Podemos’ leadership, with Pablo Iglesias and Juan Carlos Monedero in the centre./ Picture: ARR/La Razón.
Cristina de la Hoz. Madrid
The last Barometer of the Centre for Sociological Research (CIS in its Spanish acronym) has raised the alarm at the headquarters of the main parties, concerned and trying to stop the tsunami of Podemos, recipient of discontent of a wide range of social groups in a general questioning of the political system designed in the Transition.
The big question is if it has reached its upper limit or if this is just the beginning of an even faster growth. To a large extent, answering this question depends on what the strategy of the rest of political forces will be.
PP: stability against adventures
The truth is that the results of the CIS can be used by the PP to build part of its speech. The evidence that Podemos, far from being an isolated phenomenon, has come to stay is the bang to mobilize the people’s party voters, who have settled in abstention. Génova is going to “sell” the stability that, in its opinion, represents Mariano Rajoy, compared to the “adventures” of an “extreme left”, which is how it describes Podemos in its documents.
It is about articulating the famous speech of fear, credible to the extent that Podemos generates no little uncertainty if not, serious fears because of its political, ideological and even “sentimental” connections with the Bolivarian regimes.
PSOE: no to populist policies
To a large extent, the starting point of the socialist strategy is not far from that of the people’s party members, since it also fosters fear about Podemos. In their case, the nuclear idea is to describe the party of Iglesias as “populist”. Even the magazine Temas, whose editorial board is chaired by Alfonso Guerra, dedicates its issue this month to the dangers of populism, which they do not hesitate to identify with Nazism or Stalinism.
However, unlike the PP, the PSOE faces the huge difficulty of playing on the same side of the field as Podemos, given they compete for nothing but the hegemony of the left. In the survey carried out by the CIS, Sánchez has not come out badly, for having stopped the fall, but it places him in “technical tie” with Podemos in voting estimation.
IU: heading for absorption
It is the most directly threatened by Podemos, since it “steals” almost half of its votes. The debate is not only about a possible confluence, which seems inevitable, but about who establishes the conditions for it. The party of Cayo Lara appears divided into those who want to surrender with weapons and baggage and those who still fight to keep the acronym. Alberto Garzón and Tania Sánchez Melero, –the first one, a friend of Iglesias’, and the second one, a candidate for the autonomous candidature of Madrid and partner of Podemos’ leader- can tip the balance in favour of an absorption controlled by Iglesias.
UPyD: Creating critical mass with Ciutadans
It has been, along with IU, one of those who have come out worst in the survey carried out by the CIS. It was created as a party destined to receive votes of those discontented with the PP or the PSOE, but the emergence of Podemos has taken that role away from it. Rosa Díez sees its growth stopped in such a way that it is going to be impossible to restrain the debate about the unity of action with Ciutadans of Albert Rivera, the only way to make “critical mass” enough to avoid being definitively crushed. She does not even have the consolation of having been the best valued leader, since that position has been taken away from her by Sánchez.
Government of national unity?
The big businesspeople of this country have been talking about the hypothesis of an executive of national unity PP-PSOE for months. These are their fears: the first one, a Parliament sufficiently fragmented to make governability impossible; the second one, that any other formula of coalition has to go through Podemos. The PP would be a little more open to this formula although the PSOE eagerly rejects it, since they think it would mean their political death. There is no history in Spain of a governability agreement between the two largest parties regardless of State agreements in matters such as terrorism or foreign policy, although, maybe, the circumstances force them to it.