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Spain's ruling People's Party takes electoral battering

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias raises his fist Credit: REUTERS/Andrea Comas

Spain's ruling party has received a bloody nose in the country's regional and local elections as voters responded to four harsh years of spending cuts.

The People's Party returned its worst results for more than 20 years as new parties rose to shake up the status quo.

New parties - market-friendly Ciudadanos, and anti-austerity Podemos - combined to punish prime minister Mariano Rajoy.

Even though PP won the most votes, it fell short of absolute majorities in most areas, and it and its traditional Socialist rivals will now have to negotiate coalitions in 13 of Spain's 17 regions.

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