MADRID —  Spain’s Socialists increased their lead in two polls published late Saturday, with support from 28.8% to 30.3% of voters, but they fell short of a majority ahead of a general election on April 28.

A poll by El Pais newspaper gave the Socialists of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez 129 out of 350 seats in the parliament.

If a coalition was formed with their main ally, anti-austerity Podemos, they would hold a combined 162 seats, short of the 176 needed to secure a majority.

A coalition of three right-wing parties — People’s Party (PP), Ciudadanos and Vox — would get 44.4% of votes, or 156 seats, 20 short of a majority.

To be re-elected, Sanchez would have to form a wide-ranging and delicate parliamentary majority with the support of the array of parties, including Podemos and Catalan pro-independence parties, that backed him last June when he won a vote of confidence against PP’s government at the time.

But last February those Catalan parties voted against his budget proposal, forcing him to call for a snap election.

Another poll published by newspaper El Mundo gave the Socialists a potentially closer path to the premiership, but also to the three right-wing parties, in a sign of how close next week’s election could be. AP

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