* Correa has between 49-52 pct backing for re-election
* Correa's heavy public spending has kept him popular
* Opposition complains that Correa's has unfair advantage
By Alexandra Valencia
QUITO, April 6 Ecuadorean President Rafael
Correa will easily win re-election on April 26, two major polls
said on Monday, as his heavy spending on the poor keeps him
popular in the OPEC-member nation.
Pollsters say Correa's allies will also clinch a majority
in the legislature, which will strengthen the socialist hold on
power in the politically volatile nation.
Correa has between 49 percent and 52 percent of support for
the April 26 general election, which will allow him to win in
the first round, pollsters Cedatos-Gallup and Santiago Perez
said. Correa's closest rivals remain in the low teens.
The president needs at least 40 percent of the valid votes
to win in the first round.
Even as the economy starts to slow due to low oil prices,
Correa is highly popular for his spending on health and
education after years of neglect. His pledges to fight a
political old-guard has helped him gain support in a country
that has seen three presidents toppled in over a decade.
The charismatic 46-year-old has scored a string of
political wins since he took office in 2007 that has allowed
him to rewrite the constitution and tighten his control over
the economy and state institutions.
Opposition politicians say Correa is playing dirty by
tapping state funds to promote his government.
"The president's support has remained constant. It seems
the fight is more between second and third place," said Polibio
Cordova, the head pollster of Cedatos-Gallup.
Correa's support rose one point to 49 percent in the poll
from last week. The survey of 2,824 people across the country
had a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.
Cedatos said 31 percent of Ecuadoreans remain undecided.
Santiago Perez's weekend poll showed Correa has 52 percent
of voters' support. Perez, who usually works with the
government, has been accurate in past elections results.
(Writing by by Alonso Soto; editing by Vicki Allen)