THE LATEST POLL on Zapatero's popularity is very bad news for him:
Since prime minister Rodriguez Zapatero's administration took over power 12 months ago in April 2004, the people's trust in him has declined by 16 percentage points. 44.4% of Spaniards say they have little or no trust in Zapatero, according to the most recent survey carried out by government pollster CIS (Center of Sociological Investigation). Nevertheless, 49% of Spaniards still have "much" or "some" trust in Zapatero.Note that this poll was carried out by a government pollster (yes, there's such thing in statist Spain). You can guess which way the results are skewed to; my bet is that an independent poll would present a much worse picture; there's lots of "buyers remorse" going on after the March 14 election, held in a very particular climate after the terror attacks three days earlier.
The survey was taken after the referendum on the European Constitution held on February 20 and was officially presented to Parliament yesterday. 2487 people were surveyed between February 26 and March 4 all over Spain; that is, the survey period ended shortly before the first anniversary of the March 14, 2004 election that put the Socialists in power. According to the survey, 8.3% of Spaniards have "much" trust in the administration, 40.7% have "some" trust, 29.2% have "little" trust, and 13.1% have "no" trust.
When these statistics are compared with the surveys the CIS has produced since Zapatero's accession to power, a sharp decline in the trust he inspires among the citizens is obvious. In April 2004, 66.8% of the people had "much" or "some" trust in Zapatero, while only 27.8% had little or no trust. The percentages of those who trusted Zapatero "much" or "some" have declined from 57.2% in July 2004 to 52.1% in October 2004 to 50.8% in January 2005.
Meanwhile, the percentages of Spaniards who have "little" or "no" trust in the prime minister have risen from 36.4% in July to 43% in October to 44.4% in February 2005. a (36,4 por ciento en julio, 43 por ciento en octubre y 44,4 por ciento hace tres meses). 39.8% of Spaniards consider the administration's performance to be "very good" or "good" in its first year, while 15.2% consider it "bad" or "very bad". 36.6% of those surveys consider Zapatero's performance to be "average".