The Socialist PSOE was the clear winner in Sunday's general election, gaining 123 seats of the total of 350 in the Spanish Congreso, a dramatic increase on its previous 84 seats.
This result, combined with the 42 seats obtained by the left-wing group Unidos Podemos, leaves Pedro Sánchez within easy reach of keeping his job as prime minister, requiring the support of some of the minority regional groups that have gained seats.
On Monday morning, Sánchez's deputy Carmen Calvo said in an interview that rather than forming a coalition to secure an absolute majority, the Socialists preferred to rule as a minority government, as they have been doing until now with just 84 seats since Sánchez ousted Mariano Rajoy in last year's vote of no confidence.
Right wing disintegration
Meanwhile the arrival of the far-right party Vox on the scene has taken its toll on the Conservative Partido Popular, which took a massive tumble on Sunday gaining just 66 seats, 71 fewer than the last result in 2016.
The right wing had already been split in recent years by the arrival of centre-right group Ciudadanos who celebrated their 57 seats on Sunday (25 more than in 2016).
Vox makes its debut in the Congreso with 24 seats, a long way off the 60 or 70 some had predicted.