Thursday, July 7, 2011


If an opinion poll published by El País on Sunday is correct then PSOE have a mountain to climb to win the general election whoever leads the party. The soundings indicate the Partido Popular have an over 14 per cent lead as Spaniards react with anger to the high levels of unemployment and the financial crisis.

The poll by Metroscopia says 44.7 per cent of those questioned intend to vote for Mariano Rajoy’s PP. PSOE currently led by the prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero with Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba waiting to take over, limps behind on 30.4.

These finds give the PP a 0.5 per cent increase in support over the last month. However in the real life elections – municipal and regional – on May 22 the PP’s lead was just over 10 per cent.

At the last general election in 2008 PSOE had a lead over the PP of 3.6 per cent. This gave Zapatero his second mandate and second victory over Rajoy. Rajoy may be third time lucky but Zapatero will remain undefeated as he will have left the political stage by then.

However the Spain of 2012 will be very different from that in 2008. The economy no longer has the highest growth in the Euro zone. The property bubble has truly burst and unemployment stands at a massive 21 per cent – double the European average. Hence it is no surprise that support for PSOE has tumbled by 13.3 per cent whilst the PP have seen a 4.6 per cent growth.

Perhaps the most depressing fact for PSOE is there seems to be no Rubalcaba bounce in the offing. On July 9 the current first vice president of the government and hard line minister of the interior officially is anointed as the successor to Zapatero. His likely accession has been known for two months but support for PSOE has dropped by 1.3 per cent over that period. In addition 88 per cent of Spaniards believe the PP will form the next government.

Rubalcaba is famous for his hangdog look and the poll readings are likely to add another crease to his face. The fact that he has gone unchallenged to the top job is probably because all the other heavyweights know the writing is on the wall. They don’t want to go down in history as the candidate who led PSOE to a historically heavy defeat. Mind you if Rubalcaba can pull off a miracle recovery...

1 comment:

Tony Murphy said...

I believe the unemployment rate in Marbella is way higher than that- probably more than 30%.
Because the only real industries here are real estate and tourism it has made us much more vulnerable.When the real estate market crashed it brought down with it architects,lawyers,builders,interior designers,furniture shops,curtain makers and all of those other businesses that are dependant on the property market.Previous economic slumps cleared the market of amateurs and opportunists and the strong well established companies survived.This time round I have seen many businesses who are long established go to the wall.
As an architect I would expect to be on the front line of any recovery and while things are improving modestly there is a long long way to go yet.