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Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Spain’s opposition People’s Party led by Mariano Rajoy widened its lead over the ruling Socialists before next month’s general elections, opinion polls published in El Pais and El Mundo showed.
The PP may win 45.5 percent support in the Nov. 20 vote, compared with 29.7 percent for the Socialists led by Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, according to a poll by Madrid-based research institute Metroscopia published today by El Pais.
The poll in El Mundo today, conducted by Madrid-based market researcher Sigma Dos, showed the PP attracting 48 percent backing, compared with 30.8 percent for the Socialists.
The ruling party is struggling to retain voters after imposing the deepest austerity measures in at least three decades and presiding over a rise in unemployment to 21 percent. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero isn’t seeking re- election and his party chose Rubalcaba, the former deputy prime minister and interior minister, as its candidate.
The El Pais poll showed the PP widening its lead from September, when the party had 44.8 percent backing compared with 30.7 percent for PSOE, the newspaper said.
The PP may be on course to win a majority in the Spanish parliament with 185 to 190 seats in the 350-seat assembly, compared with 115 to 120 for the Socialists, El Pais said. The poll for El Mundo pointed to a result giving the PP 196 seats to 117 for the Socialists.
The El Pais poll had a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points, the newspaper said. El Mundo said its poll had a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.
ABC newspaper today reported that a survey of 215 executives conducted by accounting company KPMG LLP showed that 75 percent expect Spain’s economy to start recovering in 2013.
--Editors: David McQuaid, Steve Bailey
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