5 Jun, 2023 @ 18:45
2 mins read

Explainer: What do the polls say ahead of July’s snap election in Spain?

Opinion poll reveals revitalised Partido Popular under new leader Feijoo could form new Spanish government after December's general election
Cordon Press image

THE LATEST survey carried out for Spanish newspaper El Pais by pollster 40dB predicts that the outcome of the upcoming general election will depend on whether leftist parties run together or separately. 

All eyes are currently on Unidas Podemos, the leftist bloc that is currently the junior coalition partner in the Socialist Party government, but which saw its support decimated in the recent local and regional elections held on May 28. 

The party is considering whether to join a new leftist platform launched by Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz, called Sumar (Unite). And polling suggests that this decision is likely to hold the key to the election result. 

A splintered left, the 40dB poll predicts, will mean more votes for the PP and far-right Vox. The survey suggests that the former would take 132 seats in the Congress of Deputies, and the latter 45. This would take the two groups over the 176-seat line needed for an absolute majority. 

The scenario is different, however, should Podemos join forces with Sumar. In that case, the PP would take 131 seats and Vox 38, leaving the two groups short of an absolute majority. 

What’s more, there will also be an effect on the seats won by the Socialists. If there is no union within Sumar, the PSOE will take 111 seats, Sumar 22 and Podemos just three. If the party joins forces with Diaz’s new project, the PSOE would fare slightly worse, with 107 seats, but Sumar would take 41. 

Yolanda Díaz, Launches Her Candidacy For The 2023 General Elections In Spain For Sumar
Madrid, Spain; 02.04.2023.- The current Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, launches her candidacy for the 2023 general elections in Spain for Sumar. Photo: Juan Carlos Rojas

In both scenarios, the PSOE and the other leftist parties would fall short of a majority. But that has been the situation over the last nearly four years of the current government, with smaller parties lending their votes in Congress in order to pass legislation. 

Despite the PP and Vox faring well in the polls (and making gains at the recent local elections), the parties could still struggle to form a government should they fall short of a majority. 

While other parties in Congress have been content to do deals with the PSOE and Unidas Podemos, they will not be so keen to do so with far-right Vox, due to its anti-immigration and anti-LGBTQ+ policies, among others. 

One possible scenario is a completely inconclusive poll, which will require yet another date at the ballot boxes for Spaniards. 

The July 23 snap general election was called by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez the day after his party and Unidas Podemos suffered a humiliating defeat at the May 28 local and regional elections. The vote was due to take place in December, but was brought forward by the Socialist Party leader in a surprise move.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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