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Spain opposition hails poll wins

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An official checks Spain Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's identification before voting in Madrid (AP)

An official checks Spain Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's identification before voting in Madrid (AP)

Thousands of people joined a mass demonstration in Madrid, Spain, on Saturday - the day before regional elections (AP)

Thousands of people joined a mass demonstration in Madrid, Spain, on Saturday - the day before regional elections (AP)

Demonstrators hold banners and shout slogans as they take part in a protest at Sol square in Madrid (AP)

Demonstrators hold banners and shout slogans as they take part in a protest at Sol square in Madrid (AP)

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An official checks Spain Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's identification before voting in Madrid (AP)

Spain's conservative opposition is basking in an overwhelming regional and local election victory and said it shows voters have had enough of the Socialist government.

Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy told jubilant supporters the win was his party's best ever in this kind of election. He stopped short of calling for early general elections as his party has in the past.

The election was accompanied by unprecedented sit-ins by Spaniards furious over the economy. PP campaign director Ana Mato said Sunday's election made clear Spaniards enduring 21.3% unemployment want to launch "a new era".

The conservatives beat the Socialists by 10 percentage points and more than two million votes in local elections, and cleaned up in 13 regional races, winning virtually all of them.

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