Spain Election: the winner, the loser and the surprise

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Juan Luis Manfredi via The Conversation | Raymond Aron said that democracy was an immeasurable political ideal. However, as a system, it offered little room for strong emotions. After all, the competition between parties and political options was limited to periodic elections with convergent programs. In boredom, the only serious threat was the consideration of democracy as a procedure, a set of instruments at the service of public policies.

Diamond and Morlino corrected the French thinker, indicating that the quality of democracy is built on standards, but is completed with the content of the same and the evaluation of the results. The instrumentalization of politics excludes emotions, raw material for the populist political offer, to the left and right of the parliamentary arch. We do not know if Aron would keep his thesis in the current Spain. Since the failed XI Legislature of 2015, there have been many new developments. The events of Catalonia in October 2017, the application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, the defeat of the PSOE in the Andalusian regional elections, the first successful censure motion, the emergence of Vox or Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, the arrival of Pablo Casado or the confirmation of Inés Arrimadas as a solid alternative in Catalonia … or in Spain. Blessed procedural boredom!

The new scenario In this context, results leave a new normality to which we will have to get used.

The Socialists (PSOE) achieve their objective. It has an electoral victory on which to leverage its past government strategy and propose a new project in the short term. With a government of unstable support and variable geometry, we may see more social and emotional measures. It seems difficult to venture a long term. In any case, the leadership of Pedro Sánchez is indisputable. After the regional and municipal, we will see what happens with the critical voices that still remain in the game. Winner.

The Popular Party (PP) has a serious problem. It has to define a quick project, before the municipal and regional ones, so that this result is not the beginning of the decline. In communication and political behavior, the bandwagon or “drag” effects are studied, which explains that if the idea that the PP is in decomposition is curdling, voters will flee massively. And now they have two – or more – alternatives of choice. It is not a static reason, but the result of the decisions made by Casado and his team in the coming days. Misses. And he loses a lot.

Citizens suffer the crisis of maturity. With more than 55 seats, he does not finish leading the center right. In the current political context, either it reaches some relevant quota of power-to lead the opposition or to enter the government-or it will begin to be observed with the label of support party, not of government. Think of the evolution of the Liberal Democrats in the British Parliament. Win, but lose.

Unidas Podemos (United We can) has recovered in the second week of campaign. It has fallen in votes and seats because its political positioning has reduced the deposits of vote. It will have a prize in the measure in which its support will be decisive in the process of electing the president. In the second round, your voice will be heard. Loses, but wins. Vox is the surprise we expected. For one simple reason: now he is in the field where he will receive media support and will be able to make his demands visible. In the award, he carries the responsibility: now he will have to get wet in demands and concrete policies, not in slogans. Share the lesson with Podemos: the voters come and go. Let’s not take this result of 2019 as the floor or electoral ceiling, because voting transfers have only just begun. Winner. The nationalist parties maintain their line. It is no small thing in a scenario of change and turmoil.

They all win, but above all, it highlights the result of ERC, which has managed to seize the Catalan sphere. In conclusion, this new scenario is considered as the first round of the municipal ones with enormous load of suspense. When Spain is bored, in the manner of the mythical article by Pierre Viansson-Ponté prior to the Parisian explosion of May 1968, new tensions, new political scenarios and new actors appear. Parliamentary emotions await us, with or without debates, but surely with polarization.

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.