Spain’s Conservatives Steal Show From Podemos In Polls

AFP – Spain’s incumbent conservatives stole the show away from a far-left coalition led by Podemos Sunday, finishing stronger in repeat elections with more seats than in December polls though still falling short of a majority. Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was the big winner of these second elections in six months, which saw all other parties lose parliamentary seats and/or votes. The Unidos Podemos coalition was the hardest-hit, losing more than one million votes and reversing pre-election expectations that it would leapfrog over the Socialists to come second and replace them as the main left-wing force. Rajoy was all smiles as he looked down from a tall podium on a crowd of supporters waving blue flags and shouting “yes we can!” — stealing Podemos’ key catchphrase. “It’s been hard, it’s been difficult, it’s been complicated, but we put up a fight for Spain,” the 61-year-old said. – Brexit influenced? – The election came just three days after Britain’s shock vote to leave the European Union, pitting those hungry for change in a country with high unemployment against those who feared it would torpedo Spain’s slow economic recovery. And while it was too early to tell, Thursday’s shock Brexit may