The main parties had to strengthen their strategies.
Cristina de la Hoz. Madrid
The profound crisis in the PP, the movement in the PSOE and the prominence of Podemos and Ciudadanos after the local and autonomic elections of 24 May augur a greatly unstable political map, which will correlate to the general elections at the end of the year.
Strategically, neither Podemos nor Ciudadanos will want to stand out before a PP which has lost all its absolute majorities, and, with them a number of governments, or a PSOE which, despite also having been punished in the ballot boxes, has the opportunity to recover territorial power.
PP: Awaiting changes
As expected, on election night, Genova clutched at the mantra that they were the country’s most-voted political power. It is still true, but after losing two and a half million votes, when compared to 2011, and all their absolute majorities. In some cases, such as in the town halls of Madrid and Valencia and in the Comunidad Valenciana, they are not even able to keep hold of those governments through pacts. Faced with Mariano Rajoy’s first reaction –he attributed the disaster to a simple issue of miscommunication– territorial barons such as Alberto Fabra, José Ramón Bauzá and Luisa Fernanda Rudi put a date on their resignations, while others, such as Juan Vicente Herrera, are also considering it.
Following from the exit scramble, Rajoy has been forced to announce that he will make changes in the party and in the Government, as well as modification in its message and attitude in the face of the general elections, in order to approach them with a guarantee for success after losing their voting reserves. The figure of Rajoy himself if being deeply questioned, although he will be the candidate once more. Corruption has meant strong electoral reprisals to the party in Government.
PSOE: Less is more
The PSOE has reaped poor results, losing by the way side 700,000 votes compared to 2011, although they have enormous possibilities of making the most of such a paltry figure. That the PP has lost all their absolute majorities, will allow them to govern in Castilla-La Mancha, Valencia, Aragon and the Balearic Islands, as well as having won in Extremadura and Asturias, although in a number of cases they will have to resort to tri-, quadra- and event penta-party governments, which a priori condition the stability of the legislature.
In the midst of this, an internal ruckus has broken out, with the questioning that Susana Díaz has carried out of the anti-PP front, and with the alert over the undesirable consequences of smoothing the road for Podemos, party they will be supporting in the Madrid and Barcelona town halls, but without entering into the municipal executive. In any case, the PSOE’s return to territorial power, while holding on to second place in over-all votes, means that this is a sweet moment for Pedro Sánchez, who is looking to be the only contender for the primaries on 26 July where the PSOE candidate for president will be chosen.
Podemos: PSOE’s “crutch”
Last Thursday, Pablo Iglesias ridiculed the interest that Pedro Sánchez had suddenly developed in him, having received a phone call from him for them to organise a meeting. Podemos holds, to an extent, the key to enthrone the PSOE in a number of municipal and autonomic governments, although they need to be cautious in order to ensure they are not accused of shoring up one of the traditionalist, bourgeoisie parties –namely the PP and the PSOE–, and because of this they have decided, as have the socialists, not to share coalition governments that they don’t preside, with exceptions such as Aragon, where there might be a tri-party agreement.
The argument, defended by the critic Juan Carlos Monedero, that the priority is to impede PP governments, holds some weight. In exchange, they will rely on PSOE support to ensure that Manuela Carmena will take over the Madrid Mayoralty, after he close tie with Esperanza Aguirre, and also in Cádiz. In addition, Iglesias has awarded himself the success of Ada Colau leaving Barcelona, even though his candidacy, like that of Carmena, is sustained by a coalition of leftist formations.
Ciudadanos: The most courted
It is, at the moment, the most sought after party, wood by both Mariano Rajoy and Pedro Sánchez, the leaders of the PP and PSOE respectively. In fact, it is expected that they may be invited to the Moncloa. On this formation, led by Albert Rivera, depends that the PP will be able to govern such important areas such as the Comunidad de Madrid or that Socialist Susana Díaz will be able to take over the presidency of the Junta de Andalucía. Present in the majority of parliaments and provincial capitals, the only red line for Rivera is not to reach agreements with separatist parties.
Ideologically, the group is transversal, and it receives a great deal of its votes from those unhappy with the PP, and it needs, like Podemos, to ensure no mistakes are made between now and the General elections, ensuring that they are not too closely linked to the parties of the “old politics”. The fight against corruption, the reduction of seats and the celebration of primaries, are their main conditions in exchange for their support.