Public support for Spain’s ruling centre-right party the PP has slipped following a high-level corruption scandal and ongoing recession, and Spaniards remain pessimistic about the political and economic outlook, a poll showed last Friday.
Half of Spaniards consider the political situation to be “very bad” and ranked corruption as Spain’s number two problem behind unemployment, according to a survey by the state-owned Sociological Investigations Centre (CIS), carried out in April. A record high unemployment rate of 27%, political corruption allegations and austerity measures have eroded support for the two main political parties, the ruling People’s Party (PP) and socialist PSOE, the survey of 2,482 people showed.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s PP would take just 34% of the votes if a general election were called now, compared to 35% in January and the 44.6% the party received in the election in November 2011.
Recession-weary Spaniards were angered by allegations of graft at the heart of the PP earlier this year, though Rajoy has denied any wrongdoing by himself or the party. The survey showed 56% of people have “no confidence” in Rajoy.
Street protests have become a common occurrence in Spain, with over a million taking to the streets in May Day protests, according to unions, though such action has had little effect on government policy. In recent weeks protesters have stepped up demonstrations with gatherings outside politicians’ homes known as “escraches”, which the PP has strongly condemned.
The PSOE has not fared well from the corruption scandal because of the public perception of politicians as generally corrupt, with parties the least valued public institution in Spain.
The PSOE would take 28.2% of the vote in elections, compared to 33.4% a year earlier. Its leader, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, inspired “no confidence” in 53% of respondents.