Spaniards’ approval rating of the monarchy has been plummeting in recent months, even before Princess Cristina was dragged into a corruption investigation last week, a new survey out Sunday shows.
The royal family’s image among Spaniards has hit a new all-time low with percentage levels lower than they were after King Juan Carlos’s controversial elephant hunting expedition in March 2012, when he broke his hip and later apologized.
According to the Metroscopia poll, conducted for EL PAÍS, the Royal Household’s approval rating stood at 21 — now it is -11 percent; in other words it has dropped 32 percentage points in three months. (The number who disapprove is subtracted from those who approve.)
The survey was taken from 2,400 people in March and weeks before a judge officially named Princess Cristina as a target in the ongoing Nóos investigation that has been focused on her husband Iñaki Urdangarin. According to the survey, the king’s image has suffered most among young people between 18 and 34, who give him a -41 rating.
Poor party showings
The poll also shows that Spain’s two major parties — the Popular Party (PP) and Socialists (PSOE) — are losing support among voters while smaller groupings such as United Left (IU) coalition and the centrist UPyD remain on the rise.
Ratings for the ruling PP are also at the lowest since the Transition but the party still remains ahead of the opposition Socialist leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, whose own approval ratings continues to drop. The Socialists are just behind the PP by a 1.5-point margin but they only have 23 percent of voter intention — 5.7 percentage points less than the 2011 general elections and also their poorest poll showing since democracy was restored.
IU is behind the Socialists by 7.4 points, which is the leftist coalition’s closest-ever margin on the PSOE.
As for sectors in society, Spaniards give high marks to scientists, who lead the approval list, followed by physicians, small and midsized businesses, public educators and the Catholic lay charity group Cáritas.
Politicians, political parties, banks, the government, big business owners and Catholic bishops were considered the worst sectors in the eyes of Spaniards in that order, the poll showed.