The right deals a hard blow to Pedro Sánchez in the electoral test in Spain

The socialists of Pedro Sánchez suffered a severe setback at the hands of the right-wing opposition in the municipal and regional elections on Sunday in Spain, a very bad omen for the left-wing government six months after the national legislatures.

“We have clearly won and we have taken the first step for a new political cycle (…) in the coming months”congratulated the leader of the Popular Party (PP, right), Alberto Núñez Feijóo, referring to these general elections that will be held at the end of the year, on a date yet to be defined.

After a day in which his party won the majority of the votes in the municipal elections and seized the government in several regions from the Socialists, Núñez Feijóo celebrated Sunday night on the balcony of the PP headquarters in Madrid, in front of hundreds of followers who were screaming “President, President!”

The defeat of the socialists was without palliatives in these elections that the right had erected in a plebiscite on Pedro Sánchez and a first round before the legislative ones.

A “tsunami” from the right “It has happened today in each and every one of the autonomous communities (regions) of Spain”admitted the outgoing regional president of Aragon, the socialist Javier Lambán, after being defeated by the right.

The PP achieved its objectives this Sunday, starting with having obtained the largest number of votes in the municipal elections, with more than 7 million (31.5%), two million more than four years ago, compared to 6.2 million ( 28.1%) from the Socialist Party of Pedro Sánchez

And mainly, the PP had almost assured the conquest of at least six of the ten regions until now governed (directly or in coalition) by the socialists.

Pacts with the extreme right

In any case, the PP will probably have to agree with the extreme right of Vox to form a government in some regions, a problem for Núñez Feijóo, who knows that the legislatures are won with a more centrist discourse.

Vox, the third force in the national Parliament, made great strides this Sunday, reaching third position in the municipal elections and entering several regional parliaments, where its support will be “absolutely decisive” for the right to unseat the left, said its leader Santiago abascal.

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In one of their painful defeats, the Socialists lost the mayoralty of Seville, the largest city in Andalusia (south) and one of its strongholds, to the benefit of the PP, according to public television TVE.

The Socialists also failed to win in Barcelona, ​​the great metropolis of Catalonia, which they occupied from 1979 to 2011, although they could try a pact with other left-wing parties to govern in coalition.

“It is not what we expected after these weeks of electoral campaign and obviously we also have to reflect on the coming months,” admitted the socialist spokesperson, Pilar Alegría.

On this day without major incidents, the Spaniards were summoned to renew all the municipalities of the country and twelve of the seventeen autonomous communities (regions).

Under the rain in various areas of the country, participation in the municipal elections was finally 63.89%, lower than that of the past 2019 elections (65.19%).

A government with wear

Although the name of Pedro Sánchez was not on any ballot, nor that of Alberto Núñez Feijóo, what was at stake was very important for the future of both politicians.

Both were so involved in the campaign that they gave it a national look and the first test for the legislative elections.

President of the government since 2018, Sánchez came to this electoral test with disadvantages: the erosion of power, as well as high inflation – although lower than in most European countries – and the resulting drop in purchasing power.

In addition, the image of the government suffered from the repeated clashes between the coalition partners: the socialists and the radical left of Podemos.

According to the partial results, Podemos would have also suffered a net setback.

Sánchez campaigned puffing out his government’s balance sheet, especially boasting of good economic data.

But the campaign of Núñez Feijóo seemed to have had more effect, who accused Pedro Sánchez of being subservient to both the radical left and the pro-independence parties of the Basque Country and Catalonia, which usually support the government in approving its reforms.

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