Spain’s leftists lead in polls, but makeup of possible new government still up in the air

EPA-EFE//PEPE TORRES

Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, delivers a speech during the closing ceremony of an event held for the research and development and innovation in the strategy for the artificial intelligence in Granada, Spain, 4 March 2019.

Spain’s leftists lead in polls, but makeup of possible new government still up in the air


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Spain’s ruling Socialists (PSOE) are polling ahead of the main political rivals, the Popular Party, ahead of national elections on 28 April, according to five recent polls. The results, however, may, in the end, mean little as single-party governments have become increasingly difficult to form.

Socialists would win 134 seats in the upcoming election due April 28, though would fall short of a majority in the 350-seat parliament forcing it to seek allies to pass legislation. A coalition of conservative parties would also not win enough seats to hold a majority, with the People’s Party taking 87 seats, Ciudadanos capturing 38 seats, and the right-wing Vox party holding another 36 seats.

Due to the ideological commitment to the unitary state of the right, as opposed to tolerance for devolved governance in the left, the left may have an advantage. PSOE is committed to the process of negotiating devolved governance to groups that include Catalonia’s secessionists – a policy that galvanises the right, which has pledged to keep Spain a unitary state.

The Socialists natural ally at this point is Unidos Podemos, whose electoral influence has deflated and are currently polling between 11.4% (SocioMétrica/El Español 5-8 March) and 14% (KeyData/Público, March 9), which translates to 30 to 43 seats.

The anti-systemic thrust of the party has suffered as it sheds electoral influence both to the Socialists and to more clearly national-regional parties. The question is whether they are now willing to join a future government, as a formal coalition partner, or continue to support a minority government.

According to the latest polls, the People’s Party polls between 17.1% (SocioMétrica/El Español 5-8 March) and 21,5% (KeyData/Público, March 9), while Ciudadanos hovers between 13.2% (GAD3/ABC, March 4-8) and 17.8% (SocioMétrica/El Español) and could hope for anything from 55 to 65 seats. Vox is also in the double-digits with projections ranging from 10.2% (KeyData/Público) to 12.3% (electoPanel/electomania) and can hope to gain 22-to-36 seats.

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