26-J Elections: Making sense of the latest voter polls

Results of four most-recent election polls from GAD3, GESOP, CIS, Metroscopia.Graphic: Amalgam,various newspapers
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• PP seen to place first again, while Podemos supplants PSOE in second place
• Analysts cite generational demographics behind transformed political scenario

Four of Spain’s principal political polling organisations (GAD3, GESOP, CIS and Metroscopia) all currently predict the most likely outcome of the upcoming 26th June (26-J) general elections will see the conservative governing Partido Popular (PP) winning fewer votes than in the December 2015 elections but enough to again secure first place in the vote tally. The polls also show the Unidos Podemos coalition led by populist anti-austerity party Podemos (We Can) and its old-left partners Izquierda Unida (IU, United Left) staging an upset to push Spain’s mainstay left-wing Socialist party (PSOE) into third position, while the centre-right Ciudadanos party again places fourth in the overtall vote count.

The continued re-alignment of the Spanish electoral landscape is seen by analysts as the culmination of a generational shift in Spain’s voter demographics, with the newest generation of voters (aged 18-35) leaning strongly left toward Unidos Podemos, while centre-right Ciudadanos shows strong voter loyalty among the only slightly less young demographic (aged 35-44), as well as erstwhile PP voters disgusted with the corruption scandals that continue to plague the conservative party. Both these younger demographics of the left and centre-right are said to be well-educated, facing high levels of unemployment and job uncertainty, and impatient with the inability of Spain’s entrenched traditional parties, the PP and the PSOE, to rid the political system of corruption and deliver meaningful change in the way the country is run.

At the same time, analysts say the PP’s core constituency (of older, largely retired, high-school educated voters in rural provinces and small towns across Spain) is not going away anytime soon and will continue to vote with the PP and against the PSOE and other left-wing parties, no matter what. Similarly, neither is the PSOE’s voter demographic (women, professionals and left-leaning, middle-aged voters and retirees) seen as disappearing, with a weakened PSOE still remaining a substantial force able to “make or break” any attempt at forming a governing coalition after 26-J.

► Read More in Spanish at La Vanguardia …

► Read More in English at The Spain Report …

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