Change or safety? Spain decides in repeat election

Supporter of left wing party Podemos gather ahead of the party's final campaign meeting in Madrid, on June 24, 2016, two days before repeat general electionsThe polls, which opened at 0700 GMT under a generally blue sky nationwide, are pitting voters hungry for change in a country with sky-high unemployment against those who fear this change would worsen the situation for Spain, which was on the brink of collapse just a few years ago. Britain’s surprise vote to leave the European Union has further exacerbated this cleavage, with the outgoing conservative Popular Party (PP) insisting on the need for “stability” in the face of “radicalism” and “populism”, in a thinly-veiled dig at the Unidos Podemos coalition. “If you want a united country and not a radical Spain, think about it, go for what is safe… vote for the Popular Party,” acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy said in one of his last tweets before the obligatory day of campaign silence.

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