Polls suggest Unidos Podemos could become Spain's 2nd force

AP News
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Posted: Jun 05, 2016 10:40 AM

MADRID (AP) — The far left Unidos Podemos alliance in Spain could boost its share of the vote in a new election to overtake the Socialists as the main opposition party, according to new polls published Sunday.

The surveys by three private pollsters showed the conservative Popular Party could win the election — albeit not with a sufficient majority to form a government. But all three polls coincided in suggesting newcomer Unidos Podemos could become Spain's second political force, ousting the Socialists who have traditionally rotated in power within a two-party system with the Popular Party.

Voters, outraged by 20-percent unemployment, austerity cuts and seemingly endless corruption scandals engulfing the Popular Party and Socialists, fractured Spain's well-established two-party political bedrock into four in a Dec. 20 general election. This enabled Podemos and business-friendly Ciudadanos to enter parliament.

The fragmentation meant the Popular Party, which had held power for four years, didn't secure a majority to form a government.

Months of negotiations failed to break the deadlock and a new election was set for June 26.

Metroscopia's survey published in El Pais said 1,200 adults consulted from May 31 to June 1 gave the Popular Party 28.5 percent of votes compared to 25.6 for Unidos Podemos and 20.2 percent for the Socialists, with a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

Sigma Dos's survey in El Mundo said the Popular Party could get 31 percent support to 23.7 percent for Unidos Podemos and 20.3 percent for Socialists, having quizzed 1,000 adults in a May 31 to June 2 survey with a 3.16 percentage point error margin.

El Espanol said the Popular Party could obtain 27.7 percent while Unidos Podemos would be at 24.3 percent and the Socialists at 21.6 percent, having asked 1,000 adults in a June 1-3 survey with a 3.1 percent margin of error.