Conservative opposition leader Mariano Rajoy looks set for outright victory in this weekend’s Spanish general election. Early results suggest he has at least a 14% lead over the outgoing Socialist prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, enough to give Rajoy an outright majority.
The Socialists, traditionally a strong party in Spanish politics, look set for a particularly poor night, and are projected to take a maximum of 119 parliamentary seats. By contrast, Rajoy’s conservatives People’s Party (PP) is expected to take between 181 and 185 of the 350 seats that are available.
Mariano Rajoy will not have much time to celebrate his victory. He will immediately have to find savings of €18bn (£15.4bn) through cuts or tax hikes, and it’s not clear where these savings will be found since Rajoy has largely avoided make specific commitments during his campaign.