Spain's King Felipe VI is starting talks with political party leaders before he is expected to call on conservative acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to try to form a government and end a near 10-month political deadlock.

Rajoy has all but secured the position after the rival Socialist party voted Sunday to end its stance of rejecting his bid and abstain in a parliamentary vote expected soon.

Two inconclusive elections since last December have left Rajoy in charge of a caretaker government. His Popular Party won both elections, but lacks a majority in Parliament and needs outside backing to form a minority government.

Felipe began the meetings Monday and will finish the round Tuesday with Rajoy. Barring a major upset, Rajoy will be elected premier within a week.