Early legislative in Spain: Pedro Sánchez wants to “remobilize the left” by “evoking the memory of the 1936 coup”, analyzes a specialist

By announcing the surprise calling of early legislative elections, the Socialist President of the Spanish Government Pedro Sánchez wants “remobilize the left” after his rout against the conservatives in the regional and municipal elections, explains Monday May 29 on BlazeTrends, Benoît Pellistrandi, historian, specialist in contemporary Spain and teacher in preparatory classes at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris. “He probably chose the date of July 23 because it will evoke July 18, 1936 and the memory of the coup. There is only a five point difference and I think that Pedro Sánchez is said: there is a card to play and he plays it”.

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BlazeTrends: Are we witnessing a new Spanish divide?

Benoit Pellistrandi: Completely ! We will see it in the next two months because the electoral campaign will be extremely intense, very tense, violent on the verbal and rhetorical level. This will mobilize many of these ideological, cultural and memorial fractures. Pedro Sánchez undoubtedly chose the date of July 23 because it will allow, in the week which will precede the election, to evoke July 18, 1936 and the memory of the coup d’etat which had led to the civil war. It is obvious that Pedro Sánchez is thinking of the possible wink to remobilize the left in the face of a possible victory for the right.

Isn’t that a pretty weak argument?

No, because the People’s Party is obliged to make agreements with Vox in the regions it won on Sunday 28 May. For the Spanish left, Vox is an extreme right-wing formation and there will therefore be a whole rhetoric of “it’s the return of the Francoist right”. That may be enough to mobilize a leftist electorate. I believe that Pedro Sánchez read the results of the previous day fairly carefully, which appear to be disastrous, but when you look at the electoral arithmetic, you realize that in reality the Socialist Party is resisting and that what has faltered is is the extreme left. The ratio of forces between right and left is 40 to 35%. There are only five points difference and I think Pedro Sánchez said to himself there is a card to play and he is playing it.

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Can Pedro Sánchez still play the leader of a camp during a campaign?

By dissolving Parliament on Monday, May 29, in the morning, he succeeded in ensuring that the Socialist Party did not open the question of the balance sheet of his years in power. It is obvious that the presidents of regions who lost the day before are bitter because they had rather good balance sheets, but that it was the personalization and nationalization of the campaign wanted by Pedro Sánchez himself that harmed them. . Perhaps Pedro Sánchez underestimates the rejection he arouses in part of the electorate and the mobilization he arouses on the contrary on the right.

Who is his opponent from PP Alberto Núñez Feijóo?

He was for 13 years the president of Galicia, which he governed each time with absolute majorities. So he has for him a quite exceptional electoral CV. On the other hand, he is actually a kind of People’s Party doctor. It is a party that tore itself apart after the loss of power in 2018 following the motion of no confidence which saw Pedro Sánchez succeed Mariano Rajoy as head of the country. Its mission is therefore to pacify all the chapels of this right and to try to refocus the People’s Party to make it appealing to centrist voters. What the results of the Sunday May 28 elections teach us is that it worked because the centrist Ciudadanos party, which had 1,800,000 votes in the 2019 municipal elections, only has 300,000 this time. this.

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