Spanish right retains big lead before election

12th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spain's conservative Popular Party enjoys a big lead over the ruling Socialists ahead of November 20 general elections, a poll showed Monday.

Some 44.8 percent of respondents backed the Popular Party compared to just 30.7 percent for the Socialist Party, said the survey of potential voters by Metroscopia published in the daily El Pais.

The 14.1-percentage point gap was almost unchanged from a poll by the same institute published August 31 when the Popular Party had 44.8 percent and the Socialists 30.8 percent.

A total 70 percent of respondents thought the Socialists faced defeat in the election, said the telephone survey conducted from September 7-8 of a representative sample of 1,002 people.

The Socialists were crushed in local and regional polls in May, when a huge swathe of the electorate, furious over Spain's economic crisis, abandoned the party in favour of the Popular Party.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, in office since 2004, has decided not to run for a third term in the general elections, which will be held four months before the end of his second four-year term.

Zapatero's former deputy and interior minister, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba is the Socialists' standard bearer in an uphill battle to prevent Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy becoming prime minister.

© 2011 AFP

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