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New MEPs: 64

 Group*  Party  MEPs
 Socialist  Soc Work/
 People Coal
 Centre-Right  Popular/
Coal Eur
 Liberal  Catalan  2
 Green    0
 United Left  Utd Left  4
 Far Right    0
 Independent    2

Voting System
Proportional representation by national list, allocated under the d'Hondt system.

Main Parties:
  Popular Party
  Socialist Party
  United Left



Spain's opposition Socialists have narrowed the gap between themselves and the ruling centre-right Popular Party with less than a year before the country's next general election.

The Socialists gained two seats, making a total of 24, while Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar saw his party lose one seat bringing their total to 27.

On the share of the votes cast, the Socialists gained five points, on 35%, with the government down less than 1%, on 39%.

Although the poll sets up an exciting run-up to the general election, the Popular Party was quick to claim victory.

Loyola de Palacio, who topped the government's candidate list said: "The result is a clear sign of support for the government and for the Popular Party at all levels."

As both main parties claimed a triumph, perhaps the real loser in the poll was the United Left whose vote plummeted by more than half to 6%.

With a turnout at over 60%, Spain recorded one of the higher levels of participation as many voters stayed at home across the rest of the continent.

The poll coincided with votes for regional assemblies and municipal authorities.

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