Spain’s governing Popular Party (PP) will win the December 20 general election with 28.6% of the vote, thus securing between 120 and 128 seats in Congress. But it will have to reach a deal with another party if it is to continue in power. That’s according to the latest opinion poll released today by the state-funded Center for Sociological Research (CIS), which predicts that the Socialist Party (PSOE) will place second (earning 20.8% of the vote and between 77 and 89 deputies), emerging force Ciudadanos third (19%, 63 to 66 seats) and Podemos fourth (9.1%, 23 to 25).
The PP and Ciudadanos would be able to reach a deal that would secure an absolute majority in Congress
The survey – based on more than 17,000 interviews, and released ahead of the official start of the campaign tomorrow – further confirms predictions that the December 20 vote will bring about the end of the PP-PSOE two-party system that has been in place since the return to democracy in the late 1970s, with the two groups together losing between 79 and 99 seats.
If the poll is correct, Congress will end up divided into four major blocs – the same scenario that emerged after the May regional and municipal elections, which saw a shift to the left thanks in large part to pacts between parties who failed to attain a majority.
According to the CIS survey, the PP and Ciudadanos would be able to reach a deal that would secure an absolute majority in Congress. An agreement between the PSOE and the PP could also achieve the same, although this is a highly unlikely scenario.
At the last elections in 2011, the PP won 186 seats, ousting the PSOE from power and allowing Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to govern with an absolute majority. The PSOE, headed at the time by Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, only managed 110 seats, the worst result in its history.
According to today’s CIS poll, both the PP and the PSOE will be far from those results on December 20.
English version by Simon Hunter.