Spain poll shows clear opposition win in 2012

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MADRID – Spain’s centre-right opposition Popular Party would defeat the Socialists, in power for eight years, if elections were held now, El Pais newspaper said. The latest monthly poll results from Metroscopia, published by El Pais on Sunday, shows the PP widening its lead slightly in an election scenario, garnering 44.1 percent of votes compared with 28.3 percent for the Socialists.
The poll comes one day after Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said he would not seek a third term in 2012 elections. Zapatero, 50, has seen his popularity plunge as he imposed spending cuts and economic reforms to keep Spain from spiralling into a fiscal crisis and following Greece and Ireland into a European Union bailout.
The euro zone’s fourth largest economy came under attack in bond markets after a real estate bubble burst in 2008, causing a recession and 20 percent unemployment. Spain’s recovery has lagged behind the rest of Europe. Zapatero’s announcement triggers primaries for a new party leader, with Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba and Defence Minister Carme Chacon seen as possible successors.