October 5, 2014 / 11:04 AM / 3 years ago

Support for Spain's ruling conservatives sinks: poll

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy presides over his ruling People's Party (PP) National Executive board meeting in Madrid November 25, 2013. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

MADRID (Reuters) - Support for Spain’s center People’s Party (PP) has sunk to its lowest level since its general election victory in 2011, while support for new leftist party Podemos has risen, a poll showed on Sunday.

Spaniards have become increasingly disenchanted with politics as unemployment, fraud and separatist tensions in Catalonia cloud a nascent economic recovery.

This has taken its toll on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government, which has also lost enthusiasm from traditional conservative voters since it withdrew a controversial abortion law last month.

Rajoy’s People’s Party (PP) would win 15.9 percent of the vote if elections were held now, about half of what polls showed it would win in 2011, the Metroscopia poll published in newspaper El Pais showed.

While support for Spain’s opposition Socialists has ticked up to 20.7 percent versus 20.3 in the same period, new leftist party Podemos has emerged as the country’s third largest political force, gaining 14.3 percent of votes, the poll showed.

Led by university professor Pablo Iglesias, Podemos has plugged into discontent with big establishment parties, threatening an end to a two-party political system that has dominated Spain since its return to democracy in the 1970s.

A poll that showed the PP and the Socialist parties winning 52 percent of the vote in 2011, at the height of a financial crisis that was threatening to push Spain into an international bailout, said they would only capture about 37 percent today.

Spain’s next general elections is due late next year.

(The story is corrected to show 2011 comparisons were for electoral intentions, not election results, in 4th and 7th paragraphs)

Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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