Reuters International

Podemos (We Can) party leader Pablo Iglesias speaks during a news conference at the parliament in Madrid, Spain, April 26, 2016. REUTERS/Juan Medina


MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's anti-austerity party Podemos and a smaller rival, Izquierda Unida (IU, or United Left) announced on Monday they had reached a preliminary agreement to run on a joint platform before a general election on June 26.

Both parties said they would consult their members on May 10 and 11 and, according to IU, publish the results on May 12, as they prepare for a new election.

Spain's last election, in December, failed to give any party enough seats to form a government, and five months of talks among the parties have not led to a governing coalition.

An official survey released late on Friday showed voters are still not inclined to revert to the two-party system that dominated Spanish politics for the past 40 years. They seem likely to spread their votes among 10 different parties instead.

The survey also suggested Podemos was losing support before the coming election. However, an alliance between Podemos and United Left would leave the two parties round 23 percent of the votes, making them the main left-wing force, ahead of the second-place Socialists.

Nevertheless, the conservative People's Party of acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy would win the ballot with around 27 percent of the vote - still well short of an overall majority.

(Reporting by Blanca Rodriguez and Jesús Aguado; Editing by Sarah White, Larry King)


 Reuters International