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Spaniards fear election majority for PP

Published on 05/03/2004

5 March 2004

MADRID –Nearly two-thirds of Spaniards do not think it would be good for the country if the ruling conservative Popular Party won an absolute majority at the general election, according to a poll published Friday.

Sixty-one percent of those questioned in the poll for El Mundo newspaper agreed “it would not be good if the PP returned with an absolute majority”.

The findings  follow another poll published Thursday which predicted that the PP would be returned with 42 percent of the vote and gain a majority in the 14 March election.

Most of those questioned by the right-wing El Mundo for the poll  found José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, leader of the socialist opposition PSOE, “more appealing, more charismatic and more honourable”.

But they preferred PP leader Mariano Rajoy as someone who could “solve big problems”.

Rajoy was considered more efficient than Zapatero at solving the problems of terrorism, unemployment, job insecurity – the three main worries among those questioned.

The PP leader was also thought to be “more believable, prepared and trustworthy”.

More than half of those interviewed (57 percent) believed that the PSOE should have broken off a pact with the left-wing Catalan nationalist ERC party.

ERC leader Josep Lluis Carod-Rovira, former deputy leader of the Catalan parliament, was forced to resign in January after a newspaper revealed he had held secret meetings with ETA.

The three-party pact in Catalonia involving the socialists damaged the Left in Spain.

The political leaders in Spain were rated in a scale of one-to-ten. The present prime-minister Jose Maria Aznar scored 5.24 along with Rajoy, but Zapatero trailed with 5 points.

El Mundo said in an editorial: “The last part of the campaign bring more support for the socialists. But the PP will win as they did in municipal elections; neither  the Prestige disaster nor  the Iraq war  were factors which would affect their hopes.”

The poll was conducted among 12,500 interviewees across Spain between 18 February and 2 March.
                                       Subject: Spanish news