Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) led by acting prime minister Pedro Sánchez would result as the clear winner in a new general election, a new poll from a public research institute has forecast.
Spain’s Centre for Sociological Research (CIS) says Sánchez’s party would win 39.5% of the vote, well ahead of the Ciudadanos (Cs) party at 15.8% and the right-wing People’s Party (PP) at 13.7%.
Such a result would see PSOE significantly increase its share of the vote it gained in the 28 April general election, which it won with 28.7% of the ballots cast.
Meanwhile, the poll also predicts that the main ally of the Socialists, the left-wing Podemos party, would see its share reduced from 14.3% in April to 12.7%.
In recent days, PSOE has put pressure on Podemos to back Sánchez’s bid to retain the presidency when it goes to the vote in the Spanish parliament on 22-23 July.
With 123 seats gained in April, the Socialists are well short of the 176 needed for a majority in congress, but the new poll suggests PSOE would only gain from a new snap election.
This has led Sánchez’s party to resist Podemos’ demands to be part of a coalition government, with PSOE offering only minor administrative positions for its support.
April was disastrous for the PP, as it lost 69 seats, with the new poll predicting more losses for the right-wing party that Sánchez ousted from government last year.
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While the poll predicts that Cs would drop its share by only 0.1%, the far-right Vox party, which won seats in congress for the first time, would see its share halved to 5.1%.
As for the Catalan parties in the Spanish parliament, the Socialists (PSC) would again be the clear winners, increasing their share of the vote from 23.2% to 27.2%.
That would reduce the historic high of 24.5% achieved in April by the pro-independence Esquerra Republicans (ERC) party of jailed leader Oriol Junqueras to 18.5%.
Junts per Catalunya (JxCat), the other pro-independence party, under jailed former activist Jordi Sànchez, would also lose out in a new election, with its share halved to 6.1%.
In their efforts to find support, the Socialists have ruled out accepting the votes of pro-independence parties to avoid their demands for an agreed referendum in Catalonia.
If the new poll is right, should Sánchez’s bid fail at the end of July, the general election that might follow would only make his attempts to hold on to the presidency more likely.