The PSOE holds its breath so as not to sink into its historical feud

The PSOE of Andalusia, the once almost perfect electoral machinery, greased after 37 years in power, closed its regional campaign on June 17, perhaps, more bitter and difficult. He never had the forecasts in his face, but from aspiring to a comeback and dreaming of improving his 33 seats in 2018 and even winning, he has crossed his fingers to maintain that ground, so as not to collapse below it.

They paint rough on 19-J for the candidate and regional secretary, Juan Espadas, and they know it in the federation, the jewel in the party’s crown, just like in Ferraz and Moncloa. But in the PSOE-A they still cling to the “hidden vote stream”, due to the high number of undecided (“30%”) and the evidence that the polls were wrong in the past, they reiterate at the leadership, because in 2012 the polls pointed to the popular Javier Arenas as president of the Board and the polls snatched that objective, thanks to the addition of the socialists with IU. And in 2018 Susana Díaz did not intend to lose the Government and Juanma Moreno the PP had prepared her political shroud, and the opposite happened.

“That was the objective of the surveys… demobilize and discourage us… But this is the PSOE of Andalusia!”, points out energetically a high command of the regional leadership, who trusts that the powerful structure of the federation, with unequivocal implantation and roots in the community (458 mayors of a total of 785 municipalities, one in every 200 Andalusians is a militant), do your job and lift the bad expectations that hang over 19-J. Repeat the 33 deputies of 2018 It will be considered as a test passed, without any kind of fuss, because that was its worst historical data and it still endured as the first force. Going down from that register will deepen the feeling of crisis.

“That was the objective of the surveys & mldr; to demobilize and take our spirits away & mldr; But this is the PSOE of Andalusia!” Exclaims a senior commander of the regional leadership, where they congratulate the “champion” of Swords

The worst scenario is to rush below the psychological barrier of 30 minutes. Something that is not ruled out. But there will be another important figure to look at this June 19: the number of voters. Were 1,010,889 the voters of 2018, the 27.94% of the votes. Step down from the threshold million voters will also be another notice to the party. All figures will be in relation to those harvested by rivals. Because if the PP, the great favorite, reaches the absolute majority, the reading will be more somber, but the further away from it, the more encouraging the result of the Socialists will be. There is already a guaranteed figure: postal voting has doubled, and that for the PSOE-A is a good sign. Their great hope, with which they started the campaign, was to recover the half million more voters who did bet on Pedro Sánchez in the 2019 general elections and who stayed at home in the regional elections in which Díaz was the candidate. Hence the tagline for this quote: ‘If we vote, we win‘.

“Stop right and far right”

In the most direct team of Swords they repeat that “until Sunday, until the polls close, there is a party“. “And we are going to fight it until the last minute”, they indicate. They feel “satisfied with the champion” of its leader, because it has traveled, in just 15 days, 6,000 kilometers (a total of 18,000 since he was proclaimed a candidate in January) and has been able to feel a “receptivity and a love that the polls do not capture & rdquor ;. That absence of rejection of his candidacy (which “there was in 2018”), they maintain, makes them think that the result will be better than expected on 19-J. His central message, the one he has repeated ad nauseam, is that only the PSOE-A “is able to stop right and far right” and that these four years have been “lost & rdquor; for autonomy. “Less rights and more rights, that is Andalusia!” Swords said at the end of the campaign, at the Delicias dock in Seville, before some 2,500 supporters, according to the figure provided by the organization. Seville is the province in which the Socialists have never lost, and which could now be awarded to the PP.

On 19-J, Sánchez warns at the closing rally, it is not “choosing between a right that smiles [el PP] and a right that screams [Vox]”, is to choose between “a government of the right and one of the left”

“The truth of the next 19-J —Sánchez abounded minutes later— is not to choose between a right that smiles [el PP] and a right that screams [Vox], the truth is that you have to choose between a government of the left and one of the right, a government that is committed to health or that is not, a government that is committed to solidarity or a government that cuts and increases inequality. A Government of Juan Espadas or a Government of the PP with Vox: that is the choice that must be made.” The president was also trying to assert his management as head of the Executive in the face of the “accumulation of crisis” to which he has had to to confront, with a “recipe completely different from that of the right”, that of a Cabinet that “uses the needle and thread to sew and unite Spain socially and territorially”. “That is called socialism, it is called patriotism! he cried.

