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PM congratulates Tory win amid hopes for same

Fiona Govan · 8 May 2015, 13:41

Published: 08 May 2015 13:41 GMT+02:00

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The Spanish premier called it a "deserved recognition for his decisive reformist work", in a tweet sent at 11.21 am on Friday when it became clear that the Tories had secured an overall majority.

It is a result that Rajoy’s own conservative party would love to replicate when they take the nation to the polls at the end of the year.

The surprise victory could boost hope for Spain’s own PP coming in the wake of months of opinion polls that showed plummeting support for the Tories amid the rise of popularity for fringe parties UKIP and the SNP.

Spain is in the grips of a similar situation as the traditional two-party system led by the right wing Popular Party and the PSOE on the left has given way to a four-horse race.

Pablo Iglesias, leader of Podemos. Photo: AFP

Podemos have enjoyed a metereoric rise since their inception at the start of 2014 while newcomers on the national scene, Ciudadanos are capitalizing on the thirst for change.

Both parties stand on a platform of change, calling for a clampdown on corruption and a shake-up of the political elite.

But while Podemos, which grew out of the indignados movement, comes from a radical anti-austerity stance Albert Rivera’s C’s present a more centrist standpoint.

Albert Rivera, leader of Ciudadanos. Photo: AFP

But support for Podemos already seems to be waning, and the party has been hit by an internal crisis after number three in the party Juan Carlos Monedero, quit over ideological differences. Their latest proposals showed that they had ditched the more radical in a swerve to the centre and perhaps to steal support back from Ciudadanos.

Polls show support for the ruling PP government has plummeted since it won an absolute majority in 2011, yet they are still shown to be the biggest political force in opinion polls. 

Story continues below…

Like their British counterparts in the run up to the May 7th General Election, the opinion polls show that they will be unlikely to secure an absolute majority.

The first test will come in local elections later this month, when the PP is predicted to get a hammering as voters punish the incumbents at the ballot box.

But with all economic indications that Spain is on the up and climbing its way out of the crippling crisis of the last seven years, the PP are no doubt hoping that by the time it comes to general elections by the end of the year, voters will follow the example of the British and return the conservatives to power.

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

Fiona Govan (fiona.govan@thelocal.com)

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