March 24, 2019 / 11:38 PM / a month ago

Spain's socialists increase their lead ahead of April 28 vote: poll

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s Socialists increased their lead in a poll published on Monday in newspaper ABC with 30.9 percent of votes, equivalent to between 131 and 134 seats in the 350-seat parliament, but fell short of a majority ahead of a general election on April 28.

A coalition of three right-wing parties - People’s Party (PP), Ciudadanos and far-right Vox - would get 46.5 percent of votes, equivalent to between 157 and 166 seats, but would also be short of the 176 seats needed to secure an outright parliamentary majority, according to the poll conducted by GAD3.

The Socialists’ support has increased by 0.3 percent since a previous poll by GAD3 published by ABC on March 10, while all the other major parties have seen their votes decrease.

PP’s support has been reduced by 0.2 percent, Ciudadanos by 0.1, Podemos by 0.5 and Vox by 0.6.

Socialist Pedro Sanchez could clinch a majority to get reelected as prime minister if he won the support of the array of parties, including far-left Podemos and Catalan pro-independence parties, that backed him last June when he won a vote of confidence against PP’s government at the time.

The sum of those parties would have between 177 and 180 seats in parliament, according to the poll.

Monday’s poll was conducted with 7,500 respondents between March 1 and 22, and had a margin of error of 1.1 percentage points.

Another poll published on Sunday by El Pais newspaper also gave the Socialists the victory in the election but with a smaller lead. The party would win 27.1 percent of the vote, or 122 seats, still short of a majority.

Reporting by Joan Faus; Editing by Sandra Maler and Chris Reese

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