December 11, 2015 / 12:46 PM / 3 years ago

Spain's ruling PP tops pre-election survey, newcomer Ciudadanos second

MADRID (Reuters) - A new survey has put Spain’s market-friendly political newcomer Ciudadanos (‘Citizens’) in second place behind the ruling People’s Party (PP) nine days before a general election, pushing the opposition Socialists into fourth.

Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera, one of the four leading candidates for Spain's national election, attends a conference during his election campaign in Madrid, Spain, December 11, 2015. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

The DYM poll was the worst showing yet for the Socialists, suggesting they had lost support heavily to Ciudadanos and another newcomer, the left-wing anti-austerity movement Podemos (‘We can’).

However, 26 percent of respondents said they had not yet decided who to vote for on Dec. 20.

Surveys indicate that no single party is on course to win a parliamentary majority, raising the prospect of a coalition or minority government.

Spaniards, still reeling from the effects of a deep recession that officially ended 18 months ago, are turning away in droves from the two main parties that have ruled Spain since it emerged from dictatorship in the late 1970s.

Podemos, often compared to Greece’s Syriza, and Ciudadanos have attracted voters fed up with an entrenched political class tarnished by corruption scandals.

However, the center-right PP has been helped by an economic recovery, which is starting to put a dent into the highest unemployment rate in the euro zone outside of Greece.

The survey found that the PP, led by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, would get 26.7 percent of the vote, with Ciudadanos on 23.2 percent, Podemos on 19.1 percent and the Socialists on 17 percent.

DYM polled 1,012 people between Nov. 27 and Dec. 9 and its results were published by the news site El Confidencial.

Reporting by Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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