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Spanish election looms: voters divided over range of party choices

podemosSpain’s anti-austerity party Podemos together with its allies could pip the Socialists at the post in the forthcoming general election.

If so, it could become the country’s main opposition.

Three separate polls taken on Sunday, three weeks in advance of the fresh election, have all indicated that this may be the will of the people.

Published in El Pais, El Mundo and El Espanol, the results showed the Popular Party of acting Prime Minister Rajoy again gaining top place but again without a governing majority.

In the inconclusive December election, the PP had nearly 29%. Sunday’s surveys suggest the new result could be between 28 and 31%.

The Socialists last time managed second place but could be flung down to third with a predicted result of 20 or 22%.

In December Podemos was given nearly 21% of the vote. After the election it held out for months but only after a new election was called did it form an alliance with its smaller rival United Left. This move could see a gain of between 24 and 26%.

The polls indicate that centrist Ciudadanos would still come in fourth.

The introduction of new parties has overturned the ping-pong governance of the right-of-centre Popular Party and the left-of-centre Socialists, making it difficult for analysts to call. The complex political situation also led to a hung parliament and negotiations on possible coalitions which all came to nought.

Following the outcome of the December vote, the country has been in the hands of a caretaker government with limited power.

Spain needs one party with a majority of seats or a coalition to capture a majority. Last time neither was forthcoming. With another hung parliament in the balance, the betting is on to see if coalition talks this time around will bear fruit.