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Spaniards vote in unpredictable national election

Sunday, December 20, 2015 - 01:44

Polls are open in Spain's most uncertain national election in 40 years with newcomer parties poised to make big gains. Nathan Frandino reports.

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It's election day in Spain, where voters are casting their ballots for what will be the most uncertain outcome in decades. Two newcomer parties are expected to make big gains against the once-dominant conservatives and Socialists, ushering in a new and potentially volatile era of compromise politics. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MADRID RESIDENT, CONCHA SERRA, SAYING; "It (the election) is important because it seems to be the end of a two-party system. And that's the difference with other ballots that we've held. For that reason, I think I was the first in line to vote." The new anti-austerity party Podemos and the new liberal Ciudadanos party are trying to poach voters from the ruling conservative People's Party and the Socialist Party. So far, polls suggest the People's Party of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will win the vote but fail to capture a majority. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPANISH PRIME MINISTER, MARIANO RAJOY, SAYING: "In the end, we're talking about a very important decision and everyone needs to vote freely and with enough knowledge so that, obviously, people will vote for what they think is best for their country." Spain has about 36.5 million eligible voters. About one-third of them said they'll decide whom to support at the last minute. Many voters consider the political system corrupt and unable to resolve Spain's economic woes, which include a 21 percent unemployment rate. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LAWYER, ELOY GONZALEZ, SAYING: "This election is special because at the moment we are coming out of crisis, and it's very important what we decide." The Socialist Party is expected to come second while Podemos and Ciudadanos are vying for third.

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Spaniards vote in unpredictable national election

Sunday, December 20, 2015 - 01:44