Socialists Gain, Lack Majority in Spain Poll, La Vanguardia Says

(Bloomberg) -- Spain’s ruling Socialists gained support in the first opinion poll since Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was forced to call early elections, though his current coalition would still fall short of a majority in parliament.

Sanchez’s Socialists would win 119 seats, according to a GAD3 poll published by La Vanguardia. That’s a gain of 34 from the previous election and an increase of 8 from a January survey published by ABC. But a plunge in support for the anti-establishment Podemos party, his current ally, would leave Sanchez short of the 176 seats he needs to form a majority government.

The premier last week called snap elections for April 28 after parliament voted down his budget plan, highlighting the dwindling authority of his minority government. He has governed for eight months with less than a quarter of seats in the 350-seat parliament after snatching power by persuading a loose coalition of parties to back a no-confidence vote against the People’s Party’s Mariano Rajoy.

The survey showed that the Socialists could form a government with the center-right Ciudadanos, but that party’s leader, Albert Rivera, last week ruled out a pact with Sanchez. The People’s Party, Ciudadanos and Vox, a new movement backing stronger immigration controls and a hard line on Catalan secessionists, could join forces -- as they did in December in Andalusia. That would bring them just three seats short of a majority, the poll shows.

Poll Breakdown

The People’s Party would win 97 seats, a loss of 40 from its current parliamentary composition. Ciudadanos would win 60 seats, a gain of 28 but one less than GAD3 predicted in January. Podemos would lose 39 seats and be left with just 32 in the new parliament.

Vox would win 16, its first seats at a national level, though less than the 23 that GAD3 forecast it would win in its January poll.

La Vanguardia didn’t provide details of the poll’s scope or margin of error.

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