Rajoy say he wants to keep leading the Popular Party despite his loss Sunday in Spain's prime minister ballot to incumbent Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, El Pais reported Wednesday.
It was the second straight loss to Zapatero for Rajoy.
Spain's leading Socialist Party won 168 parliamentary seats Sunday to 154 for the Popular Party.
Rising inflation and unemployment, as well as a faltering housing market and immigration, were key issues in the election.
The Socialist Party ran on its liberal reform measures of gender-equality laws and same-sex marriages, while the Popular Party stressed immigration.