Pro-gay, socialist Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has won re-election this evening as voters ignored worries about the economy and the Basque militants.

Although with 92 per cent of the votes counted, the Socialist party will not have an absoloute majority, it is understood he will form an alliance with smaller parties in order to govern the country.

“The Spanish people have spoken clearly and decided to start a new era,” Mr Zapatero told supporters outside his party’s headquaters in Madrid.

“I will govern with a firm but open hand. I will govern for all, but do so thinking most of all of those in need.”

The conservative opposition have admitted defeat as the Socialist party won 43.8 per cent of the vote (as of 11pm GMT) to their 40.1 per cent.

In an interview with a gay magazine last month, Mr Zapatero promised to fight any attempt to remove or weaken gay rights laws he has introduced as Prime Minister.

During his four years in office he has legalised gay marriage and given same-sex couples the right to adopt.

The main opposition party Partido Popular declined to be interviewed for the magazine.

Mariano Rajoy, who leads the conservative PP, had stated he was ready to take away the right to adopt from gay couples.