The Socialists' margin of victory was not as large as it was four years ago, when [Felipe Gonzalez] was swept into office with 202 of the 350 seats in a triumph many Spaniards looked on as their final rejection of the fascist [Francisco Franco] dictatorship. But even reduced, Gonzalez's new majority is ample enough to insure that he can govern with ease.
Gonzalez and the Socialists lost some ground to centrist and regional parties. In the view of many analysts, a protest vote appeared to be at work. A number of Spaniards who support the Socialists on many issues have recently complained of Socialist arrogance and evidently voted for other parties in hopes of reducing the Socialist majority as a kind of lesson in humility.
The heavy Socialist vote was spread throughout the country, but there were still pockets of discontent. Although the Socialists won the largest number of seats from the Basque region, they were outpolled by the various Basque nationalist parties.