• Spain's news in English

Spain's 'indignant' party runners-up in new poll

AFP/The Local · 27 Oct 2014, 08:58

Published: 27 Oct 2014 08:58 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Podemos, which means "We Can" in Spanish, would garner 24.1 percent of the vote if elections were held today, according to the Sigma Dos poll for TV station Telecinco.

The party, with university professor Pablo Iglesias as its most public face, came just ahead of the main opposition the socialist PSOE, which had 23.7 percent support despite choosing a telegenic new leader in Pedro Sánchez in July.

It is the first time that a nationwide poll has put Podemos in second place ahead of the socialists.

SEE ALSO: The A-Z of Spanish politics: A handy guide

The poll showed support reaching 28.3 percent for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's ruling conservative Popular Party, which swept to power in a landslide general election win in November 2011.

Podemos has plugged into discontent with big establishment parties, threatening an end to a two-party political system that has dominated Spain since its return to democracy following the death of longtime dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.

The party which raised cash through crowdfunding stormed past older opposition groups to take fourth place in Spain's EU elections in May, winning 8.0 percent of the vote and five seats in the European Parliament, despite having been officially formed just four months earlier.

It backs a guaranteed minimum wage, lowering the retirement age to 60, stopping hospital privatizations and eliminating tax havens.

Podemos has been accused of populism and of defending the policies favoured by late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

But earlier this month the party approved a resolution on the economy that no longer talks about defaulting on part of Spain's public debt as it had advocated in its European election platform.

Party leaders now speak instead about an orderly debt restructuring process to return to more sustainable debt levels.

The shift was seen as part of an attempt to tone down some of its initial proposals in an effort to appeal to a wider centre-left constituency as the party aims to be a potential election winner.

Members of the Podemos grouping last week held a critical vote on the party's future structure and platforms, with the ballot closing on Sunday.

Story continues below…

Results made public on Monday show that the faction led by Pablo Iglesias won 80.71 of a vote in which 112,070 people took part.

The victory for the proposals put forward by Iglesias' team will see the party headed up by a secretary general. The party structure will also include a management team and a citizen's council, as the party gears up for Spain's general elections, expected in late 2015.  Voting for candidates to fill top roles will take place from November 10th to 14th.  

The leadership team of Podemos has not yet decided if the party will stand in municipal elections in Spain in May 2015.  

The Sigma Dos poll queried 800 people on October 16-20.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Clock ticking as Spain races to avoid third elections
Third elections could now be avoided. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists voted on Sunday to allow the conservatives to take power, likely averting a third election for Spaniards tired of going to the polls.

Spain worries about tourism future
Photo: Josep Lago / AFP file picture

After basking in its best tourist summer season in 15 years, Spain now sees dark clouds on the horizon as popular destinations reach saturation point and holidaymakers are more thrifty, industry experts say.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available