Half of Popular Party (PP) voters would prefer someone other than Mariano Rajoy to lead the conservatives in this fall’s general election campaign.
A new survey conducted by Metroscopia for EL PAÍS shows that support for the prime minister’s re-election bid among PP sympathizers is slightly higher than a year ago – 45 percent compared with 34 percent – but still fails to represent a majority of conservative voters.
Seventy percent of all respondents, and 50 percent of those who declared themselves PP voters, said that Rajoy should instead make way for another well-known and experienced party figure.
Before the May 24 municipal and regional ballots, all four groups had nearly identical chances of winning the general elections
His natural replacement, for most PP voters, would be his current deputy, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, who gets 67 percent support, although the Galician premier Alberto Núñez Feijóo is making significant headway with 46 percent backing. Feijóo is also climbing the general popularity ratings, and now ranks fifth among Spain’s most valued politicians.
Although the slight economic recovery in Spain plays in the PP leader’s favor, both he and party secretary general María Dolores de Cospedal have been stuck with low approval ratings for quite a while. So far, however, Rajoy has shown no signs of wanting to step down.
Right now, Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera is Spain’s most appreciated politician. Last week, his party took credit for forcing two Madrid regional government officials to resign due to their involvement in a corruption probe.
Rivera is followed by Pedro Sánchez of the Socialist Party (PSOE), then Alberto Garzón of the United Left, Pablo Iglesias of the anti-austerity party Podemos, and Ñúñez Feijóo of the PP (the only one out of the five who is not his own party’s leader).
However, in terms of the parties themselves, the new June poll shows Ciudadanos losing traction ahead of the fall ballot. If elections were held tomorrow, the emerging party would drop 6.5 percentage points compared with the prior survey, while the PP, Socialists and Podemos are almost tied for votes.
Before the May 24 municipal and regional elections, all four groups had nearly identical chances of winning the general elections. Now, the PP ranks slightly ahead of the others with 24.5 percent support, followed by the PSOE with 23 percent, Podemos with 21.5 percent and Ciudadanos with 13 percent. The two main parties have benefited from Ciudadanos' drop.