Bitter disputes and internal division within the left camp in Spain could boost the chances of victory for centre-right Partido Popular (PP/EPP) and the far-right party VOX in the mid-December general election, according to results of a fresh poll published on Wednesday.
The 4DB election barometer for El Pa?s and Cadena SER has sounded the alarm bells for the Spanish progressive forces: the left-wing camp would lose 14 seats if junior coalition member Unidas Podemos (United We Can/EU Left) and the new kid on the (left) block, Sumar, were to run separately.
On the other hand, the PP could widen its advantage and reach the absolute majority (176 seats, of 350) together with the far-right party VOX (ECR), currently the third force in the Spanish parliament, El Pa?s and EFE reported.
However, if Sumar and Unidas Podemos decided to bury the hatchet and solve their bilateral disputes to run together, they would obtain 55 seats. Alone, Sumar would have 10.9% (27 seats in Parliament) and Unidas Podemos 6.9% (11 seats).
On 2 April, the Spanish Labour Minister, Yolanda D?az (currently a member of Unidas Podemos), announced her candidacy for Spanish Prime Minister with Sumar, triggering a political earthquake in Unidas Podemos.
Sumar, a new star shines in the left camp
The wounds of that battle, which some voices in Unidas Podemos described as a “betrayal”, are still bleeding. Besides the rift, almost all studies coincide: Sumar has a big chance of becoming PSOE’s new – moderate – ally in the “left to the left ” political space.
The facts speak for themselves: according to a previous poll published in April by state-owned Centro de Investigaciones Sociol?gicas (CIS), Sumar would obtain 10% of the vote if elections were held today, while the PSOE would win the race with 30% of the vote and Partido Popular would attain 26%.
Sumar would become the fourth political force in Spain, after PSOE, PP, and the far-right party VOX, and ahead of Unidas Podemos, that poll predicted.
Compared with the 2019 election, the PP would gain 35 seats; the PSOE would lose 20, VOX would lose seven and Unidas Podemos, which in the previous general election ran in coalition with Izquierda Unida (United Left), would obtain 24 fewer seats in parliament, according to the 4DB survey.
PP and VOX, to capitalise division of the left
On the other hand, the 40DB barometer reveals that the new balance of power still benefits the PP and VOX and that rifts and divisions in the left camp could make them pay a heavy toll and pave the way for a PP-VOX future Executive, as it is the case already the case in the Castilla and Le?n region.
In a previous 40DB barometer, which did not yet include Sumar, the PSOE was close to a tie with the PP.
However, in the new study, the PP widens its lead, with a four-tenths of a percentage point increase in vote estimates (to 28.4% of the vote), which would mean 124 seats (two more than in the 4DB April survey), while the PSOE, with 25.1%, would lose nine seats in one month, and remain at 100.
The gap between the two parties would rise to 24 seats. VOX improves its voting intention (to 14.5%) and would gain two extra seats (up to 46), the 4DB barometer predicts.
Spain will hold regional and municipal elections on 28 May, with a general election expected to take place in December, during the country’s final month of presidency of the EU Council.
(Fernando Heller EuroEFE.EURACTIV.es)
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