MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s Socialist party extended its lead in two opinion polls published on Monday, amid a last-ditch attempt by acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez to get the support of far-left Unidas Podemos to form a government and avoid a repeat election.
Sanchez’s Socialists finished first in an inconclusive national election in April but he failed twice to be confirmed as premier by parliament in July and now has three weeks to break the political deadlock or face a new election on Nov. 10.
On Monday, two opinion polls in El Mundo and La Razon newspaper said the Socialists will finish first and will get more votes in the case of a new election. Sigma Dos said in its poll in El Mundo that Sanchez will get 33.4% of the vote, followed by conservative PP (19%) and Podemos (14.2%).
Sigma Dos polled 1,000 people from Aug. 27 to Aug. 29 and it concludes that the Socialists would only need the support of Podemos to form a new Government. However, the NC Report poll for La Razon said they will need again the support of smaller parties to get a majority.
The Socialist Party and Podemos have been clashing regarding the formation a new government, with Podemos pressing to form a coalition and the Socialist trying to get their support without letting them enter the cabinet.
On Sunday, Sanchez said in an interview in El Pais newspaper that his party will present on Tuesday a program to Unidas Podemos to try and get their support, but even if they reconcile their differences, they will need the cooperation of smaller regional parties to govern.
(Reporting by Andres Gonzalez; Editing by Toby Chopra)