Madrid, Sep 3 (IANS) Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Thursday announced that the next general elections is likely to take place on December 20.
Rajoy made the comment in an interview with radio station Cadena Cope, Xinhua news agency reported.
“I cannot give the exact date, but the elections will be in December,” he said, revealing that there “was another possible date” being considered.
One of the reasons Rajoy cited for holding the elections at such a late date (he was elected to power on November 20, 2011) was the need for his Popular Party (PP) government to push through its budget before going to the polls.
However, December 20 will not be a popular date for many Spaniards, given that it falls on the last Sunday before Christmas when many people will be busy with Christmas shopping.
That could lead to a low turnout at the polls, something which traditionally hurts left wing parties, while the PP loyalists can usually be relied on to turn out whatever the circumstances.
The latest opinion poll in Spain showed the PP holding a lead in the polls, but with just 28 percent of the vote. The party’s popularity is well below the 44 percent it polled in 2011.