The Spanish parliament was dissolved earlier this week and PM Mariano Rajoy announced that the General Election will take place on 20th December. Although the electoral campaign will not kick off until the 4th December, many opinion surveys are being published and show a very fragmented outcome.
By Paula Martín Camargo, Editor
The last plenary of Rajoy’s PP government term in office took place last week with the usual bitter exchange of reproaches between him and the leaders of the opposition – who accused him of lying repeatedly and of corruption within the governing People’s Party. However, recent polls continue to suggest that the two-party system may still dominate Spanish political life, though the new parties (Ciudadanos and Podemos) will be the 'key to the Moncloa' (the official residence of the Prime Minister).
A pact may be indispensable to form a new government between the old politics - ‘the caste’ (as Podemos’ Iglesias likes to call the biggest Spanish political parties) and the `new politics' (as the new political parties like to call themselves).
But pacts aren’t to the taste of PM Rajoy, who claimed during the plenary – once again - that the list with the most votes should be the one to prevail and said that he “would only govern if the PP wins”. However, this is unlikely to happen: the most recent surveys show a very fragmented distribution of seats and the most supported pact - according to a poll by Invymark for LaSexta in which voters where asked what coalition they would prefer - would be the one formed by PP and Ciudadanos (with the support of 29,4% of the voters). An alliance between PSOE and Podemos government would have 26,2% of popular support; a PSOE & Ciudadanos government would only be approved by 17,2% of the Spanish population.
Latest opinion polls
1. According to the outcome of Sigma-dos survey for Mediaset on the estimated votes, PM Rajoy’s PP would win again the General Election on 20th December with 27,4% of the votes but far away from an absolute majority. PSOE, led by Pedro Sánchez, would be second. Since the last poll by Sigmados in July, both these parties have lost 1,4 and 0,5 percentage points, respectively; these votes would go for Ciudadanos and Podemos, which would win 18,1 and 16,3% of the votes respectively.
Source: Sigma-dos for Mediaset
2. TV station La Sexta ‘barometer’ by Invymark (see graphic below) shows that the PP would win again with 28,6% of the votes, and a pact between PM Rajoy’s party and Ciudadanos would be supported by 29,4% of the population. The independent survey suggests a big fall in support for Podemos, losing almost 3 points since the beginning of October.
Source: Barometer by Invymark for LaSexta TV station
3. J&A poll for Publico.es affirms that Ciudadanos has shot up in the latest polls so a pact with it would be essential for the PP to reach the Moncloa again, given that Rajoy’s party would suffer a major electoral collapse. On current form, the PP would only be able to govern if it forms a coalition with Albert Rivera’s Cidadanos.
Source: J&A poll for Publico.es
4. Another poll by the independent statistics institute Metroscopia for El País indicates a tighter gap between PP and PSOE, but both polls agree on signalling the ‘newly arrived’ Ciudadanos and Podemos as necessary allies on the way to the Spanish ‘White Hall’ (the Moncloa, the official residence of the Prime Minister).
However, the main conclusion to be drwan from the chart below is the substantial collapse of Podemos since the summer: the leftist party gained nearly 8% of the seats in the election to the European Parliament only three months after being born in March 2014, and reached the 25% estimated votes shortly afterwards - topping the Spanish opinion polls. But support has crumbled in favor of Ciudadanos (C's), with an astonishing rise from 8% of the estimated votes in 2014 (the year that it expanded from Catalonia to the rest of the country) to the current 21,5% estimated votes. This surge has probably made it the 'key' to any future government. Albert Rivera's party may thus be indispensable for Rajoy to obtain a second mandate, and the drain of estimated votes from Rajoy's PP to Ciudadanos confirms that this pact would be much appreciated by the right wing of the population.
Source: Metroscopia for El País
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