Rise of Podemos and Ciudadanos changing political map, latest poll finds

Survey confirms how voter support for new forces is breaking Spain’s two-party system

Pablo Iglesias’s party, Podemos, has the most voter support, according to the Metroscopia poll.
Pablo Iglesias’s party, Podemos, has the most voter support, according to the Metroscopia poll.ULY MARTÍN

A new voter opinion survey confirms the decline of Spain’s two-party system, whose main beneficiaries – the Popular Party (PP) and the Socialist Party (PSOE) – continue to lose support.

A Metroscopia poll conducted for EL PAÍS on January 7 and 8 shows that Podemos, the new anti-austerity party led by Pablo Iglesias, continues to hold its ground as the top choice for the majority of voters, with 28.2 percent support.

The Socialists come in second with 23.5 percent, followed by the PP with 19.2 percent

The Socialists come next with 23.5 percent, followed by the conservative PP with 19.2 percent.

Besides confirming Podemos’s seemingly unstoppable rise, the survey also revealed significant new support for Ciudadanos, a Catalan center-left party that rejects regional nationalism and embraces unity with Spain rather than independence for Catalonia.

This coincides with Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera’s announcement a few weeks ago that his party would field candidates at the national level, not just in Catalonia. Spain is scheduled to hold municipal, regional and general elections this year.

After surprising analysts with a strong performance at last year’s European elections, where it earned two seats, the seven-year-old Ciudadanos is now attracting eight percent voter support, which could mean over two million ballots.

While newfound sympathy for these two organizations has mostly eroded the PP and PSOE’s voter base, smaller parties such as United Left (IU) and Union, Progress & Democracy (UPyD) have also felt the effect.

Spaniards’ desire to put an end to the two-party system cuts across ideologies, although left-wing and moderate voters are more motivated.