The Socialists will try to govern Spain alone - that is, as a minority government, without a formal coalition arrangement. This was the message on Monday morning from Spain's acting deputy prime minister, Carmen Calvo, in statements to the SER radio network. Calvo argued the merits of maintaining the style of government used by Pedro Sánchez over the last ten months, during which the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) has ruled alone, with occasional support. "We have tried that formula, with very good results," she said.
The day after a general election from which the PSOE has emerged with the largest number of seats, although not a parliamentary majority, Calvo made a first assessment of the results and revealed that, despite the need for support from other parties for the investiture vote, the PSOE by no means discards governing on its own, with 123 seats in the 350-deputy Spanish Congress.
"We'll try it because we believe as a party and as a government, that in a very short space of time, people have understood us very well," said the acting vice president. In her opinion, in the last ten months, the PSOE has led a government with only 84 deputies, "beating back the right with the Constitution in our hands, to show that politics should serve reality."
A government with Unidas Podemos?
Calvo explained that the PSOE intends to form a progressive government to aim for "four years of tranquility" with the objective of "strengthening democracy". Asked whether the formula is a coalition with the left-wing Unidas Podemos, she said that "there are many days ahead" and that the party led by Pablo Iglesias has "increased its understanding." "Everyone is moving forward and learning," she added, saying that the left-wing party "reinforces us as a progressive government."
Just hours earlier, at the end of election night, hundreds of PSOE activists outside the party's headquarters in Madrid had sent a very clear message to their leader about the direction they wanted the Socialist executive to take. "With Rivera, no!", they chanted repeatedly, referring to Albert Rivera, leader of the right-wing Ciudadanos party, a possible coalition partner for the PSOE. "I think it's pretty clear, isn't it?" responded a smiling Pedro Sánchez after his victory at the polls. "I hear you," he added.