A surge in the popularity of the far-right party Vox may pave the way to a large majority for conservative parties in Spain if a snap general election is called this year, according to a poll published yesterday.
The poll published in El Mundo found that Vox, which takes a hardline stance on Gibraltar including calls to close the border, may gain up to 13% of the votes, or 45 seats in the Spanish parliament.
If the poll is accurate, Vox’s could transfer its succes in Andalusia in the recent regional election to the national arena.
The poll suggests Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’ Socialist party may be short of the overall majority needed to form a government, with just 22.6% of the votes, giving his party 167 out of 350 seats.
This will not be enough for PSOE to form a government even if it were to join forces with far-left Podemos and Basque and Catalan nationalist parties.
Mr Sanchez came into power last June after a surprise no-confidence vote against his predecessor, Mariano Rajoy of the Partido Popular.
But his government is struggling to approve a draft budget for 2019, sparking rumours of a snap general election.
The next Spanish government might be led by an alliance formed by the PP, Ciudadanos and Vox, which together will gain a larger majority of the votes.
This alliance might gain anything between 179 and 189 seats in Congress after possibly receiving 50.9% of the total votes.
Last week, the PP and Ciudadanos reached an agreement to form a government in Andalusia, and they are now working to gain support from Vox.
The three parties have a majority in the regional parliament in Andalusia and will put an end to 36 years of a socialist government in the region.
However, El Mundo suggested another option where Spain might see an alliance formed between the centrist parties PSOE, PP and Ciudadanos, which would marginalise the more extremist parties.
Whatever the outcome, the poll indicates there will be a fragmented parliament in Spain where the three primary parties PSOE, PP and Ciudadanos will receive a similar number of votes.
The Sigma Dos telephone poll of 1,000 eligible voters was carried out last week.