Spanish election: Sánchez set to fall short of majority

The unrest in Catalonia has loomed large over the election

The unrest in Catalonia has loomed large over the election

Polling suggests that almost a third of voters are unsure who they will vote for, which is set to result in a stalemate with no party or bloc gaining a majority in the 350-member parliament.

Sanchez's Socialists are on track to gain the most seats on Sunday but fall short of the 123 won in April, according to polls, meaning they will have to look for allies to form a government.

One of the major focuses of Sunday's election is the northeastern region of Catalonia. Many injuries were reported when they clashed with police.

The governing Socialist Workers' Party hopes to solve the situation through dialogue.

The conservative People's Party (PP) was seen second with a projected 85-90 seats. "We think that combining the courage of United We Can and the experience of the Socialist party we can convert our country into a reference point for social policies", Iglesias said Sunday.

But many polls predict Vox, headed by Santiago Abascal, may do even better this time and capitalize on the pro-Spain nationalist sentiment stirred by the Catalan conflict and in response to the caretaker Socialist government's exhumation of Franco's remains last month from his gargantuan mausoleum so that he could no longer be exalted by supporters in a public place. But if the conservatives and Vox increase their number of seats in the Parliament, the relationship with Catalonia is certain to become more hard.

Voting stations opened at 9 a.m. (0800 GMT) and are set to close at 8 p.m. (1900 GMT), with results expected within hours.

REUTERS/Rafael Marchante Spain's acting Prime Minister and Socialist Party (PSOE) leader and candidate Pedro Sanchez talks to media as he attends voting during Spain's general election in Pozuelo de Alarcon, outside Madrid, Spain, November 10, 2019.

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