Wednesday, September 22

Left wing trident | Elections in Madrid 4M

The candidate of United We Can, Pablo Iglesias, with the press in a campaign event held in Collado Villalba.
The candidate of United We Can, Pablo Iglesias, with the press in a campaign event held in Collado Villalba.Victor Lerena / EFE

Unlike the PP, Vox and Ciudadanos, in the Madrid campaign the left-wing bloc is behaving as such for the first time. Instead of engaging in staging who is more authentic and better embodies progressive values, PSOE, Más Madrid and Unidas Podemos avoided duels in the Telemadrid debate last Wednesday. Ángel Gabilondo, Mónica García and Pablo Iglesias coordinated with a single objective: to wear down Isabel Díaz Ayuso in the only debate that the president of Madrid attended before 4-M.

The refusal of Rocío Monasterio, the Vox candidate, to retract and condemn the death threats to Pablo Iglesias two days later in the debate organized by Cadena SER ended up uniting the strategy, with its nuances, of the PSOE and the parties to his left. The campaign has been reduced to one question: “Ultra-right or democracy.” With Gabilondo tracing the speech of Iglesias in his anti-fascist alert.

“One of the most explicit assessments made of the Telemadrid debate”, Gabilondo reflects in conversation with EL PAÍS, “was the fact that the left had shown for the first time that there were legitimate, democratic interests that were superior to their own particular interests. and partisans. And that was an illusion for many. There is a feeling that for the first time it is seen that we are thinking about something other than how I, my party, my seats are doing … We are thinking about the population, the collective. We open ourselves to the illusion of a different society ”.

One of the clearest evidence left by that debate was Iglesias’ decision not to contest, except for a slight protest, with the PSOE candidate on taxation. “Taxes are not going to be touched, let’s understand the current situation. At this time, no, “Gabilondo asked Iglesias, in favor of revising taxes on the highest incomes. The United We Can candidate did not hide his surprise, but he bit his tongue. Just like when Gabilondo explicitly offered a coalition government to Más Madrid “with the support” of Unidas Podemos. That is to say, implying that he would not enter the Executive. Iglesias couldn’t disagree more, but he didn’t raise his tone either. Both examples, at another juncture, would have been a sure scuffle.

The More Madrid candidate has also not sought confrontation with the other spaces on the left. His refusal to go in coalition with Iglesias – “We women are tired of doing the dirty work so that in historical moments they ask us to step aside” – was his only attack on United We Can. Since then, he has focused on joining forces within the left.

In the same way, Iglesias has barely deviated from his endeavor, although from time to time he launches a message seeking to differentiate himself, fundamentally from the PSOE. “We cannot win to the right doing the same as them,” he has slipped in reference to taxation in the only community that does not tax the wealth tax and where the inheritance and donation tax, discounted at 99%, does not exist in the practice. But Iglesias starts from a certainty: the fights demobilize the already abstentionist left-wing electorate of Madrid.

The relationship that Más Madrid maintains with the PSOE is very good, according to sources from both directions. And that, according to the latest polls, would be growing at the expense of the Socialists. Gabilondo doesn’t seem to mind. Nor to the federal leadership of the PSOE. “The absolute majority is in 69 seats. The goal is to add between the three sensitivities on the left. It doesn’t matter if we go down or not. The important thing is to mobilize the maximum between all so that there is a change of Government ”, they maintain in Ferraz. Gabilondo maintains: “We have to be generous, we have to know how to create spaces where different options can breathe. There are different models of dealing with issues and all of them with a choice of progress. In Telemadrid three left forces were seen, each one with its own history, sending the message that there was something to build there more than what the right itself proposed ”.

Different audiences

The left trident faces the decisive week of the campaign by diversifying its resources. To complement each other, each one will focus on mobilizing the different audiences where they have the most pull. “The right is gasoline and we work like a diesel. It is harder for us to carburet ”, summarized in the leadership of the PSOE. Of the three parties, it is the one with the oldest voters. But its great strength is that it is the force with the greatest ability to attract voters. One of the keys will be the participation in the big cities of the industrial belt in the south of Madrid and the Corredor del Henares. Almost all of them have socialist mayors.

Internal polls conducted by Más Madrid before the campaign revealed that García was a candidate with enormous potential among those under 45 years of age. “Before the campaign we noticed some difficulty in reaching the electorate of the elderly, but these days everything is changing,” says a senior party official. Garcia, they say, has the advantage of being a very vertical candidate. The CIS even ranks it as the most valued among Podemos voters themselves. García’s priority, who connects very well with university students and health professionals, will be to drag the young vote and the female vote. Yesterday, for example, he had an all-women act.

In turn, Iglesias addresses the working class and reminds them that they have the right to request a permit that allows them to travel to the polls on 4-M. In the opinion of the political scientist Cristina Monge, the leader of United We Can addresses with his speech to the voter “traditional of the United Left, but also to a young, militant and activist electorate that would identify today with IU”.

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