The Spanish Parliament voted down a second bid late Friday by Pedro Sanchez, leader of Socialist Party (PSOE), for the post of prime minister in a minority government, following a failed attempt two days earlier.
The 44-year-old lawmaker needed a simple majority in the yes-or-no vote, which he lost 131-219 in the 350-seat chamber.
During the debate in the lower house, Sanchez said that the country "could not wait a minute longer for the renewal of its political life to begin."
Spain has struggled to form a government since inconclusive polls on December 20.
King Felipe VI last month asked Sanchez to try to form a government after conservative premier Mariano Rajoy was unable to secure enough support from other parties.
If Sanchez fails in his second bid, parties have until May 2 to form a new government. Should they remain unsuccessful new elections are to be called for June 26.