Third Spanish election likely after attempt to form government fails

Acting PM Rajoy fails to form government and loses investiture debate meaning election will be held on Christmas day if resolution not reached

Spain has moved closer to the prospect of holding its third general election in a year, slated for Christmas Day, after its acting prime minister once again failed to win parliament’s backing to form a government that would bring an end to eight months of political paralysis.

On Friday evening, 48 hours after falling six seats short of a majority in the 350-seat congress of deputies, Mariano Rajoy, the leader of the conservative People’s party (PP), lost a second investiture debate by the same margin as the first: 170 votes to 180.

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