Spain looks set for a snap general election — or slow agony for Pedro Sánchez. The Socialist prime minister had his 2019 budget plans rejected by parliament on Wednesday, prompting his office to say that on Friday he’ll announce if there will be an early ballot — which could be as soon as April. Catalan pro-independence lawmakers joined forces with the right-of-center opposition to defeat the budget proposal — paving the way for an electoral test that polls predict Sánchez will win but fall short of being able to put together a coalition. The news follows days of speculation about election dates, ranging from April 14 and 28 to May 26. The latter has already been dubbed “Super Sunday” because it would coincide with European, regional and local ballots.
A Cabinet minister told POLITICO all options are on the table, including an election in the fall, and all have pros and cons. Two other aides of the prime minister said it will be a personal decision by Sánchez.
The Socialist leader could dig in and wait until the summer of 2020 to dissolve parliament — and some allies and rivals remain convinced that he won’t risk losing power so soon — but an early ballot looks to be the most likely outcome.