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New poll confirms Spanish parties will be forced to reach elusive deals

Source: El Pais - Thu 9th Jun 2016
New poll confirms Spanish parties will be forced to reach elusive deals

The Popular Party (PP) will win the Spanish general election of June 26, but lose two to five seats in parliament, putting it even further from the majority it needs to form a government, according to a new voter intention poll.

Even though the survey shows the conservatives performing even better than on December 20, with 29.2% of the popular vote, Spanish electoral law grants them anywhere between 118 and 121 seats, compared with the 123 it secured then.

The inconclusive results of that first vote yielded a fragmented Congress, and various attempts at coalition-building were fruitless. Spain has been under a caretaker PP government since then.

The voter poll released on Thursday by the Center for Sociology Studies (CIS) was conducted between May 4 and 22, when Podemos and United Left (IU) had already decided to run together on June 26 as Unidos Podemos. This alliance is set to obtain between 88 and 92 deputies, a significant improvement from December, when Podemos and its regional partners obtained 69 seats while IU managed two.

The leftist group’s improved forecast comes at the expense of the Socialist Party (PSOE), which earned 90 seats in December, making them the second most-voted force in Spain. But this latest poll suggests that the PSOE could slip down to 21.2% of the vote, representing between 78 and 80 seats.

As for the other emerging party, Ciudadanos, it would improve in terms of votes, rising from 13.93% to 14.16%, yet drop from 40 seats to 38 or 39 because of the way votes are weighed under the Spanish voting system.

Minority parties that run on regional platforms will lose some support: the Catalan Republican Left stands to lose a seat and Democràcia i Llibertat could shed one or two; the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) is set to lose a deputy, while Bildu, the radical Basque party, could gain one.

The poll sets the abstention rate at 11%, while 22% of respondents said they didn’t know whether they would vote or for whom. Abstention on December 20 was 26.8%.

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