Peoples Party on course to win crunch election
The centre right People’s Party (PP) is projected to win between 190 and 195 seats today from a possible 350 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.
Latest opinion polls by Metroscopia published in the El Pais newspaper put the PP on 45.4%, fifteen percentage points ahead of the governing Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) who are on 29.8% of the vote.
35,779,208 million Spaniards will entitled to vote today, 700,000 more than four years ago. They will be voting for 350 seats in the lower house Congress of Deputies and 208 Senators in the upper house.
The more than 23,000 polling stations will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. 621,000 people have already voted out of a potential 682,000 in a postal vote inside Spain. However, reports are that Spaniards living outside the country have been slow to register for the elections.
Mariano Rajoy, the PP leader, has asked for markets to give the new government time to sort out the economic woes of the country. Whoever wins will have to cut the deficit from 9.3% of GDP last year to 4.4% in 2012. The 6.6% target for this year is unlikely to be met.
The markets, however, do not appear to be interested in saving countries. They have contributed to the collapse of the governments in Greece and Italy, with Ireland and Portugal seeing regime change earlier this year. Borrowing in Spain was forced above 6% all last week, dangerously close to the magical 7% figure at which point other countries have been obliged to seek a bailout.
The incoming government will also have to face high unemployment, currently standing at 21.5%, and continued protests by ‘Los Indignados’, the Indignants who have been protesting all year.
Deputies take their seats on 13th December, but will the markets wait that long?