Spain's conservatives fall short of an outright victory, while the left celebrates

Alberto Nez Feijóo, the leader of the conservative opposition party in Spain, declared victory in an emergency election, but without the desired outcome.

Even with the support of the far right, his Popular Party (PP) fell short of a parliamentary majority. As Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez proclaimed, "The reactionary bloc has failed," he was met with equally loud applause from the opposing faction.

While both sides can claim victory, Spain's result is equivocal. But Mr. Sánchez has been vindicated for his controversial decision to hold the election in the scorching heat of a Spanish summer, when election day temperatures in some sections of the country reached 40 degrees Celsius.

Voters, sensing the importance of the election, interrupted their vacations to vote in swimwear and with beach paraphernalia, bringing voter turnout to over 70%.

Nonetheless, Mr. Feijóo informed jubilant conservatives that it was now his responsibility to attempt to form a government.

However, this is the situation Spain faces. Due to the fact that, with Vox holding 33 seats and Mr. Feijóo's PP holding 136, they would fall seven seats short of an absolute majority of 176 in parliament, the most probable outcome of this election will be a new vote at the end of the year.

Mr. Sánchez's Socialists and his associates on the far left, Sumar, appeared the happiest. The right has repeatedly assailed Mr. Sánchez for a poorly drafted law on sexual consent and reforms on abortion and transgender rights.

However, the opposition also attacked the support he received from Catalan and Basque nationalists, arguing that the concessions he made to them compromised the territorial integrity of Spain.

Some PP supporters outside party headquarters bellowed "Que te vote Txapote", an anti-Sánchez slogan meaning "Let Txapote vote for you" and referencing an Eta militant who committed murders.

When their party surpassed the Socialists in the election results, PP supporters eventually began to celebrate. PP supporters had been subdued for most of the night. As their commander concluded his speech, small groups of voters draped in Spanish flags questioned one another about the next step.

These were not activists revealing their victory. Despite the rhetoric from the upper balcony, this victory felt hollow.

El Espaol, a local source, reported that despite the PP's victory, Pedro Sánchez still had a chance to form a government.

However, in order to secure the support of separatists, one would need to go even further than before in order to increase these extremely slender chances. He would also require the support of a radical pro-independence party, Together for Catalonia (Junts), which does not appear to be prepared to back him.

Sunday's voting statistics were bolstered by the fact that 1.6 million young voters were eligible to vote for the first time.

An estimated ten million Spaniards are already on vacation, and one man at a polling station on the coast wore a snorkel and flippers on purpose.

Even though this election was being conducted in the middle of summer, many voters felt that the stakes were too high. Sergio, a father of three, told sources that many people he knew were fearful and enraged that an extreme-right party could gain power.

Santiago Abascal, the leader of Vox, was one of the few leaders who didn't appear to be celebrating Sunday's outcome.