Spain’s opposition Popular party hopes to win a general election in nine days’ time by persuading Socialist sympathisers to abstain.
“Our whole strategy is centred on wavering Socialist voters,” Gabriel Elorriaga, a senior strategist at the conservative party, says. “We know they will never vote for us. But if we can sow enough doubts about the economy, about immigration and nationalist issues, then perhaps they will stay at home.”
The Popular party (PP) needs a high abstention rate to win. Mr Elorriaga says the party faithful are all fired up to vote, but admits that the PP has been unable to broaden its appeal during its four years in opposition. “It will be difficult to increase our vote,” Mr Elorriaga says. “The PP has a very hard, rightwing image at the moment. Even our own voters think they are more centrist than the PP.”