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Spain heads into political unknown

Friday, June 10, 2016 - 01:37

As Spain prepares for a re-run of its general election on June 26, the anti-austerity Unidos Podemos coalition is seen likely to scoop big gains. Markets, though, are pondering another risk: that the vote could again fail to produce a clear outcome. Mia Reakes reports.

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Spain's rival political parties gear up to start their election campaigns. In two and a half weeks voters will head back to the ballot box for the second time in six months... After an inconclusive vote in December failed to produce an overall majority. Reuters Julien Toyer in Madrid was watching the latest poll of 17,000 people, thought to be the most reliable in Spain... And the result was positive for the anti-austerity, leftist party. SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, JULIEN TOYER, SAYING: "The new alliance, called Unidos Podemos, made a big, big jump, rising from around 70 seats to more than 90 seats, and it would become the second biggest party in Spain's parliament." The result casting fresh doubt over the make-up of the country's next government. The vote is split between four main parties and four smaller ones. Any coalition would take at least 3 parties. It could be months before an agreement is signed. And voters are certainly less than enthused about the situation. SOUNDBITE (English) OANDA, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, CRAIG ERLAM, SAYING: "Uncertain results always are quite damaging, I guess. It's hard for a country to move on in the result of an undecided election. It's always a case of how extremist the party is and what they want to achieve. If we look to Greece, for example, the Syriza Party was seen as an extremist party that could be potentially damaging for the country, and while it got off to a rough start last year, we've actually seen a relative period of relative calm in Greece." With just over 2 weeks to go, one in six voters is still undecided. About the same number plan to abstain. A surprise outcome is still possible.

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Spain heads into political unknown

Friday, June 10, 2016 - 01:37