• Surge in support linked to Sánchez appeal to left in PSOE leadership contest
• Governing PP support falls 6.1% since last elections, Ciudadanos on the rise
After an arduous comeback battle that saw Socialist party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sánchez re-elected on 21st May to the party’s top post of secretary-general, the PSOE appears to have again moved back into second place among Spanish voters, with a new survey released over the weekend by polling organisation Metroscopia showing the party’s potential vote share jumping from 20.2 to 22.8 percent in the last two months alone.
Attributed in part to Sánchez having pitched his leadership campaign messaging to the left-leaning PSOE rank and file membership and to those PSOE voters who had earlier abandoned the party in response to the farther-left positioning of the rival Unidos Podemos (United We Can) electoral coalition, the PSOE’s increase in vote share in this latest Metroscopia poll occurred in direct relation to a fall in voter support for Unidos Podemos from 20.7 to 19.2 percent in the period from 9th April to 2nd June.
When viewed over a longer-term perspective from results of the last general election, Unidos Podemos’ vote share of 21.1 percent in the 26th June elections has fallen to 19.2 percent, were the elections to be held today. The PSOE, meanwhile, has rebounded from the slump following the ouster of Sánchez in an internal party leadership coup last October and its current standing of 22.8 percent, according to the Metroscopia poll published Sunday in the daily newspaper El País, actually slightly betters its 26th June general election vote share of 22.7 percent.
On the right end of the political spectrum, the conservative governing Partido Popular (PP) has seen its vote share fall more than 4 percentage points from 30.2 percent in April to 25.9 percent in the latest Metroscopia poll. When compared to the PP’s 33 percent vote share in the 26th June elections, however, the decrease in voter preference for the governing party of Spanish President Mariano Rajoy is even greater, with the PP’s potential vote share were elections to be held now falling 6.1 percent from June levels.
Centre-right party Ciudadanos, which suffered a serious decline in vote share in the 26th June elections and registered just 13 percent of the total vote at the time, has seen its fortunes steadily improve over the last 11 months. Ciudadanos had already shown a comeback in voter support this Spring, netting 17.1 percent in voter preference in the last Metroscopia poll on 2nd April and has again managed to improve its polling with 18.78 percent voter preference in the new Metroscopia poll released at the weekend.