MADRID (Reuters) – The races to control the Spanish capital and the wider region around Madrid in elections next Sunday look to be going down to the wire, according to two polls.
The battle for Madrid, Spain’s most powerful region, reflects the country’s increasing political fragmentation, marked by the comeback by the Socialists and a battle among three right wing parties after the emergence of far-right Vox.
The far-left Mas Madrid looks set to retain the mayor’s post in the capital, but polls in El Pais and ABC newspapers suggested incumbent Manuela Carmena would need to work with the Socialists to form a majority.
Centre-right Ciudadanos, with 20% of votes, would overtake the conservative People’s Party (PP) as the main opposition party and, in a coalition with PP and far-right Vox, could be one or two seats away from a majority, the El Pais poll said.
The ABC poll showed Vox would lose half of the support it received in Madrid in Spain’s national election in April, taking it down to down to 6.8%.
In the regional race, ABC projects almost a tie between a coalition of three left-wing parties and another one of the three conservative groups, with a slim advantage of the latter although the Socialists would be receive the most votes.
The PP has been governing the Madrid region since 1995 and keeping it is a key test for the party after April’s national election, in which it got its worst results ever in Spain’s parliament.
The Madrid votes are being held on the same day as Spain votes to elect 54 lawmakers to the European Parliament.
The Socialists looks set to receive the most votes, with a 10-point advantage ahead of the PP, according to a poll published on Saturday by El Pais. In last month’s national election, the Socialists won with a 12-point difference.
(Reporting by Joan Faus; Editing by Alison Williams)