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Majority of Spaniards see new elections as inevitable - poll

Source: Reuters - Sun 14th Feb 2016
Majority of Spaniards see new elections as inevitable - poll

A majority of Spaniards believe that new national elections will have to be called given that party leaders have been unable to agree on a viable coalition after an inconclusive poll in December, a survey showed on Sunday.

The head of the Socialist party, Pedro Sanchez, is leading talks to form a government and end the almost two-month political stalemate, but so far he has made little progress.

Sanchez said on Friday he hoped to reach an agreement over a coalition by the end of the month and would seek a confidence vote in parliament in early March. Failure in the vote would give other party candidates two more months to form an alternative majority before a new election would be called.

According to the survey, by polling firm GAD3 for the newspaper ABC, about 58% of the 800 people polled said parties would not be able to reach an agreement and new elections would be held, almost 5% more than a month ago.

Sanchez has ruled out backing acting PM Mariano Rajoy's centre-right People's Party (PP), and disagreements with anti-austerity party Podemos are making his preferred coalition of leftist parties difficult to attain.

Furthermore, the support of Podemos alone for a coalition would not be enough. The Socialists would need the backing of at least three parties and the abstention of several others to achieve a majority.

Sanchez, who came second in the December election, is eager to avoid a return to the ballot box. Recent surveys show Podemos overtaking the Socialists if another election were held.

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