While there is yet not formal announcement, nor candidate, nor anything specific in positive, there are good reasons to suspect that a "great coalition" of the regime's parties has been agreed all the this time and only awaits formal announcement.
What has happened in the Spain in this last month that has installed that conviction in my mind and soon in that of everybody?
- Almost every single leader of the PSOE, even those who govern regionally with Podemos, have been vocal against any sort of pact with the rising star of the Spanish political spectrum. Emphasis has been on the issue of the right to self-determination for Catalonia and other stateless nations but it is clearly more than just that.
- PSOE and Podemos have barely talked with each other in all this time. Apparently only three short phone calls have taken place between the leaders of the parties, Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias. Meanwhile it is widely known that Sánchez talks every day with the leader of the, numerically irrelevant, yuppie party Ciudadanos.
- The PSOE has been consciously dedicated to humiliate, deprecate and sideline Podemos as much as they can:
- They pacted the composition of the boards of both chambers in a way that Podemos would get minimal representation. They had no problem promoting a member of their regional Basque ally, the conservative EAJ-PNV to the Senate's board however.
- They lent senators to the Catalan nationalists to allow them to have parliamentary groups but blockaded every attempt by the Podemos and United Left associated coalitions to form groups in the lower house.
- They have just supported a distribution of physical seats that places Podemos representatives on the back ranks, behind of much smaller groups, against all rules and traditions.
- When Podemos made a concise public offer of coalition, all second-rank PSOE leaders booed it, claiming it was a "humiliation" (no specific reason was ever provided). Pedro Sánchez did not openly decline it but his right hand, Luena, later explained to the press that they preferred to govern alone. With 80 seats?! Obviously another provocation and humiliation.
What do all these signs say? Clearly that the PSOE is committed to a "great coalition". Sure, Sánchez made the empty gesture of traveling to Lisbon to consult with his Euro-party colleague and current Prime Minister there A. Costa, who leads also a coalition government with the real left parties, who have extracted major programmatic concessions, but what has done this side of the border has been absolutely nothing other than posing for the cameras and sabotaging his potential ally. So the writing on the wall is clear and every day more so: there will be some sort of "great coalition" and no second elections.
Why no new elections? Because it would damage the PSOE and Ciudadanos at the expense of the PP and Podemos. They could in theory allow for a PSOE-Podemos coalition without further supports but the PSOE would be further damaged, something that Sánchez cannot probably afford as the weak leader he is. Anyhow it is obvious by now that this coalition will never coalesce.