Revealing the country’s increasing resistance to austerity, nearly half of Spanish voters support the rising left-wing Podemos Party’s de facto leader Pablo Iglesias for Prime Minister, according to a poll published Friday by radio station Cadena Ser.
If an election for Prime Minister were held right now, Iglesias would receive 44 percent of the votes, the survey showed—almost twice as much as Spain’s current president, Mariano Rajoy of the Popular Party, who would net 23 percent.
The poll also found that 27.5 of Spaniards would vote for the Podemos Party in the upcoming general elections, set to take place on or before December 20, 2015.
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Political analysts have noted that the unexpected ascent of Podemos (translated “We Can”) may have broken Spain’s traditional two-party structure, a phenomenon particularly noteworthy given that the party was formed just over a year ago ahead of elections for European Parliament in which it captured a surprising five of the Spanish delegation’s seats.
Podemos built its platform on measures that fight against skyrocketing public debt, austerity cuts, and forced privatization programs. Such policies have been on the rise across Europe since the financial crash in 2008, but have sparked mass protests in numerous countries including Spain, Greece, Italy, and the U.K.
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