ANDALUCIAN Premier Susana Diaz has received the most endorsements from party members ahead of this month’s election.
Spain’s Socialist Party will go to the polls to vote on the party’s general secretary in an election set for May 21.
Ms Diaz received 63,610 endorsements, but is only 6,300 signatures ahead of former general secretary Pedro Sanchez.
Patxi Lopez, a former Basque premier who also worked as speaker of Congress, came a distant third with 12,000 endorsements.
The PSOE has been without a leader since October of last year, after an internal party revolt prompted Mr Sanchez to walk out.
The power struggle and aftermath was dubbed by Spanish press as the the war of the roses.
Endorsements were overwhelmingly geographical, with with party members in Andalucia mostly backing Ms Diaz, who received 26,551 signatories in the area compared to 8,818 for Mr Sanchez.
Catalan members reversed the trend, preferring Mr Sanchez with 6,058 endorsements with Ms Diaz receiving 974.
All three candidates will compete at the party primaries where a new leader will take over from the interim management team that has been heading the PSOE since Mr Sanchez’s departure.