VOTING polls reveal the Partido Popular is poised to win the May 4 election in the key Madrid region but falling short of an overall majority.
The result would probably see Isabel Diaz Ayuso back at the regional government helm; as president she has clashed with central government over social policies and particularly over the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ayuso insisted on keeping hospitality and commerce sectors open in Spain’s
wealthiest region as other areas shutdown non-essential activities under health restrictions.
The poll by Metroscopia showed the PP winning 59 seats in the 136-seat regional parliament, which means Ayuso would again need the support of the far-right Vox party to control a majority.
Her populist style has seen her compared to former United States president Donal Trump by opponents and she has not ruled out a pact with Vox, which would secure 13 seats according to the poll – which predicts former centre right partners Ciudadanos losing all its seats.
The socialist PSOE – the party of national government prime minister Pedro
Sanchez – will see its share of seats halved and taken together with left-wing Unidas Podemos and Mas Madrid, the left is expected to secure just 64 seats.
Metroscopia Director Andres Medina said in a report: “Voters who are angry at the left-wing government understand the election as an opportunity to punish Pedro Sanchez through Ayuso.”
Tensions escalated in the region in recent days after Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias, a candidate in the Madrid ballot, and several government officials received death threats by post.
Ayuso and the PP ran with the slogan ‘Communism or Freedom’ while after Vox questioned the authenticity of the threats, Iglesias and Podemos countered with the tweaked headline slogan ‘Democracy or Fascism’.