The centre-right Popular Party, has stormed to victory at the Spanish parliamentary elections with provisional counts showing them winning a 44.6 percent share of the vote.
This would translate to 186 seats, in the lower house, 10 more than the 176 seats required to be able to form a majority government.
This is set to be the biggest election triumph for over 30 years.
The Socialists, who have governed for the last seven years only managed to get 110 seats – down from 154 seats in 2008 – and 28.7 percent of the vote.
Between them, the PP and the PSOE gained around 73 percent of the vote, 10 points lower than in 2008, but the way the electoral system works means they retain 80 percent of parliamentary seats.
These results agree with polls conducted over recent months which predicted a comfortable victory for the PP.
One of the surprises of this election came from Amaiur, the Basque separatist coalition, which entered the regional parliament of the Basque Country. Batasuna, ETA’s political wing, has been illegal since 2003, but they managed to win six seats, just a month after the historic announcement of ETA ending 40 years of violence.