Spain's main parties neck and neck in EU vote

22nd May 2009, Comments 0 comments

An opinion poll predicted that Spain's ruling Socialist Party and the opposition will win the same number of seats.

Madrid – Spain's ruling Socialist Party and the opposition conservatives will win the same number of seats in the 7 June European elections, an opinion poll predicted Thursday.

The Socialists will obtain 42.8 percent of the vote and 23 seats, the same number as the opposition Popular Party, which will secure 42.2 percent of the vote, the government's CIS polling centre said.

The Coalition for Europe, composed of nationalist parties from various regions of Spain, will pick up 5.1 percent of the vote and two seats, out of the total of 50 up for grabs.

The left-wing IU-ICV coalition would get one seat, as would another alliance of nationalist parties, Europe for the People -- Greens.

Spaniards have shown little enthusiasm for the elections, with 26.9 percent of them declaring "no interest" in the campaigns, and 46.7 percent "little interest," the poll said.

The CIS said 53.2 percent are certain to cast their ballots on 7 June, while 21.2 will "probably" vote.

The governing Socialists are dealing with a deep recession which has sent unemployment soaring to over 17 percent.

The PP is embroiled in a corruption scandals, but has been encouraged by an election victory in the northwestern region of Galicia in March.

A previous poll published on April 21 in the leftist daily Publico said the PP would outperform the Socialists, winning 43.5 percent of the vote and 23 seats compared to 39 percent and 21 seats for the ruling party.

In the last elections in 2004, the Socialists won 43.3 percent of the vote to the PP's 41.4 percent, and secured 25 seats to the PP's 24, out of a total of 54 at stake.

An estimated 375 million voters across the 27 nation bloc are eligible to elect 736 deputies for a five-year term at the parliament, which is the only directly-elected EU institution and has an important role passing pan-European legislation drafted by the EU Commission.

It also passes the commission's annual budget which will be about EUR 140 billion in 2010.

The parliament, which has struggled to strengthen its standing in the continent, is expected to stay under centre-right control.

AFP / Expatica

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