Politics

General election

Polls say Spain's opposition PP on course for absolute majority

Reuters

Madrid

11/02/2011

A Sigma Dos poll gave the PP a lead of 14.8 percentage points, or enough to win 191 out of 350 seats in the lower chamber and avoid the need to negotiate with regional parties.

  • A Sigma Dos poll gives the PP a lead of 14.8 percentage points. Photo: EFE

    A Sigma Dos poll gives the PP a lead of 14.8 percentage points. Photo: EFE

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Spain's opposition People's Party (PP) is on course to win an absolute majority in Nov. 20 elections over a Socialist government reeling from austerity measures and Europe's highest unemployment rate, according to opinion polls on Sunday.

A Sigma Dos poll published in right-leaning daily El Mundo gave the PP a lead of 14.8 percentage points, or enough to win 191 out of 350 seats in the lower chamber and avoid the need to negotiate with regional parties, as many Spanish governments have had to since democracy was restored in 1978.

Pollster Metroscopia estimated the PP were 15 points ahead in a separate survey published in centre-left daily El Pais.

It added that while Socialist candidate and former Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba's personal rating had improved since Basque separatist group ETA declared an end to its 43 years of armed struggle on Oct. 20, his party's had not.

Metroscopia noted that only 44 percent of Socialist supporters were prepared to vote for Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's party amid disenchantment over joblessness and austerity measures designed to avoid a bailout as in other euro zone members Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Unemployment figures released on Friday were the highest in 15 years at nearly five million and analysts said there were few prospects that a battered economy could create new jobs in the near future.

The PP has yet to publish an explicit manifesto, but is widely expected to step up cost-cutting. Analysts point out, however, that voters are so keen to ditch the Socialists that
they will take a chance with the PP's Mariano Rajoy even if they do not fully know what he plans.

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