By Paula Martín Camargo, Editor
The electoral campaign just kicked off and the only convincing outcome for observers is that Spain will not have a clear government on 21st December. According to many political experts and Foundation Robert Schuman, the two weeks left before voting day will be more decisive than usual: this might be due to the high volatility of the electorate (around 40% have not decided their vote yet) and to the political drift of Catalonia.
Governing PP would win the largest share of the vote with 28.6% but will not achieve an absolute majority. Therefore they would need to form a coalition to be able to rule for the next four years, according to the latest opinion poll released this week by the state-funded Centre for Sociological Research (CIS). The outcome of the survey confirms emerging C’s as the key to the re-election (with 19% of the votes). Its leader Albert Rivera would be the most popular politicianin Spain (with a rather poor 4.98 points out of 10 in the popularity polls – none of the leading politicians would pass them and Rajoy is last in the list, with 55% of the population declaring they wouldn’t vote for the PP in any case). The socialist PSOE would be second (20.8%) and the leftist Podemos, although recovering from its collapse in the autumn would remain in fourth position (9.1%).
Source: CIS (Graphic by El País newspaper)
But the volatility of public opinion generates tight results - as shown in the voter intention poll published by Metroscopiafor El País newspaper. A virtual three-way tie would make it possible for the PP’s Rajoy and the PSOE’s Sánchez to form the government with the aid of C’s votes. The conservative PP would have a tiny lead, with 22.7% - but less than 1 percentage point separated all three parties. This minimal distance between PP, C’s and PSOE illustrates the small possibility of any of them prevailing in the very close final sprint.
Source: Metroscopia for El País
A PP-C’s coalition government: what would it look like?
The fast-growing C’s leader - Albert Rivera - has been selected by POLITICO as one of the 28 peopleacross the 28 EU member states that “are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe”: “In all of this meltdown, one party stands out, representing an Insurrection of the Center — an oxymoron, all things considered. Spain’s Ciudadanos — Citizens — is selling itself as the embodiment of measured, centrist rationality.”
POLITICO hints at the possibility of Rivera not engaging with any of the traditional political parties that might give him access to the government, or doing it only in the event of agreeing that PP’s Rajoy or PSOE’s Sánchez would step down and let him be Prime Minister.
We now consider a possible coalition between PP and C’s and outline their policies in economics and towards the European Union. Whilst there are clear divisions on economic policy, EU policy seems sufficiently aligned that they could both support the goal of greater integration set out in the Five Presidents’ Report.
Rajoy intends to maintain the same economic policy options in his programme as the outgoing government and will try to reap the benefit from the economic recovery. But C’s banks on a total makeoverof the Spanish economic model.
Both parties back further integration within the EU, but PP talks about a “stronger Spain in Europe” while C’s support the effective uniformity of all European member states in a truly citizen’s union.