In the Andalusian federation they insist that it is hard to believe that “the left is so jibarizada as the polls say”, with a PP on the verge of an absolute majority and a Vox, run over by its own campaign, also high. They doubt that Moreno can occupy that central place in the most populous community in Spain.

But what has happened, they analyze in Ferraz, is that the popular leader has known how to build a profile of moderate man, which is not scary. “This is going down the path of the PP replacing us as the central party of Andalusia. And that’s what’s worryingbecause then you don’t know how to respond”, is heard at the federal headquarters. Both in Seville and Madrid it is remembered that what has weighed on Espadas has been the two and a half years with Susana Díaz still at the head of the PSOE, more concerned with their own survival than “in opposition to Moreno”. “And he cannot be beaten in a month or a year,” they observe. As a person in charge of the regional headquarters of San Vicente says, “in the middle of the pandemic there was a excessive loyalty of the PSOE towards Juanma, something that the PP did not have towards Pedro Sánchez”, and the conclusion is that “the president has been allowed to grow too much”.

“Let’s go forward! We’re going to govern! We’re going to have plenty of votes, polls in the bin and votes in the polls! It’s time for Andalusia, it’s time for the PSOE,” exclaims Espadas

And that which has “napped”, which has been “a indolent“, as the number two for Seville told him this Friday, Adele Castano. “In Andalusia you have to vote for the one who gets wet. It’s enough of nonsense, that politics becomes a small theater!” Swords exclaimed at this last rally. “Let’s go forward! Let’s rule! ¡We will have votes left over, the polls to the bin and the votes to the polls! It’s time for Andalusia, it’s time for the PSOE”, shouted Espadas, to shake off the weight of the bad forecasts and harangue his followers. “There will be many ballots on the left”, rounded off Sánchez, calling for a useful vote, “but only one can stop and beat the right, the PSOE. Nobody stay home!”

A community of 6.6 million voters

The 19-J will inevitably have a double reading. For the PSOE-A, for its resistance (or not) in a land that it has modeled for four decades. The conviction that Swords, “Background runner&rdquor ;, it will continue, no matter what happens, it is total. There may be “noise”, even that he can be questioned, but the regional leader wants to continue at the head of the federation, to walk in his footsteps to a certain extent, because in 2011 he did not win the mayor’s office of Seville (the PP took it) , but then reached it in 2015. “To Juan it will not move. absolutely not“, they agree on Ferraz. Espadas is the man Sánchez chose a year and a half ago to beat Díaz in the primaries and as a medium and long-term bet for the Board.

The continuity of Espadas at the head of the PSOE-A is guaranteed, as they repeat in Ferraz and in the regional federation

Even the scenery has been adapted to highlight the change of era: from the omnipresence in the rallies of the white and green of the Andalusian flag of yesteryear to the socialist red with the stripe of the more discreet regional banner. And Diaz has not been seen in any act: she was asked not to participate so as not to “confuse“to the electorate, they say in the PSOE-A, but she has preferred not to sit in any zero row. In the closing rally, yes, swords mentioned herto “proudly” claim his work on the Board, just like that of his predecessors, including Manuel Chaves and José Antonio Griñánboth former presidents of the party but without a membership card, convicted by the ERE and awaiting review of their sentence in the Supreme Court.

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For Ferraz and Moncloa, the polls will measure the strength of the Sánchez government in the last exam before the municipal and regional elections of May 2023 and “true” prelude to the general elections that will be held, if there is no advance, at the end of next year. Because Andalusia, with 6,641,856 voters, provides 61 seats in Congress and has been the nursery for socialist victories in general. A serious stumble in the community will increase the internal pressure on him. In the Executive they see a possible “impulse” with the new political course, without this implying a remodeling of the Cabinet. But Sánchez always likes to keep his blue notebook to himself.

Sánchez has only participated in three campaign rallies: in Almería, Málaga and Seville

Federal leaders and ministers have turned to the community, multiplying themselves in rallies, but the presence of the president has been more contained in this campaign: only three acts. In Almería, Málaga and this Friday in Seville. Moncloa has not wanted to take any more risks, it takes defeat for granted and looks ahead. But the numbers, if they are especially bad, will challenge Sánchez yes or yes. Everyone in the PSOE hold your breath and try to avoid the tragedy.

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