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Spanish Voters In Repeat General Election

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Some 25 million Spanish voters are having their say in a general election, just six months after the last one resulted in a stalemate.

The conservative Popular Party, also known as the People's Party, won the most votes in December's election but it was not able to get a majority in parliament, as it did four years earlier.

The party's leader and incumbent prime minister Mariano Rajoy was not able to get enough support from rival parties to form a coalition or minority government.

Pedro Sanchez, leader of the second-placed Socialists, was also unable to reach a deal that would have seen him govern the country.

Opinion polls say this election may not provide a solution either, with the Popular Party expected to gain the most votes but, again, fall short of a parliamentary majority.

But the far-left Unidos Podemos (United We Can) alliance, which partners Podemos and the smaller United Left party, may win second place and overtake the centre-left Spanish Socialist Workers' Party.

The socialists and Unidos Podemos could then create a broad left-of-centre coalition.

The election comes as Spain continues to emerge from its 2013 recession and its consequent cuts in health and public education.

Although the country is now one of Europe's fastest-growing economies, its 20% unemployment rate is the second highest in the European Union after Greece.

Spaniards have been left disillusioned with politics following corruption scandals that have engulfed the Popular Party and the socialists, and it is expected that voter turnout will be low.

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