Spain's opposition centre-right People's Party (PP) has maintained the strong margin with which it is expected to win this month's general election, with a runaway lead of between 14 and 18 percentage points over the ruling Socialists, two opinion polls showed on Sunday.
With the vote now just one week away, Spaniards are angry at the Socialists for their failure to implement measures to stimulate growth and tackle a crippling 21.5 percent unemployment rate, the highest in the European Union.
The PP is seen implementing austerity measures aimed at hauling the economy back into shape after a burst property bubble left the nation saddled with debt. But to do so Spain will suffer more hardship, probably entering recession again before showing any signs of improvement.
A Sigma Dos poll in right-leaning newspaper El Mundo showed Mariano Rajoy's PP defeating the socialists with a 17.7 percentage point margin, 47.5 percent to 29.8 percent. A Demoscopia poll published in left-leaning newspaper El Pais put the margin at 14.5 percentage points.
Both results were in line with previous surveys by the same firms in recent days, and would give the PP an outright majority of seats in parliament.
Both polls also found that the Socialists would lose in their stronghold region Andalusia by a wide margin, but would hold on to a bastion in northeastern Catalonia.
Sigma Dos carried out 3,000 telephone interviews from October 28 to November 10 with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.82 percent. Demoscopia interviewed almost 10,000 people by telephone from October 18 to November 8 with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percent.
(Reporting By Elisabeth O'Leary; Editing by Peter Graff)