MADRID (AP) — Spain's conservative Popular Party could boost its share of the vote in fresh elections next month but not by a sufficient margin to break the stalemate that has prevented formation of a new government since December, according to a new poll.
The survey by private pollster Metroscopia published Sunday in newspaper El Pais also suggests the newcomer Unidos Podemos alliance could oust the Socialists as Spain's main opposition party.
Metroscopia's poll showed support for the Popular Party increasing to 29.9 percent from 20.8 percent in Dec., with the Socialists dipping to 20.2 percent from 21.9 percent.
Unidos Podemos moved ahead of the socialists with 23.2 percent of the vote.
Podemos merged with far-left Izquierda Unida in a bid to break the political paralysis prevalent since the inconclusive election, which left none of the parties able to form a coalition government.
Months of negotiations failed to secure a breakthrough so another general election will be held June 26. However, with similar results expected, the stalemate could continue.
Voters, angered by 20 percent unemployment, austerity cuts and corruption, had fractured Spain's long-standing two-party system in four, with Podemos and business-friendly Ciudadanos entering Parliament alongside the Popular Party and Socialists.
The Popular Party has been in power for four years and heads a caretaker government but has been mired in corruption cases that have hampered its ability to coax another party to join it in a coalition.
Rajoy said it would be "very bad news if Podemos were to become the second political force."
Speaking at a Madrid rally, Socialist Party leader Pedro Sanchez said if his party won, "there would be a new government in a week, a clean government."
The pollster says it quizzed 1,200 adults in a May 17-18 survey that has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.
This story has been corrected to show that party name is Unidos Podemos not Podemos Unidos.