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PSOE and Podemos are 11 short of an overall majority. The Republican Left of Catalonia-Sovereigntists (ERC-Sobiranistes) with 15 seats (+6) would be an obvious partner. Failing that there are two Basque regional parties with 10 seats between them and a number of other less controversial regional parties with 6 seats. The other Catalan party, Together for Catalonia-Together (JxCat-Junts), have 7 seats (-1).
JxCat is more controversial than ERC. It is the party of Carles Puigdemont, the "legitimist" Catalan premier in exile.

Of the 10 Basque nationalist seats, 6 come from the respectable (liberal, formerly Christian democrat) PNV and 4 come from the more controversial EH Bildu (basque "patriotic" left, including the former political wing of ETA, which has now dissolved).

One of the smaller regional parties, Canary Coalition with 2 seats, has made it known they will not support a Sánchez administration depending on the support of Podemos, EH Bildu, or the Catalan separatists.

Another regional party, from Cantabria, has one seat and is more ambiguous.

Finally Compromís, from Valencia, has one seat and would vote with Podemos and PSOE.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 29th, 2019 at 09:31:02 PM EST
Realistically, if Sanchez wants a stable government with a secure overall majority, the only way to do so is to form a coalition with Podemos and Republican Left of Catalonia-Sovereigntists (ERC-Sobiranistes) (15 seats) for a total of 280 seats. Coalition with Ciudadanos would be acceptable to neither party supporters.

If the PSOE and the ERC-Sobiranistes cannot agree on a common programme, a minority government seems inevitable, and the best he could do is link up with Podemos and the more respectable Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ/PNV) (6 seats) plus Compromís (1 seat) and perhaps a couple of regional party deputies - not enough for an overall majority.

It is questionable whether a government made up of 165 PSOE and Podemos deputies will be any less stable than a government including some additional minor party deputies but still short of an overall majority. And without Podemos on board, no one else matters - you might as well go with a minority Socialist administration.

I don't know how hardline and inflexible ERC-Sobiranistes are on Catalan Independence. If they are prepared to accept a lesser form of autonomy in the lifetime of the current Parliament then forming a coalition with them may help to reduce tensions and pave the way for a more constructive relationship in the future.

If not, they would simply undermine the legitimacy of the Socialist government in the rest of Spain and Sanchez is better off leaving them out in the cold.  He would then be relying on a lack of cohesion in the opposition to remain in power.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 29th, 2019 at 10:24:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know how hardline and inflexible ERC-Sobiranistes are on Catalan Independence. If they are prepared to accept a lesser form of autonomy in the lifetime of the current Parliament then forming a coalition with them may help to reduce tensions and pave the way for a more constructive relationship in the future.

They're very clear that they want "a referendum and the end of repression". Which is basicly the demand of 80% of the Catalan people, including 61% of unionists. Because they recognise that the way such issues should be resolved is democraticly, by voting, rather than violence and repression. JxCat wants dialogue with no pre-conditions.

OTOH, if they're not formally supporting the government, then there may be room to move, since opposition to dialogue will no longer be a proxy for attacking the government's majority.

by IdiotSavant on Tue Apr 30th, 2019 at 02:22:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I remember correctly, Sanchez was first ousted and then won the leadership contest over collaboration with Podemos. Is there a strong anti-Podemos wing left in PSOE, and will they instead push for coalition with Ciudadanos? Or is such a coalition unviable?
by fjallstrom on Tue Apr 30th, 2019 at 10:55:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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