Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) members have re-elected Pedro Sánchez as their new secretary general.
With 99% of the votes counted, Sánchez had won 50.2% of the ballots, followed by Susana Diaz in second place on 39.9% and Patxi López in third place with 9.6%.
In a resounding victory, Mr. Sánchez improved on his previous 2014 win by some 3,000 votes and beat Mrs. Diaz by more than 10 percentage points and more than 15,000 votes.
Several Spanish media outlets reported shortly after 9:35 p.m. that Susana Diaz had phoned Mr. Sánchez to concede defeat.
PSOE MP Odón Elorza, a member of Sánchez's team, tweeted: "That's it!! The epic story won!!! Pedro and a team of thousands of socialists won".
Excited Pedro Sánchez supporters were filmed singing socialist anthem The Internationale, fists raised, outside PSOE HQ in Madrid.
An elated winner appeared shortly before 11:30 p.m. to applause and cheers: "We are the vanguard of the political system in Spain".
"When the PSOE wins, Spain wins", he said, adding that he aimed to be the leader of "all the members of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party".
He said he wanted the PSOE to become "the party of the Spanish left", and promised to rebuild the party "to change Spain and regenerate Spain".
Susana Diaz accepted her defeat but did not mention Pedro Sánchez by name or congratulate him during her speech.
She thanked members for taking part in the ballot and that she would "get stuck in and do whatever the party needed" to move forward: "The PSOE has to be a governing alternative in Spain".
Patxi López said in a press conference after the results were announced that this was now "the end of the internal process" and that "Spanish society is now waiting for us" to be the "reference on the left".
The spokesman for party administrators, Mario Jiménez, confirmed that the leadership ballot had been clean and had taken place without incident.
At around 10:15 p.m., PSOE parliamentary spokesman Antonio Hernando—who had previously worked for Mr. Sánchez but then switched loyalties to Susana Diaz and the party administrators—announced he was resigning with immediate effect.
Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias tweeted: "PSOE members have decided and have sent a very clear message. Congratulations and good luck, Sánchez".
In October 2016, Mr. Sánchez was ousted in a palace coup by senior PSOE leaders, including Mrs. Diaz.
Compared to the signatures each candidate had presented on becoming a candidate, Susana Diaz managed to win fewer votes (54,000) than signatures (59,000), whereas Messrs Sánchez and López both improved their scores.
Mr. Sánchez won in all Spanish regions except Andalusia and Aragón, where Mrs. Díaz won, and the Basque Country, Patxi López's home territory.
Published: 12:07 am, May 22 2017 (link)
El País Slams Sánchez, Compares Victory To Brexit, Trump, Corbyn
In an editorial on Sunday night, Spanish daily El País called Pedro Sánchez's victory in the PSOE leadership election "cause for deep worry" and said his campaign had copied the ones for Brexit, Donald Trump and the Colombian peace referendum: "where emotion and blind outrage were successfully positioned against reason, arguments and contrasted facts". The newspaper said "a populist moment" had occurred "in the heart of a party that is essential for governing our country", in a similar manner to the French Socialist Party, "at the hands of the radical Benôit Hamon", or the British Labour Party "led by the populist Jeremy Corbyn". "The demagoguery […] of those at the bottom against those at the top has beaten truth, merit and reason", the paper wrote, adding that the Spanish political system must now face "a very difficult situation".