Category Archives: Unión Progreso y Democracia (UPyD)

El Mundo opinion poll shows PP on course for massive victory

Another great in-depth poll comes to us today courtesy of El Mundo and Sigma Dos. With exactly one week to go before polling day, it will make grim reading for the Socialists and give a confidence boost to the PP.

The full findings are behind a paywall (here), but the main points are as follows:

  • After last week’s televised presidential debate between the Partido Popular’s Mariano Rajoy and the PSOE’s Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, the PP has extended its lead to 17.8 points. (PP – 47.6% , PSOE – 29.8%)
  • The Partido Popular is on course to win 198 seats (currently 154) while the PSOE will fall to 112 (currently 169).
  • The PP will top the polls in every single Autonomous Community, except for Catalonia(where the PSC will come first) and Navarre(where the PNV will come first).
  • When asked to rank party leaders participants placed Rajoy first while Rubalcaba came third behind UPyD’s Rosa Díez.

If these predictions come true Rajoy will be very close to the record number of deputies for one party achieved at an election (202 deputies in 1982 by Felipe González’s PSOE). Conversely, the Socialists will suffer their worst defeat ever – worse even than the 125 seats they gained under Joaquín Almunia in 2000.

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Díez faces challenge for leadership of UPyD

Rosa Díez, spokesman of the UPyD in Congress is facing a challenge from within her party today for the right to head the electoral lists at the forthcoming general election, and thereby become the de facto UPyD presidential candidate.

The party rules allow for any member to contest primary elections for the key posts without the need for a minimum level of support. This has allowed five members of the party to put their names forward to challenge Díez for first place in the lists for Madrid. The election will take place today, and all party members in the country will have a chance to vote.

Similar primaries are taking place in all the provinces across the country, as the UPyD seeks to establish which position each candidate will take in the forthcoming election. In Valencia, actor Toni Cantó (pictured) is seeking to head the lists.

Díez opens doors to electorate, bridging gap between voters and politicians

Those familiar with British politics are often surprised by the lack of a direct link in Spain between elected politician and constituent. Whereas in the UK Members of Parliament are expected to have regular direct contact with their electorate, and hold weekly “surgeries” to meet them and discuss issues, in Spain such encounters are much rarer, and the public’s interaction with politicians is more limited.

That is why the press is intrigued by the initiative of Rosa Díez (pictured), spokesman in the Congress for Unión Progreso y Democracia, to meet fortnightly for face-to-face chats with any members of the public who wish to see her.

Díez argues that starting a regular process of dialogue with citizens is good for politicians in order to keep them in touch with feelings on the streets. However, it has other attractions for politicians too.

El Mundo reports that this initiative is already reaping benefits for Díez, with positive comments from the fifteen people who met with her at her first “surgery”, One, a former PP activist, even signed up to her party.

Díez will hold her second “surgery” next week to accommodate the twenty people who she was unable see first time round due to time constraints.

More interaction between politician and electorate is always welcome, and Díez should be applauded. It remains to be seen if she will continue this initiative after the General Election, but hopefully she will, and others will follow lead.