October 22, 2019 / 6:15 AM / a month ago

Spain set for further political stalemate, far-right rise - El Pais poll

MADRID (Reuters) - A general election in Spain next month is unlikely to break a political stalemate, as neither left-wing or right-wing parties are set to win a parliamentary majority, a poll of polls in El Pais newspaper predicted on Tuesday.

Voters in the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy will cast their ballots for the second time this year on Nov. 10. The Socialist party of Pedro Sanchez, acting prime minister, failed to secure a majority at a vote in April.

The poll was published the week after judges gave long prison terms to leaders of a separatist movement in the wealthy region of Catalonia, an issue which has dominated domestic politics in recent years and led to violent protests last week.

Projections showed Sanchez would gain three seats to reach 126, and even with support from the two much-smaller left wing parties, a Socialist-led alliance would fall short of the 176 needed for a majority, leaving it needing additional support from regional parties.

The centre-right People’s Party which, along with the Socialists, has dominated Spain’s political landscape for most of its recent history, would add 30 seats to reach a total 96, according to the poll.

But even if the People’s Party were to form an alliance with centre-right Ciudadanos and far-right party Vox, a majority would still be out of reach.

Vox, which secured its first parliamentary seats in the previous vote, would win 10 more to overtake left-wing Podemos and centre-right Ciudadanos as the third-largest parliamentary group, the survey said.

El Pais said it drew the survey from an average of dozens of polls, giving those conducted more recently a greater weighting.

Reporting by Isla Binnie and Tomas Cobos; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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