Spain Divided Ahead of Big Vote

Nasty campaign will weigh in on Zapatero era
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2008 6:37 PM CST
A man walks below posters of Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, left, and Popular Party candidate Mariano Rajoy, right, in Cornella de Llobregat, near Barcelona, Spain Saturday, March...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Spaniards are bitterly divided between the ruling Socialist Party and right-wing Popular Party as they head for the polls tomorrow, the Washington Post reports. Polls do not predict a majority for Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's socialists or the Mariano Rajoy-led Popular Party, but much will depend on the turnout of the young, who skew toward Zapatero, the Washington Post reports.

Since his surprise win in 2004, just three days after the Madrid train bombings, Zapatero has withdrawn from Iraq and passed liberal reforms that supporters fear will evaporate if Rajoy wins tomorrow. The Popular Party is relying on backing from the Catholic Church and a tough immigration stance. Both are competing on the economy, promising tax cuts, affordable housing, and job programs.