Spain Opinion Polls Signal Potential Deadlock Ahead of Vote

(Bloomberg) -- Spanish newspaper opinion polls signaled a potential deadlock from elections to be held on April 28, with neither alliances from the left nor right wings of the political scene certain to be able to build a parliamentary majority.

A survey published by El Pais newspaper showed the Socialists of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on course to win 129 seats in the 350-seat parliament. Adding 33 possible seats from potential allies Podemos and three from Compromis would give 165 seats, short of the 176 needed for a majority.

A poll in El Mundo newspaper showed that the Socialists and Podemos could win between 152 and 174 seats. An alliance on the right led by the People’s Party and including Ciudadanos and the Spanish nationalist party Vox could win between 142 and 174 seats, the poll showed.

While the polls point to the Socialists becoming the biggest party in parliament, the final outcome looks impossible to predict as the election campaign goes into its final week. Party leaders are due to participate in two televised debates on April 22 and April 23, adding another element of uncertainty to the contest.

Undecided Voters

According to the El Pais poll, about 27 percent of those surveyed still couldn’t say which way they would vote. In such an uncertain scenario, the role of small parties such as the Basque nationalists, set to win six seats according to the El Mundo poll, could also be key.

“The Spanish want the Socialist party to keep governing the country,” Sanchez said in an interview with Barcelona’s La Vanguardia newspaper published Sunday. “I have that intuition.”

Another poll published by Voz de Galicia newspaper echoed the other surveys. The Socialists would win 137 seats, rising to 170 seats including Podemos, according to the poll by Sondaxe. The three-way right-wing alliance would have 149 seats.

Here’s a breakdown of the expected votes in the El Pais and El Mundo polls:

El Pais:

  • Socialists set to garner 28.8 percent support, giving them 129 seats
  • Podemos on course for 13.2 percent support or 33 seats
  • People’s Party would win 17.8 percent support, or 75 seats
  • Support for liberals of Ciudadanos seen at 14.1 percent, or 49 seats
  • Vox expected to win 12.5 percent support or 32 seats
  • Pollster 40dB surveyed 2,000 people from April 15 to 18; margin of error is 2.24 percent

El Mundo:

  • Socialists seen winning 30.3 percent of the vote to win 122-133 seats
  • PP set for 20.1 percent support or 74-86 seats
  • Ciudadanos on course to win 15 percent support or 48-56 seats
  • Unidas Podemos set for 13.2 percent for 30-41 seats
  • Vox has 10.2 percent support for 20-32 seats
  • Poll by Sigma Dos surveyed 8,000 people from April 3-17; margin of error 1.1 percent

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