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Spain's ruling PP tops election poll, Podemos pips PSOE

Source: Reuters - Fri 6th Feb 2015
Spain's ruling PP tops election poll, Podemos pips PSOE

Spain's anti-austerity Podemos party would come second in an election to the ruling Partido Popular but ahead of the PSOE, a poll showed on Wednesday, fuelling uncertainty about the country's political stability.

No clear majority would emerge from the vote, forcing the main parties to try to form a coalition, according to the poll from the Centro de Investigaciones Sociologicas (CIS), the nation's most closely-watched political survey.

The next Spanish general election is due by year-end.

Support for the conservative Partido Popular and the Socialist PSOE, the two dominant parties since Spain's return to democracy in the late 1970s, has fallen to a record low after a series of corruption scandals and tough welfare cuts.

This is mostly benefiting to one-year-old Podemos, whose left-wing policies and surging pre-election popularity have drawn comparisons with Greece's new Syriza rulers.

The PP would take 27.3% of the vote, while Podemos would get 23.9% and the PSOE 22.2%, according to the CIS survey carried out in early January through a poll of 2,500 people.

With newcomer Podemos now grabbing the biggest share of the leftist vote, the Socialist Party may have to decide between backing a grand coalition with its centre-right PP opponents or a left-wing government lead by Podemos.

Like Syriza in Greece, Podemos is hoping to win power by overtaking the two leading parties and emerging as the dominant party on the left.

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