But Eurasia analyst Frederic Santini said that given the improved performance of the right bloc, the "PP's leadership will now likely be more comfortable with the idea of a new election.and therefore even more reluctant to back a Socialist government".
Having increased its vote share by around 50 per cent, Vox will now will leapfrog both Podemos and Ciudadanos to become the third-largest party in the Spanish parliament, after having only just entered it for the first time in April.
Some 37 million people were eligible to cast their votes in the latest election.
The big political shift came as right-wing voters flocked to Vox, which only had broken into Parliament in the spring for the first time.
"Now they'll have to negotiate, people don't want a third election", said Isabel Romero, 65-year-old pensioner who voted for the Socialists, complaining that abstention was already high. Three Catalan separatist parties won a combined 23 seats, one more than in April.
However, this assessment might set a precedent for the other Catalan leaders living in self-imposed exile in Belgium and elected in May as MEPs, Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín, who have also launched legal challenges against the European parliament. That means Spain may face another political stalemate and months more without a stable government.
"We're ready to negotiate starting tomorrow" with the Socialists, said Pablo Iglesias, leader of the far-left Unidas Podemos which tried and failed to reach a coalition deal with Sanchez after the last election, urging the left to unite this time to stop the rise of populism.
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Conservative Popular Party leader Pablo Casado appears outside the party headquarters after the announcement of nearly 100 per cent of the general election results in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019.
Vox has also capitalised on its opposition to the recent exhumation of Fascist leader Francisco Franco - whose legacy still divides opinion in the country 44 years after his death. Casado says that "the ball is the court" of Sánchez.
There are 350 seats in the Parliament.
However, today the advocate general said once a person is elected MEP they acquired the status of an MEP "notwithstanding any subsequent formality which that person is required to complete, whether under European Union law or the national law of the Member State in question". It was organized by a clandestine activist group called Tsunami Democratic, which has staged many protests, some violent, since a dozen Catalan separatist leaders were convicted last month for their role in a push to make Catalonia independent from Spain in 2017.
He repeated his pledge to end the Catalan crisis by suspending Catalonia's regional autonomy, banning separatist parties and arresting its regional president, Quim Torra, who has vowed to continue the secession drive.
Sanchez told supporters that he was committed to forming a government.
In total more than 92,000 police will be deployed across Spain to safeguard the vote.