Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy votes in a parliamentary election his conservative People's Party is expected to win, but fall well short of an absolute majority. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy voted on Sunday in a parliamentary election in which newcomer parties are expected to make big gains against the once-dominant conservatives and Socialists, ushering in a new and potentially volatile era of compromise politics. With many people saying they want to shake up a political system they consider corrupt and unable to resolve Spain's economic woes, the outcome is the most uncertain in decades. About one in three of the 36.5 million eligible voters said they would decide whom to support only at the very last minute. Since the end of Francisco Franco's fascist dictatorship and the return to democracy in the 1970s, Spain has always enjoyed stable parliamentary majorities at the national level, with the center-right People's Party and the center-left Socialist Party alternating in power. But a more splintered political landscape could now complicate efforts to form a government. Opinion polls suggest Rajoy's ruling conservative People's Party (PP) will win the vote but fall well short of an absolute majority. The Socialists are expected to come second, while anti-austerity party Podemos ("We Can") and a second significant newcomer, the liberal Ciudadanos ("Citizens"), vying for third place which would make them kingmaker in post-election talks. That prediction makes any of four outcomes possible - either a center-right pact between the PP and Ciudadanos, a center-left alliance between the Socialists and Podemos, a coalition between the Socialists and Ciudadanos or a minority administration.