Spanish Election: Three-way split in polls ahead of TV debate

LATEST polling for the Spanish General Election shows a three-way tie between the main parties as voters look certain to dismantle a decades’ long two-party hegemony on December 20. 

The survey conducted by Metroscopia places the ruling Popular Party (PP) at 22.7 per cent, new centre-right party Ciudadanos at 22.6 per cent, and Socialist Party opposition the PSOE at 22.5 per cent. Leftist anti-austerity party Podemos come in slightly behind at 17.1 per cent. 

A televised debate, hosted by El País, on November 30, will pit the three main opposition leaders against each other in the first online debate with a live audience. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has controversially declined to participate with El Pais rejecting his offer to have his deputy take his stead. 

Four key issues will be debated: the economy, social welfare, territorial policy and political reform. In the wake of the Paris attacks further time will be allocated for a discussion on the Spanish response to Islamic terrorism. 

In terms of seats in Congress, the polling translates to 88-98 seats for the Socialists, 72-84 for Ciudadanos, and 93-100 for the PP. Such figures would indicate a minority victory for the PP, although a coalition with right-leaning Ciudadanos is also on the cards. 

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