The right won in Andalusia and will be able to govern without the support of the Vox ultras

From Seville

Andalusiathe most populated region in Spain with eight and a half million inhabitants, it has ceased to be the granary of socialist votes. The autonomous (regional) elections held this Sunday have confirmed the political turn of 2018when despite being the most voted party, the PSOE lost the government due to an alliance of the People’s Party (conservative) and citizens (liberal) that obtained the parliamentary support of vox (extreme right). That pact succeeded in displacing the Socialists from power, who had held it uninterruptedly since the implementation of the autonomous governments, enshrined in the 1978 Constitution, which configured a highly decentralized form of State in which the main powers, such as health, education or employment, are exercised by the regional governments.

The popular Juanma Moreno, who became after the 2018 elections the first non-socialist president of Andalusia, revalidated this condition this Sunday, but with a very different scenario than then. The Popular Partyr achieved a landslide victory at the polls, obtaining more than 43 percent of the vote, thus gained control of Parliament. He will be able to rule alone for the next four years.

Moreno’s resounding victory, in addition to representing the first conservative majority in the history of the most populous community in Spain, closes the path of the government to the extreme rightwho had proposed these elections as the first step to access power in the general elections, which will be held next year.

In fact, Last year Vox withdrew its parliamentary support for the Andalusian Governmentwhich he left in the minority, forcing an electoral advance with which he aspired to displace the liberals of Ciudadanos as a government partner.

transversal discourse

Nevertheless, Dark proposed an intelligent electoral strategy. As the polls gave him as a sure winner, raised a cross-cutting discourse with the aim of attracting both centrist and right-wing voters who did not want to give the Socialists a new chance – marked by several cases of corruption in their last years of government – as well as part of the progressive electorate, who wanted to avoid at all costs the entrance of the extreme right in the government.

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The strategy of the conservative leader was lethal for all his opponents. He managed to absorb the entire vote of Ciudadanos, his government partner, whom he erased from the Andalusian political map; he reduced the socialist vote to its historical minimum and stopped the growth of the extreme right, which only experienced a timid advance.

The political space to the left of the PSOE suffered an unprecedented debacle after presenting two different lists, the product of a split suffered last year led by the former leader of Podemos in the region, Teresa Rodríguez, belonging to a Trotskyist force, who left the formation founded by Pablo Iglesias to launch a left-wing regionalist force. Rodríguez obtained only two seats, but the division took its toll on the distribution of seats and Por Andalucía -the coalition in which Podemos, Izquierda Unida and other forces were integrated- only obtained five deputies compared to the 17 obtained under another brand in 2018.

The results in Andalusia are a serious wake-up call for Pedro Sánchez. Spain’s most populous region has historically been the largest reservoir of socialist votes. The electoral consolidation of the right in that territory makes the re-election of the socialist president very difficult in the elections that must be held, at the latest, by the end of 2023.

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