• The PP expected to net 25% of the vote, far short of absolute majority
• PSOE, Ciudadanos and/or Podemos in coalition could block PP second term
The final voter surveys prior to Spain’s Dec. 20th general election were published Monday, with all showing the conservative ruling Partido Popular (PP) maintaining a slight lead over the main opposition Socialists (PSOE).
The polls also showed Spain’s newest parties, centre-right Ciudadanos and anti-austerity party Podemos, vying neck-and-neck for third place in the balloting, which will decide the composition of Spain’s national Congress of Deputies for the next four years.
While the conservative PP may eke out a victory, their anticipated poor showing at around a quarter of the total vote means they will lose around 80 seats from the absolute-majority 186 seats won in their landslide 2011 victory over the Socialists, who were punished by the electorate for having been the party in power when Spain’s economy came crashing down in the global economic crisis spawned by the U.S. mortgage foreclosure debacle.
The Socialists are expected to place second in the balloting at around 20 percent and the polling numbers suggest the PSOE may still be able to form a coalition government with Ciudadanos and possibly Podemos, if the opposition parties decide to band together to block the ruling PP from a second consecutive term.