SOMEWHAT predictably, recent polling has shown that were Spain to hold a third successive general election today, pundits would probably soon be speculating about dates for a fourth election, or calling for the King to step in and rule with a velvet fist.
An official poll released on Monday indicated that any changes in surveyed popularity since June’s election were well within the margin of error, with the PP slipping from 33 per cent to 32.5, the Socialists gaining 0.4 per cent and Podemos slipping 1.5 per cent.
In other words absolutely nothing would change and the ongoing dynamics and deadlock would simply resume alongside petty squabbles and stubbornness.
Acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy has failed to raise the parliamentary support needed to win an investiture vote, a move he skipped following the first general election in December due to a lack of popular support. His Partido Popular boasted that they had ‘won’ the second vote by improving on their share of seats, but their 137 still falls far short of a majority.
Both the PSOE and the Unidos-Podemos alliance have made clear their intention to reject Rajoy in any forthcoming investiture vote, while fourth-placed Ciudadanos would simply abstain, denying the PP their share unless Rajoy resigns as leader.
Although all party leaders are responsible for the posturing, which is rapidly eroding public sympathy and interest, in order to break the cycle and prevent a disastrously embarrassing, and seemingly pointless, third election, it is Rajoy who, having had his shot and blown it, is the central obstacle to progress.