He is not celebrating just yet. But as campaigning draws to a close ahead of Sunday’s election, Mariano Rajoy looks all but certain to become Spain’s next prime minister.
With a double digit lead in the opinion polls, his centre-right opposition Popular Party is pledging to fix the economic crisis that has hit Spain hard.
“It is our duty,” Rajoy told loyalists. “Because we feel we can do it and because the Spanish people are going to give us their massive support.”
With Spain heading back into recession amid the European Union’s highest unemployment rate, Spaniards are looking to Rajoy for swift action.
As Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero bows out, the embattled ruling Socialists have picked veteran politician Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba as their candidate.
He has spent recent days trying to encourage the Socialist vote, so as to prevent the conservatives taking an absolute majority in parliament.
Spaniards are set to send the Socialist government packing, in punishment for its perceived mishandling of the mounting euro zone debt crisis.