Castilla Y León: A Little More Complicated

PPMañuecoAlfonso Fernandez Mañueco, leader of the PP in Castilla y Leon

Fernando González Urbaneja | Elections in Castilla y León: 31 seats for PP, 28 seats for PSOE, 13 for VOX, 3 for Unión del Pueblo Leonés, 3 for Soria Ya, 1 for Podemos Izquierda Unida, 1 seat for Ciudadanos and 1 seat for Por Ávila…

The Castilla y León voters have not left any of the candidates happy, with the exception of VOX. It has consolidated its position as third in the race, with the added bonus of becoming the arbiter of the composition of the future government. No mean return. The localist parties’ gains, which are more a punishment for the traditional parties than a merit for the new ones, may be irrelevant if they do not serve to consolidate the government. If their votes do not count, their own demands vanish into thin air.

The traditional parties gain nothing. The socialists will remain in opposition, with fewer votes and seats than before and without any possibility of manoeuvre or alliance. This was to be expected, as the aspiration to win again against the PP or to manage to add enough local votes belonged to the realm of the unlikely, although some (including the CIS) dreamed of it.

As for the PP, the balance is bittersweet: it will be able to govern, but with a more intense alliance with VOX than the one it maintains in Madrid. It manages to absorb Ciudadanos’ voters (not all of them) but does not achieve a sufficient majority.

The electoral advance once again proves that it is a high risk for those who provoke it. Voters are not in favour of such tactical games and disregard the pretender’s demands. In short, the PP comes out of these elections worse than it was. It has not been worth it from the regional point of view and neither from the national strategy of Genova-Casado to set a winning trend.

Turnout was high (63.4%) for what was expected. A good number of voters realised that the stakes were high and that it was worth going to the polls. But neither can it be argued that the parties have managed to mobilise the grassroots either out of adherence or fear.

Analyses of the different campaign strategies are of little use, none of them have achieved more than was on the cards. They have not added, because they have not excited, motivated or anything of the sort. The Popular Party now has to put together a scheme of alliances fraught with uncertainty. If the forced marriage of PSOE-Unidos Podemos at the national level is liquid and unstable; that of PP and Vox will be even more vaporous.
If Mañueco (leader of the PP in Castilla y León) found the Ciudadanos leader insufferable – the only orange deputy who has managed to revalidate his seat – the one who is going to replace him from VOX is not going to give him fewer headaches. The result is a more complicated map than the previous one, and therefore more likely to be ineffective and fail.

About the Author

Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja
Over 30 years working in economic journalism. Fernando was founder and chief-editor at El País, general editor at the business daily Cinco Días, and now teaches at Universidad Carlos III. He's been president of the Madrid Press Association and the Spanish Federation of Press Associations. He's also member of the Spanish press complaints commission.