La Vanguardia ran a survey today that makes it clear that the PP is significantly turning off a lot of voters with its hard line against Zapatero. The survey was taken early last week, after the Barajas bombing that killed two men and some of the political fallout.
If elections were held today, the PSOE would get 161-164 seats in the Congress of Deputies, the PP would get 138-142, CiU would get 13-14, and the Communists would get 13. 176 seats are needed for a majority. Currently the Socialists hold 164, the PP 148, CiU 10, and the Communists 5. Key stats: 58% have a worse opinion of the PP than they did one year ago. 60% said the PP's performance in the opposition had been "bad" or "very bad, and only 24% said "good" or "very good." 39% had "no confidence" in Rajoy, and 35% more had "little confidence." 68% said that "the PP distrusted the administration too much and irresponsibly caused difficulties in the peace process."
Methinks what this means is that Zap isn't incredibly popular, but folks really don't like Rajoy. It also means that the bombing did not move the political center closer to the anti-ETA hard line.
The PP needs to open itself up to internal democracy, because Rajoy is going to lose us the next election. We need primary elections within the party in order to choose the leaders, and if we had them I will bet you that Ruiz-Gallardon would win. Zap should be an easy candidate to beat--he's a naive weenie party hack--but Rajoy is not the man who's going to do it. He should step down now.
I will add that the crazy-ass wing of the party that believes in some kind of conspiracy between the Zap government, ETA, the PSOE, and of all people the CESID, the intelligence bureau, behind the March 11, 2004 bombings, is not doing the PP one bit of good among the moderates. Somebody needs to make those people sit down and shut up, or get out of the party. I can't believe that Aznar doesn't have these tinfoil-hat Acebes-Zaplana wingnuts on a tighter leash.