Spain holds its first elections for 40 years next Wednesday (15 June) and the Centre Democratic Union under premier Adolfo Suarez is expected to take most of the votes.
SV Party Poster of Felipe Gonzalez of Spanish Socialist Party walking to rally in San Sebastian, Spain (3 shots
SV Party members handing out pamphlets and carnations
GV PAN INTERIOR Velodrome filled with people at rally
SV Party officials on rostrum PAN TO Gonzalez preparing to speak as crowd applauds
GV Crowd singing Eusko Gudari
CU PAN Party officials, including Gonzalez, singing Basque anthem
SV & GV Audience applauds (2 shots
SV Gonzalez holding up flags to crowd
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Background: Spain holds its first elections for 40 years next Wednesday (15 June) and the Centre Democratic Union under premier Adolfo Suarez is expected to take most of the votes. Since the election campaign started, however, a relatively new face on the country's political scene is rising in popularity, especially among the working classes.
SYNOPSIS: Felipe Gonzalez, a brilliant 37-year old Seville Lawyer and leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) demonstrated his popularity on Sunday (5 June) when he attended a party rally in San Sebastian. That was one stop in an extensive tour of Spain for Senor Gonzalez. By polling day he will have personally campaigned in all of the country's 50 provinces.
An estimated 10,000 people turned out to welcome him to San Sebastian. In a country where political leaders are traditionally remote and formal, Gonzalez's open approach is expected to win votes. His name first emerged in the 1960s when he defended the Firestone workers in a classic labour conflict. Gonzalez is the son of an Andalucian cowman. He worked for one of Seville's big landowners and knows much about poverty and social inequality.
Gonzalez joined the party five years ago and, since being elected first secretary, he has worked at uniting the socialist parties to present a strong, combined opposition. In the Basque area and in Catalonia, the parties had threatened to fight the election on their own, but, with his tactical skill, Gonzalez has won their support.
His party is expected to get the most votes after Prime Minister Suarez's Centre Democratic Union.