Spain's right more popular despite corruption

3rd November 2009, Comments 0 comments

A poll reveals growing support for the popular party amid corruption scandals and suggests that unemployment remains the top priority for voters.

Madrid – Spain's conservative opposition party has widened its lead over the governing Socialist Party despite being embroiled in a corruption scandal for the past nine months, an opinion poll released Monday said.

If elections were held now, the opposition Popular Party would win with 41 percent of votes to 37.7 percent for the Socialists of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the poll by the Centre for Sociological Investigations (CIS) institute said.

A previous CIS poll released in July gave the PP a lead of just 2.2 points.

The latest survey comes amid an escalating corruption scandal involving a number of PP members in the Valencia and Madrid regions in which bribes were allegedly paid for public contracts.

But it was carried out between 7 and 14 October, before the most recent developments in the scandal, which has been front-page news in Spain since it erupted in February.

A poll published on Sunday by the daily centre-left El Pais showed that the PP had a lead of just 0.4 points over the Socialist Party.

The CIS offered one possible explanation for the growing support for the PP.

It said unemployment, which stands at almost 18 percent, remains by far the most important issue for voters, ahead of the country's crumbling economy and immigration.

However, the CIS said concerns over corruption are growing, and "politicians and political parties" had climbed two places to be the fourth most important issue, ahead of Basque separatist violence.

AFP / Expatica

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