Four days have passed since the Madrid elections, but the digestion of the results still lasts and the national effects are just beginning to be felt. On the right, the PP seeks to extend the reunification of its side of the board to all of Spain, knowing that the more voters retain Vox and Ciudadanos, the more difficult it will have to recover Moncloa. Meanwhile, the left, especially the forces that support the central government (PSOE and UP), show symptoms of denial and a certain disdain for Ayuso’s triumph – and especially the style.

At this point, no one doubts that 4-M has been a shock to state policy. The victory of the PP was expected – the popular have been ruling the Community for 26 years and only lost the autonomic elections of 2019 – but its magnitude not so much. For Vox it has meant slowing down its rise; for Citizens, aggravate their crisis; for the PSOE, a bump that they try to explain and that has decapitated their Madrid federation, and for Podemos, the trigger for the abandonment of Iglesias and the verification that they erred several of the premises of their campaign.

The PP draws a Sánchez in injury time

The popular ones have marked the 4-M as the zero kilometer of a new offensive against the Government. This week, Casado predicted that the Madrid “wave” will become a state “tide” that will carry the coalition Executive ahead, and said that the results in Madrid constitute a “full-blown motion of no confidence” to the policies and the alliances of “sanchismo”. For now, the opposition leader claims to be able to confront Sánchez in a debate on the state of the nation, which has neither been scheduled nor has been convened since 2015.

The president of the PP insists that “the change that has already begun” and that there is a social majority aware of the “urgency” to remove Sánchez from Moncloa, although there are elements that play against him: PSOE and United We Can continue to have partners in Congress, the budget is approved and the Government is assisting with satisfaction the advance of vaccination while waiting for European funds to underpin the recovery. In short, there is no electoral advance – nor, therefore, a window of opportunity for Casado – in sight.

Perhaps that is why the popular ones seem to focus on two lines of action. The first, to write off the Executive and draw a Sánchez in injury time. According to Núñez Feijóo, the 4-M gives off “a clear message of disaffection” towards Sánchez and Podemos with “enormous importance in national policies.” In the words of Cuca Gamarra, the “ticking for his departure from Moncloa” has begun. And, the second, to reunify the center right, the eternal aspiration of the PP since Cs first and Vox emerged later.

From three rights … to a great game?

The reason is simple: the electoral system penalizes the right if it concurs divided into three generals. That is why the Casado celebrates having turned the PP, at least in his judgment, into “the only option to be an alternative” to Sánchez, thanks to having “widened” his electoral space towards the center, bringing together the entire spectrum to the right of the PSOE around its acronym. In this operation, the containment of Vox is key – in Madrid it barely improved results – like the absorption of Ciudadanos –which disappeared from the Assembly–.

The Arrimadas party is, in fact, the great victim of the political operation that began with the motion of censure in Murcia and that sought to expand the options of the oranges’ pact with the PSOE. The failure of that plan has added, to the fiasco in the Basques and Galicians and to the crash in the Catalans, the disappearance in Madrid. In addition, the bleeding of charges has resumed: four deputies have left the group in Les Corts Valencianas, and former councilor Marta Rivera has withdrawn from the party and sounds for the Ayuso Government.

In Ciudadanos they insist that the campaign was good and blame its terrible result on polarization. Arrimadas has already indicated that he will travel to Spain to hold meetings with militants in an attempt to rearm the party, and in Congress it will maintain its willingness to agree with the Government – as happened with the extensions of the state of alarm. Vox, for its part, maintains its harsh tone, but it will have to confirm in future appointments with the polls if the slowdown of its promotion in Madrid is punctual or a sign that it has peaked.

The confusion of PSOE and Podemos

The left, meanwhile, processes its defeat. 48 hours after the elections, the PSOE of Madrid was left headless with the resignation of its general secretary, José Manuel Franco, and the resignation of the act of its candidate, Ángel Gabilondo. In the meantime, Pedro Sánchez has avoided commenting on the results, beyond a formal tweet of congratulations to Ayuso on election night, and on the part of the federal leadership have been the vice president Calvo and the minister and secretary of Organization, Ábalos, who have shown their faces.

None of them targeted Sánchez’s team, the architect of an erratic campaign, but they admitted bewilderment, wear and tear due to the pandemic and difficulties in the face of Ayuso’s style. In Calvo’s words, as he said in Onda Cero, it is “difficult” to understand the socialist “collapse”. Ábalos pointed to both “structural” causes –26 years of the PP government– and conjunctural causes –the “tension” -. And both recognized that the management of the pandemic “wears”: “The Government has made an effort and you always think that they will understand you …”, lamented the vice president.

The third element of the socialist analysis is the criticism of the tone of Ayuso’s campaign and his slogan, which Calvo described as “a great nonsense”: “The word freedom is easy to buy, but it has an unreal part. It is still a bit inconsistent.”Said the vice president, who defended that the PSOE “moves well” in the campaigns where they talk about a “program”, but “badly” in those focused on the “useless fields of politics.” Ábalos added that “singularities” such as “the leisure and bustle” of Madrid also had an influence.

The coordinates of Podemos fail

A similar tone was used by one of the co-founders of Podemos, Juan Carlos Monedero, who said that “those who earn 900 euros and vote for the right” do not “look like Einstein” and that sometimes, to the voters, they “lack intellectual elements and resources to understand” what they need. Pablo Echenique, spokesman in Congress, stressed for his part that the party has “grown” and that the situation is “unbeatable” to make Yolanda Díaz the next president, thanks to Iglesias’ “politically correct decision” to give a Step back.

It is true that Unidos Podemos went from 7 to 10 seats, but also that a key to its campaign failed: the purple leadership believed that, with a high turnout, the left would add. Reality, on the other hand, denied that hypothesis: with a record turnout at the polls, lthe right widened its lead, from 100,000 votes in 2019 to about 600,000. The PP also dyed all Madrid districts blue, including low-income areas, such as Villaverde, Vallecas or Usera. For UP, the signals were contradictory and the districts where it improved the most were uneven: Puente de Vallecas (+4.9 points) and Centro (+4.5 points).

Thus, only Más Madrid has celebrated the results, after signing its candidate, Mónica García, a good campaign in which he managed to make himself known and raise four seats. However, the party has 41 PP deputies, and faces the challenge of leading the Madrid opposition and the question of whether it should expand to other communities to form a state candidacy: Two years ago, Más País failed and won only three seats in Congress just months after entering the Madrid Assembly with twenty.


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