INITIAL reports by the Euro Weekly News in early September predicting the date of the general election in Spain for December 20, 2015 have been confirmed on Thursday October 1 by Prime Minister Rajoy.
Rajoy, who announced the date in an interview with Antena 3 television, has an absolute majority in parliament with his conservative Popular Party (PP), however opinion polls suggest support for the opposition Socialist Party is building.
In third place is far-left party, Podemos, which could be in a position to enter power were they to go into a coalition with the Socialist Party.
Rajoy told Antena 3: “We will now have a margin in which to install the parliament after the holidays.”
There had been calls to hold the vote earlier in December but the Prime Minister has now ended recent speculation surrounding the scheduling.
Rajoy won a convincing victory in 2011 as voters ousted the ruling Socialists for their management of the financial crisis that rocked the country in 2008.
Catalan demands for independence will likely loom large over the upcoming polls after separatist parties on Sunday won Catalonia’s regional election, a vote they had billed as a de facto referendum on breaking away from Spain.
Rajoy has consistently refused separatists’ demands for an official referendum on the matter and this week ruled out discussing a split with the wealthy north-western region.