World News

Spaniards oppose new election, want coalition government - poll

MADRID (Reuters) - A majority of Spanish voters oppose holding another election to resolve the political stalemate created by an inconclusive national vote last month and want parties instead to agree on a coalition government, a survey showed on Sunday.

A member of a polling station shakes a ballot box during voting in Spain's general election in Cuevas del Becerro, southern Spain, December 20, 2015. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

The ruling centre-right People’s Party (PP) won the most seats but fell well short of a parliamentary majority in the Dec. 20 election.

The Socialists (PSOE) came second, losing much of their support to third-placed leftist newcomer Podemos, while centrist upstart Ciudadanos placed fourth.

The result means that at least three parties are needed to form an alliance and allow a stable government, an unprecedented situation in Spain where the traditionally dominant PP and PSOE have enjoyed strong majorities over the last 40 years.

According to the monthly opinion poll from Metroscopia published by El Pais newspaper, only 33 percent of voters favour a new election while 61 percent prefer to see an agreement between the parties.

Asked whether the lack of a majority for any party was a good or bad thing, 61 percent said they saw it as positive.

Spain’s King Felipe will meet leaders of the political parties throughout next week in an attempt to help break the political impasse.

If no solution were found and a new election did take place, its results would be only marginally different from the December vote and the deadlock would therefore persist, the survey also showed.

The PP and Podemos would be the main winners in any rerun of the election as they would see their support edge higher, respectively to 29 percent from 28.7 percent and to 22.5 percent from 20.7 percent.

The PSOE would come third as it would fall to 21.1 percent from 22 percent. Ciudadanos would remain fourth although it would rebound to 16.6 percent from 13.9 percent in December.

The poll was carried out between Jan. 12 and 14 among 1,200 people.

Reporting by Julien Toyer; Editing by Gareth Jones