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Podemos lose support amid economic recovery

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Podemos lose support amid economic recovery
Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias in early July. Photo: Dani Pozo / AFP
10:34 CEST+02:00
Anti-establishment party Podemos is losing ground against Spain's two mainstream parties, the latest opinion poll shows.

Spain's economic recovery and the ongoing crisis in Greece have contributed to a resurgence in support for Spain's two-party system at the expense of radical anti-austerity protest party Podemos.

The governing Popular Party would win the most votes in an election if held tomorrow, securing 29.1 per cent of the vote, revealed a GAD3 poll published in Spain's conservative ABC newspaper on Sunday.

Meanwhile the opposition socialist PSOE would garner a quarter of the vote with 25.1 percent, winning back 6.1 percentage points since January.

Podemos, the radical leftist party born of the indignado movement would win just 15 percent of the vote, according to Sunday's poll, whereas previous surveys had put it neck and neck with its more traditional rivals.

The radical party led by Pablo Iglesias has challenged Spain's traditional two-party system since bursting onto the political scene 18 months ago.

In regional and municipal elections in May coalitions under the Podemos umbrella took power in four of Spain's five biggest cities changing Spain's political landscape.

But ABC said that recent measures by the PP government, including the lowering of taxes combined with an improved outlook of Spain's economy, had seen voters return to the PP.

The ongoing crisis in Greece under the government of Podemos allies Syriza has turned people off the party, according to the pollsters.

"Now, however, at least the more moderate PP voter is starting to compare (Spain) with Greece and say, well, not having had a bailout was very tough but having had one would have been even worse," Narciso Michavila of GAD3 told Reuters.

Michavila, whose firm has close links with the PP, said Podemos was also losing out in a shift in voter intentions on the left, which was favoring the PSOE.

The polls show that support for the PP has held steady since January whereas Podemos, has seen its popularity plummet.

However, according to the poll, the PP has suffered a huge loss of support since winning the last general election in 2011 - with support falling 15 percentage points - and would still fail to win an absolute majority.

The poll was a positive result for Ciudadanos, the centrist party of Albert Rivera, placing it as Spain's fourth political force with 12.1 percent of the vote.

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