Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez bags 167 votes in 350-seat assembly compared to 165 against, with a decisive 18 abstentions by Catalan and Basque separatist lawmakers.
Neither the left nor the right bloc are anywhere near an absolute majority in the 350-seat assembly following Sunday's polls.
Meet the candidates running for prime minister: Pedro Sanchez, Pablo Casado, Albert Rivera, Pablo Iglesias and Santiago Abascal.
Catalan lawmakers announce that they will officially start secession from Spain next week, defying warnings from the country's king that national stability was in danger.
Pablo Iglesias, leader of Spain's anti-austerity party Podemos says coalition conditions look impossible.
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