned to anxiety outside the PP headquarters as the gap between the two leading parties remained narrow. 

As the vote count progressed, one PP supporter stated: "This isn't looking good." Whilst at the PSOE HQ, a supporter said: "We were dead, but we're now alive." Sánchez said the people of Spain had rebuffed the "backwards-looking bloc, which proposed a total repeal of all the progress we have made over the last four years." 

Spain's King Felipe VI will invite Feijóo to attempt to secure the prime ministership, the Reuters report adds. Should he decline, the king could put the same request to Sánchez. If neither candidate is able to secure a majority within two months of the initial vote, new elections will need to take place. 

Voter turnout increased this time around at 70.4%, compared to 66.23% in the previous election back in 2019.

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