Spain's governing Socialists more popular despite crisis

10th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Spain's governing Socialist Party has gained popularity in recent months despite the economic crisis and now trails the opposition party by only a small margin, an opinion poll released Monday said.

If elections were held today, the main conservative opposition Popular Party would win with 39.5 percent of the vote compared to 38 percent for the Socialists of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, according to the CIS polling institute.

It said the PP's 1.5-percent lead is down from a figure of 3.8 percent in a CIS poll in January.

The next legislative elections in Spain are not scheduled until 2012.

The PP, which has been embroiled in a corruption scandal since February last year, has been unable to capitalise on the country's economic turmoil and soaring unemployment, which has reached over 20 percent.

Spain entered its worst recession in decades at the end of 2008 as the global financial meltdown compounded a crisis in the Spanish property market, which had been a major driver for growth in previous years.

Central bank figures last week showed Spain scraped out of recession in the first quarter of this year, becoming the last major world economy to return to growth.

The CIS poll of 2,479 people was carried out between April 6 and 14.

© 2010 AFP

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