Europe

Spain repeat election: Party leaders woo voters

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy applauds his supporters during a campaign event in Sevilla on 23 June Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Rajoy told supporters in Seville the party with the most seats in Congress should be allowed to govern

Campaigning has intensified in Spain ahead of Sunday's repeat parliamentary election, with opinion polls suggesting another four-way race.

The ruling conservative Popular Party (PP) led by acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is expected to take the largest share of the vote.

A leftist coalition, Unidos Podemos, would come second, followed by the Socialists and Ciudadanos.

But no party is seen as coming close to an overall majority of seats.

The vote was called after the parties failed to form a new government following December's inconclusive election.

Since then, the country has been ruled by the PP in a caretaker capacity.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The PP's image has been hit by a string of corruption scandals that emerged while Mr Rajoy was leader
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Unidos Podemos figure Pablo Iglesias, seen here at a campaign rally in Jerez de la Frontera, is trying to soften his hard-left image
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Hundreds of supporters gathered for the Unidos Podemos event
Image copyright EPA
Image caption The Socialists under Pedro Sanchez, seen here in Murcia, risk a shock if they are overtaken by Podemos and its allies
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption In Alicante, Mr Sanchez posed with lookalike figures of party leaders
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Alberto Rivera, leader of the Ciudadanos anti-corruption party, was campaigning in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The campaign has been marked by a lack of enthusiasm among voters, with abstention predicted to be higher than at the last vote.

With an unemployment rate at 21%, the economy remains the main concern for Spaniards.

However there are signs that confidence is recovering as the country emerges from the 2008-2013 double-dip recession known as "la crisis".