The results from the latest survey conducted by the Center for Sociological Studies (CIS) make grim reading for the Popular Party (PP) and the Socialists (PSOE), to the extent that the main opposition party has accused the state-funded body of cooking the results, despite a drop in voter support for the government.
The last study, in October 2013, reported 34 percent of Spaniards would vote for the PP in a general election, a figure that fell to 32.1 percent in the latest survey. The PSOE also lost ground and would receive the backing of 26.6 percent of the country, a loss of two percentage points. The United Left (IU) remained steady at 11.3 percent while the UPyD’s support rose from 7.7 percent to 9.2 percent.
The study, conducted between January 3 and 15, shows that unemployment remains the principle concern for 78.5 percent of Spanish citizens, up from 53.4 percent in October. In second place was corruption, up from 37.6 percent to 39.5 percent, with a raft of investigations into the PP, the PSOE, labor unions and the royal family dominating the headlines. However, just 0.6 percent of respondents said the monarchy was a source of concern.
Economic worries rated third at 30.5 percentt and “politicians, political parties and politics” fourth with 26.9 percent. Nationalist rifts, the release of ETA prisoners and the proposed reform to the abortion law scored 1.6 percent, 0.5 percent and 0.2 percent respectively.
Politicians in general were handed a lashing by the citizenry, with UPyD leader Rosa Díez leading the pack on an approval rating out of 10 of 4.15. PSOE leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba slipped from 3.13 to 3.0 and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy from 2.42 to 2.22. IU coordinator Cayo Lara scored 3.72 out of 10.
Education Minister José Ignacio Wert rated lowest among the Cabinet at 1.42 percent, closely followed by Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro and Health Minister Ana Mato. Agriculture Minister Miguel Arias Cañete was the only Cabinet member to break the three-percent mark, with 3.72 percent.
A total of 63.3 percent of respondents stated they had “no faith at all” in the prime minister, who excited “little confidence” in a further 24.8 percent. Rubalcaba rated 56.2 percent and 34.7 percent in those categories, respectively.
The PSOE has challenged the findings of the latest CIS survey, arguing that the results do not tally with their own. “Before the survey results were cooked we were three percentage points ahead, and afterward, according to the CIS, we are five points behind,” the PSOE said.