Spain is facing a third election in just over 12 months after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy lost a parliamentary confidence vote

 
Mark Sands
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Rajoy has been Spanish Prime Minister since 2011, but lost his majority in December (Source: Getty)

Spain is on the brink of a third election in just over 12 months after acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy lost a parliamentary confidence vote.

Rajoy secured the backing of 170 representatives in Spain's assembly of 350, leaving him just six seats short of a majority.

Unless Rajoy, or another candidate, can secure the backing of the Spanish parliament by October, the country could head to a fresh election in December.

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Rajoy has been prime minister since 2011, but his conservative People's Party lost 64 seats, and its majority, in a vote last December which left the country in deadlock.

A second vote in June saw the PP increase its vote, but still remain short of a majority, with the socialist PSOE in second place.

And while the latest parliamentary vote saw Rajoy secure the backing of the anti-corruption Cuidadanos Party, and a small party from the Canary Islands, he was blocked from forming a government by the socialists, the anti-austerity alliance Unidos Podemos, and regional parties from the Basque Country and Catalonia.

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