Spain's opposition increases lead over Socialists
A poll conducted before the government’s cabinet shuffle reveals a 3-percent-increase in support for Spain’s conservative opposition party.MADRID – Spain's conservative opposition has increased its lead over the governing Socialists amid the country's worst recession in a generation, a poll published Sunday suggested.
The opposition Popular Party registered 43.4 percent of eligible voters, compared to 39 percent support for Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's Socialists, said the poll published in left-wing daily Publico.
The telephone poll suggested a net improvement in the opposition's position, with the June European parliament elections approaching.
Publico's previous comparable poll, gave the PP only 40.7 percent of the vote compared to the Socialists' 39.2 percent. It was published by Publico on 5 April and conducted between 25 February and 18 March.
The latest poll of 3,204 people was carried out between 10 March and 2 April, before Zapatero's April 7 cabinet shuffle.
The premier replaced his economy and finance minister in what was widely seen as an attempt to bolster his government's sagging popularity.
Spain's unemployment rate hit 15.5 percent in February, the highest level in the 27-nation European Union and nearly double the average of 7.9 percent for the entire bloc.
It is rising at the fastest rate in the developed world, according to the Bank of Spain.
This is largely down to how the global financial crisis has hit the real estate sector, which for the last decade has been the country's motor of growth.
AFP / Expatica