Andalusia: More Than 150,000 Socialist Voters Lent Their Vote To The PP

LamanodediosPedro Sánchez

Fernando González Urbaneja | If achieving power is difficult, losing it is bitter; few know how to lose. When Felipe González lost, he did so with the sweet feeling that it was a close call, thus mitigating a defeat that had been foretold; he knew how to lose, half-heartedly; and it did not take him long to realise that his time was up. On Sunday in Seville almost none of the losers were able to accept the result. Only Marín, of Ciudadanos, assumed that it was time to close the door on the outside on his way out. We shall see if he does so. The others resorted to the scapegoat, that long-suffering animal that puts up with and exculpates everything.

The losers could have accepted the errors of their campaigns, but they opted for the scapegoat: they blamed the heat, the early elections, the lack of time to mature the offers… and they committed themselves (half-heartedly) to improve, but without admitting lessons, without resolutions of amendment or rectifications.

In the case of the PSOE and the rest of the left, the argument of fear of VOX, of the threat of the “trifascito” (Pablo Iglesias’ failed argument in Madrid a year ago) became the trump card, the argument, to encourage the useful vote for the PP and not the mobilisation of the traditional left-wing vote. Juanma Moreno made credible his preference to avoid a government pact with VOX, which dragged in his favour the hundreds of thousands of decisive votes that could have gone to the emerging VOX, to the declining Ciudadanos, and to the fatalism of abstention. More than 150,000 socialist voters lent their vote to the PP for various reasons, and others who went to VOX in the general elections returned to the PP.

Both the moderation of Moreno and Feijóo’s PP and the alarmism of the left favoured the winner to hand him an absolute majority. In addition, Olona’s arrogance, his showing off, made it clear that VOX is more about posturing than a credible alternative and responsibility. VOX is good for a while, to let off steam, but not to go any further.

Amongst the most extravagant statements of election night were those of Adriana Lastra, the unsympathetic voice of Sánchez’s PSOE, who can say the same thing and the opposite without batting an eyelid. With such strategic depth, the PSOE is heading for a French-style decadence. Could she be an infiltrator from the adversaries?

The screen shot of Andalusia is done, now comes the parliamentary screen shot of the fate of the legislative initiatives pending a vote, which will be the measure of the strength of the coalition government and of the specific alliances in Parliament. Whether Sánchez achieves his goal of exhausting the legislature or dissolving it this year depends on both. This is the new screen.

Not knowing how to lose, nor how to interpret the data, means getting off on the wrong foot in the long and hard electoral campaign that has already begun. For the moment, Núñez Feijóo is taking care of himself, protecting himself and waiting for others to stumble. He is looking like a favourite, which means risks and opportunities. Victories have many fathers, defeats are orphans; Sunday’s defeated do not want to accept or explain it, so they will go from one lost battle to another until the final defeat.

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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.