Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is meeting with the head of a small party that says it might support his bid to form a new government, but little indicates they will reach an agreement soon that could end an eight-month political deadlock following two inconclusive elections.

Rajoy met with Albert Rivera of the business-friendly Ciudadanos on Thursday, a day after he admitted his party had not studied a package of reforms Ciudadanos presented last week as a condition for talks.

Rajoy's conservative Popular Party, in power since 2011, won the last election with 137 seats, 39 short of a majority in the 350-seat parliament and needs outside support to win an investiture vote.

If he fails, Spain could face months more of caretaker government and possibly a third election.