The Socialist Party (PSOE/S&D) of acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and the main opposition Partido Popular (PP/EPP) would be tied in the polls and have the same number of seats in parliament if elections were held today, according to data from a new survey by the state-owned Centre for Sociological Research (CIS) released on Wednesday.
In its latest barometer, the CIS study showed that both parties would be almost on par, although with a slight advantage of four-tenths of a point for PSOE.
PSOE would win the race with 32.6% of the vote, 0.9 points less than in September’s CIS barometer, while the estimated vote for Partido Popular would be 32.2%, half a point more than a month ago, the survey, carried out between 2 and 6 October with a sample of 4,031 people reads.
The poll was released in a particularly complex political moment for Sánchez and the PSOE, who are still negotiating against the clock to secure the parliamentary support of Catalan and Basque separatist forces, key for Sánchez to return to power and form a coalition with the progressive platform Sumar, led by the acting Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz.
Sumar is the fastest growing political force, gaining 0.8 points compared to the previous poll in September, allowing Díaz’s party to consolidate its position as Spain’s third largest party, with 12.7% of the vote.
The poll predicts that the far-right VOX party, currently the third largest force in parliament, would lose the most support, with 10.1% of the vote.
Centre-right Catalan separatist party Junts Per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia, JxCat), whose support is essential for Sánchez to return to power, would lose 0.4 points and be left with 1.3% of the vote, according to the poll.
Its main political rival in the Catalan separatist camp, the left-wing party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Republican Left of Catalonia, ERC), would be ahead of JXCat and would rise 0.2 points to 1.9% if elections were held today, the CIS study adds.
Meanwhile, the Basque pro-independence party EH Bildu, the only force that has so far explicitly backed Sánchez, would fall 0.4 points to 0.9% of the vote, and its rival, the moderate nationalist Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), would lose a tenth of a point to 0.8%.
By blocs, the acting coalition of PSOE and Sumar would take 45.3% of the votes, while leading right and far-right parties PP and VOX would have a combined 42.3%. The rapid rise of Sumar and the sharp fall of Vox are tipping the balance towards the left-wing bloc, the poll shows.
The CIS poll also shows that 29.2% of Spaniards would prefer Sánchez as prime minister, compared to 23.5% for PP leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo and 9.1% for Díaz.
(Fernando Heller EuroEFE.Euractiv.es)
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