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Spain's ruling PP holds lead in official voting intention poll

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy attends a meeting at People's Party (PP) headquarters in Madrid, January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Juan Medina

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s ruling People’s Party (PP) would hold on to its slim lead if a general election were held today, ahead of the Socialists, who would come second, and market-friendly Ciudadanos third, an official poll showing Monday.

The PP, headed by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, would win 26.3 percent of the vote while the Socialists would take 23.1 percent, according to the poll carried out by Sociological Research Centre (CIS).

Relative newcomers, center-right Ciudadanos would win 20.7 percent while anti-austerity Podemos party was seen winning 19 percent of the vote, the poll showed.

Those results compared to previous poll in November which showed the PP taking 28 percent, Socialists 24.2 percent, Podemos 18.5 percent and Ciudadanos 17.5 percent.

The PP holds a minority in parliament after the last general election in 2016. Spaniards are expected to return to voting booths again in around 2020.

Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Jesus Aguado