Spain's crippling economy and record unemployment have finally threatened the Socialist Party's seven-year rule led by Jose Luis Rodrigues Zapatero, the prime minister.
On Sunday voters went to the polls in what was expected to bring a meteoric shift to the center-right, with opinion polls putting the Popular Party candidate Mariano Rajoy well ahead.
Rajoy has vowed to make austerity cuts "everywhere" except for pensions, but has given little of the details away. European leaders will be watching the results closely to see whether this will be the man who can lift the Eurozone's fifth-largest economy back onto its feet.
Can a new set of leaders rescue a country that is headed into another recession? And how is the financial crisis dictating the political future of countries across Europe?
Inside Story, with presenter Laura Kyle, discusses with guests: Raul Ramirez Hidalgo, the managing director of Cortefiel Group; Adam Myers, a senior market strategist at Credit Agricole; and Piotre Kachinski, a research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies.