state of the nation debate

Rubalcaba and Rajoy tied in post-debate poll

Result is big improvement for Socialist opposition leader after being trounced last year

Opposition leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba came out the winner in the State of the Nation debate by a very small margin, according to a flash survey by Metroscopia for EL PAÍS.

The Socialist Party leader was considered the better speaker by 27 percent of those polled, compared with 25 percent who preferred conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

But the error margin of two percent coincides with the difference between both politicians, leading Metroscopia to define the result as "a tie."

Also, the 500 individuals who took the survey did not necessarily watch the debate themselves, instead basing their opinions on "the comments of people I trust" or "news reports."

In any case, this is still a much better result for Rubalcaba than last year, when the Popular Party leader beat him by a 27-point margin.

Broken down by age, the results of this new survey are clearer: 32 percent of the under-35 group believed Rubalcaba was more convincing, compared with 18 percent who favored Rajoy's arguments.