Spain: Rising United Left Tackles New Challenges

The latest opinion polls in the Spanish state have been stirring waves of concern in the ruling elites, of hope on the left and storms of comment in the media.

Nationally, they show the radical federation United Left (IU) within reach of closing the gap on the social-democratic Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE). In the June Metroscopia poll IU trailed just 4.7% percentage points behind the PSOE (16.8% to 21.5%).

Spanish social democracy’s decline is most advanced in Catalonia and Galicia, and in the capital Madrid. A May 5 Asca poll showed the Galician Left Alternative (AGE)—in which IU participates with the left-nationalist ANOVA, the all-Spanish green party Equo and the Galician Ecosocialist Space (EEG)—doubling its presence in the 75-seat Galician parliament to 18 seats. That would put it just one seat behind the PSOE (represented in Galicia by the Party of Socialists of Galicia, PSG).

A June 6 Gesop poll put IU’s Catalan affiliate, the United and Alternative Left (EUiA), which acts in electoral coalition with Initiative for Catalonia-Greens (ICV), in a similar position. The alliance is now level-pegging on 12.2% with the Party of Catalan Socialists (PSC, the PSOE’s Catalan affiliate).

In Madrid city council IU would jump from 10.7% to 20.5% of the vote, just 1.6% behind the PSOE. These results are being confirmed at the city and regional level: