MADRID (AP) — Polls suggest that if Spain were to hold new elections no party would obtain a majority and negotiations for a coalition government would continue as now except anti-austerity Podemos party would lose support to business-oriented Ciudadanos.
Elections held Dec. 20 produced a fragmented parliament with no party winning a majority in the 350-seat chamber. Lawmakers have been locked in negotiations since, but if they fail to form a government within the next two months another general election will be held June 26.
A survey by pollster Metroscopia published Sunday by El Pais newspaper said the conservative Popular Party has the support of 26 percent of voters against 23.1 percent for the Socialist Party, 19.5 percent for centrist Ciudadanos and 16.8 for far-left Podemos.
This means new elections wouldn't resolve the stalemate as the Popular Party, led by acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who is running a caretaker government, lost 2.7 percentage points since the election, according to the poll, while the Socialists gained just over a point — not enough to break the current deadlock.
Although the far-left Podemos group lost 3.9 percentage points while Ciudadanos gained 5.6 percentage points, no party would gain a majority, the poll said.
Another survey by pollster GAD3 published in newspaper ABC showed similar results, adding that Ciudadano's Albert Rivera was the leader who had improved most in voters' opinion, given his willingness to form a coalition with the Socialists.
Considering that the Interior Ministry said the Dec. 20 elections cost the government more than 130 million euros, these predictions add pressure on politicians to hammer out an agreement to form a government.
Metroscopia said its poll questioned 1,200 adults by telephone on March 8-9, and it has a 2.9 percentage-point margin of error while GAD3 surveyed 800 by telephone on March 7-10 with a 3.5 percentage-point margin of error.