Poll puts Socialists, PP in virtual tie as election nears

18th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

Governing party's lead lowest since Barajas bombing

18 February 2008

MADRID - With just three weeks to go before the 9 March general election, the opposition Popular Party (PP) is closing in on the Socialist Party's lead, according to a voting intention survey released Friday. The gap is the lowest in the entire legislature, except for one poll taken after the 2006 bombing by ETA of Barajas airport.

The survey, conducted by the Centre for Sociological Studies (CIS) shows that the Socialists have an advantage of 1.5 percentage points over the PP, a lead that would give the governing party between one and 10 more seats in Congress than its rival. In 2004 the Socialists won with a 4.8-percent lead over the PP.

With the economic downturn a central point of the campaign, the CIS survey shows that 24.4 percent of voters think the PP would do a better job on the economic front than the Socialists, while 31.4 percent feel it would make no difference, and 26.5 percent said the opposition would do a poorer job.

While antiterrorist policies and devolution of power to the regions were the main bones of contention between both parties over the last four years, the economy is dominating the campaign. The latest row came over recently released figures showing a pick-up in GDP growth that the opposition says have been manipulated to favour the government.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / SUSANA URRA 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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