Spain's ruling conservatives won regional elections in Andalusia on Sunday but fell short of an outright majority that would have allowed them to govern solo, partial results showed.
With just over 90% of the votes counted, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's Popular Party won 50 seats in the 109-seat Andalusian legislature compared to 47 seats for the Socialists.
The communist-led United Left coalition picked up 12 seats, double what it obtained in the last regional elections in 2008, and has the balance of power in the new assembly.
A party needs at least 55 seats for an outright majority in the assembly of Spain's most populous region.
The Socialists have ruled the regional government in Andalusia since Spain returned to democracy after the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975.
The Popular Party won national elections in November by a landslide after making huge gains in regional elections in May last year when they took outright control of 11 regions.