Spain top parties' popularity drops as economy sags

MADRID, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Spaniards' opinion of the two mainpolitical parties and their leaders has worsened considerablysince the national election in November, two separate pollspublished on Monday showed.

Voting intentions for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy'sPeople's Party (PP) fell to 29.9 percent in October from 44.6percent last November, according to a survey by polling groupMetroscopia, published in newspaper El Pais.

The opposition Socialists, who lost the election to theconservatives in a landslide victory for Rajoy, also saw theirpopularity drop to 23.9 percent of the vote from 28.7 percentlast year, the poll showed.

Support for left-wing Izquierda Unida (IU) meanwhile jumpedto 12.6 percent in the October survey compared to just 7.7percent at the start of the year.

Spain's conservatives have passed a series of deep andunpopular spending cuts and tax hikes since taking office todeflate the public deficit, prompting a growing number of streetprotests.

Unemployment has risen to new record highs since Novemberand the government's own forecasts suggest little improvementover the next two years as the recession drags on.

Some 71 percent of respondents disapproved of Rajoy'smanagement of the country, compared to only 23 percent approval,while 84 percent said the Prime Minister inspired little or noconfidence.

Opposition leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba fared even worse,with some 76 percent disapproving of his management and 90percent saying he inspired little or no confidence.

In a separate survey by the Centre of Sociological Studies(CIS), 26.9 percent of Spaniards polled put the politicalclasses as one of Spain's most pressing problems, with onlyunemployment and the economy rating higher.

The CIS poll, taken in September, compared to 22.6 percentin November of last year.

(Reporting By Paul Day; Editing by Michael Roddy)

((paul.e.day@thomsonreuters.com)(+34 91 585 83 08)(ReutersMessaging: paul.e.day.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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