The approximately five million voters of the Spanish state of Madrid are voting today for regional elections which are followed with great interest throughout the country. The right-conservative Partido Popular (PP) seems to have the best papers for election gain, thanks to a fierce campaign against the national left-wing government.
The election is the coronation policy of Prime Minister Sanchez of the Social-Democratic PSOE, which has been characterised by strict lockdown measures last year. PP candidate and incumbent regional president Isabel Diaz Ayuso took a sharp course in recent months against all restrictions, according to his own words to protect the economy. Therefore, cafes and terraces remained emphatically open and foreign tourists were welcome.
Her campaign consists largely of one word: Libertad (freedom). A smart choice, says TCCEIT-correspondent Rop Zoutberg. “By embracing that slogan, it will soon seem as if your opponents are against freedom.” Ayuso has not failed: beer bottles are available in the Madrid hospitality industry with her face on the packaging.
Corruption no more theme
The freedom campaign has put the drivers party PP back on the map. As a result of multiple allegations of corruption, called by the Public Prosecutors Office “a multi-headed monster within the party”, the party was long in the minus. In recent years, the PP suffered a number of sensitive defeats, while Sanchezs PSOE flourished.
“ Normally electoral campaigns are always about corruption and which politicians had done, but that is no longer relevant in these elections,” says Zoutberg. “Its only about who had the best political solutions in times of pandemic.”
In the polls, the PP is continuously considered the big winner. A victory will be interpreted nationally as a settlement with the politics of Sanchez, expects Zoutberg. “By the way, the PP has been in power in the state of Madrid for 26 years. So if the polls are wrong and Ayuso loses the election in favor of the left-wing bloc, that will be big news too.”
Coalition with Vox?
In addition, a substantial election win could mean the breakthrough for 42-year-old Ayuso. Possibly after this, she will pass on to national politics and will have a chance to win the premiership in the future. In two years time, there will be national elections in Spain. At the national level, the PSOE is still leading the polls.
Zoutberg: “For a coalition the PP will probably have to cooperate with the right-wing populist party Vox. This will also be looked at nationally with interest: such a radical right-wing coalition may be formed at national level in the future.”
At a polling station in the center of the city, members of the feminist action group Femen protested against the rise of Vox: