MADRID (AP) — Spain's four major political parties kicked off a two-week election campaign early Friday, aiming to break a deadlock that left the country with a caretaker government after voters shattered the nation's traditional two-party system.
Campaigning began just after midnight Thursday for the June 26 vote, with rallies by acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the conservative Popular Party, Pedro Sanchez of the Socialists, Pablo Iglesias of the far-left Unidos Podemos alliance and Albert Rivera of the business-friendly Ciudadanos.
Polls suggest the Popular Party will win the most votes as it did in the last election on Dec. 20 but again fall far short of its 2011-2015 parliamentary majority.
The surveys indicate Unidos Podemos could take 2nd place, overtaking the Socialists, with Ciudadanos fourth.
Analysts predict the vote could yield another political stalemate, with parties negotiating for months to try to form a coalition and Spain heading for a third election if they again fail to do so.
This story corrects that campaigning began early Friday and not at midnight Thursday.