Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Another 'red wall' crumbles, this time in Spain

 by Edward Anderson, Comment Central 18 May 2021

After a convincing victory for the right-wing Popular Party in the recent Madrid elections, Edward Anderson examines the damage for the Socialist party, and if there is hope for a recovery.

This month, it is not just the UK where 'red walls' have been destroyed. For in the community of Madrid, the right-wing Popular Party (PP) triumphed by securing 65 seats in the Assembly and hold more than all parties of the left combined. PP Madrid leader Isabel Díaz Ayuso will once again be President of Madrid and via 'Ayusomania', has transformed the right-wing party into one that tops the polls in traditional Socialist (PSOE) areas across the city and region of Madrid. In the city, PP topped the polls in heavily immigrant areas such as Vallecas and Chueca, an area that hawks its progressive branding to the same nauseating extent as any modern business.

However, it is into the regions to the south of City, such as Leganes and Getafe (where PSOE won 35% and 33% of the vote respectively in 2019) where the real damage was one. PSOE saw themselves having their vote partially seeped to PP and left-wing competition Mas Madrid. With the collapse of Cuidadanos, this was all Ayuso needed.

Now, we should avoid lazy comparisons. Madrid and wider Spain is not first past the post but proportional system so although maps from El Diario show a sea of blue, looking beneath the service we can see that there is still a left-wing majority in areas of Madrid traditionally held by PSOE. If you want a more apt comparison, look to the UK election of 2015 where Cameron gained a majority by swallowing the Lib Dem vote and seats whole. In 2019, the liberal Cuidadanos held 26 seats and nearly 20%, with PP only just holding onto the mantle of largest right-wing party. Just two years later, Ayuso's clear 'libertad' campaign of keeping as many businesses open and as few restrictions as allowed, enabled her to copy the national trend and engulf Cuidadanos whole. By also noting that the left has not held the Assembly of Madrid since 1991, you begin to understand that the election isn't the complete disaster for the left that has been painted. ... Continue reading >>>


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