Staff Reporter

THE PSOE (Spanish Socialist Party) would get 40.5 percent of the votes if a general election was held now, according to the latest Barometer report from the Sociological Investigations Centre (CIS).

This would mean that the PSOE would increase their lead over the Partido Popular (PP) to 3.5 points, as the PP would get 37 percent of the votes, according to the CIS.

The poll, done between July 6 and 18, after the debate about the State of the Nation, also says that the Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is the most popular political leader amongst the Spanish.

He was awarded an average score of 5.01, while the PP leader Mariano Rajoy was given an average score of 3.81.
According to the CIS's figures, the increase to 3.5 points between the two main political parties (it was 3 points in the April Barometer) is due to an improvement of nine tenths of a point in the PSOE's electoral estimates, in spite of the fact that the PP has also increased its estimates by four tenths of a point.

The third political party is still the IU (United Left) which had a slight rise in comparison with the last study, going from 5.6 percent of the vote to 6.1 percent.

In general, citizens have a worse opinion of their political leaders than in the last report. This was shown by a study done immediately after the debate about the State of the Nation.

Only Zapatero made the grade (more than five points) with 5.01 points in comparison with 5.12 in April, while all the other party leaders scored below five points, Rajoy going from 4.05 in April to 3.81 this time.

However, when asked about the confidence inspired by Zapatero and Rajoy, the report found that both leaders had improved their credibility since the last study.

Some 57.4 percent said that they had “little” or “no” confidence in Zapatero (58 percent in April) as opposed to 39.7 who said they had “a lot” or “quite a lot” confidence in him (37.9 percent in April).

Terrorism continues to be the chief problem facing Spaniards (quoted by 44.1 per cent), followed by housing, unemployment and immigration.
However, when asked what problem affected them most personally, the top place went to housing, followed by money and unemployment.


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