Vox’s commitment to trivialize the threats to the Podemos leader, Pablo Iglesias, has highlighted the different criteria with which Pablo Casado and Isabel Díaz Ayuso confront the extreme right. While the PP leader condemned the letter to the former vice president “without nuances”, distancing himself from the ultra party, the president of Madrid seconded his statement of rejection, but insinuated that it was Iglesias’ fault (“It cannot be that those who provoke violence later let the offended do ”, he opined). Díaz Ayuso conditions Casado’s centrist strategy: his Executive may once again depend on Vox after 4-M.
Interview with Díaz Ayuso: “I have been a prisoner of Cs and Vox for two years”
Díaz Ayuso claims his own profile before Casado for the campaign
With 4-M on the horizon, Casado has decided to accept that Díaz Ayuso is the one who defines the messages of his campaign. The misgivings among their teams are still present, but they are not sparking before the appointment with the polls because the national leadership of Genoa has agreed to remain in the background. The most delicate moment will come with a hypothetical government formation, if Ayuso has to depend on Vox.
Casado’s team does not want to hear about a coalition government in Madrid with Vox that would be used as a scarecrow by the left to scare away the possibilities of the PP leader of reaching La Moncloa. Díaz Ayuso does not consider this attractive scenario either, and that is why he asks for a sufficient majority to allow him to count on Vox’s votes without giving advice to his representatives, but he has not closed that door. At the top of the PP there is concern about the intentions of the ultra party, although they trust that the extreme right will agree to stay out of the Ayuso Executive, as in 2019. How the question of governance is resolved will mark the relations between the national leader and the regional president.
The differences of substance and form that the two conservative leaders have before Vox have not gone unnoticed in the party of Santiago Abascal, which seeks the vote in the elections by calling the PP a “blue weather vane.” “The last thing that Casado said is that he wants a cross between Díaz Ayuso and Núñez Feijóo to be made, and that the result has already been born, and it is him,” said Santiago Abascal ironically at a rally held on Saturday, pointing out that the proposals of the national leader and those of his barons are far from identical.
In the leadership of the PP they assure, however, that there are no differences between the statements of the leader and the Madrid president about the letter with bullets received by Iglesias, because both condemned the threats. “It was condemned, both the president and Ayuso were very clear in their condemnation. And from there, to our strategy ”, they defend.
The motion of censure that Vox promoted against Pedro Sánchez in October was a before and after in his relationship with the PP, and also highlighted the differences between Casado and Díaz Ayuso. “So far we have come. Either Vox or Spain ”, said the leader of the PP on the platform of Congress, opening a new time in the relationship of the conservative formation with the extreme right, on which the popular governments of Madrid, Andalusia and Murcia depended at that time.
The president of the Community supported the message of its leader focusing on the argument that the vote promoted by Vox in the Lower House was nonsense, and that it had been devised to weaken the PP knowing that it could not be successful. But it did not go any further. While Casado broke with the extreme right, Díaz Ayuso began to negotiate with her the Community Budgets for 2021. A project that he was ready to approve, after a series of ideological assignments, just when he decided to advance the elections. Since then, the president has avoided any criticism of the ultra party’s proposals and positions, aware that she needs to attract her voters and seek their support after 4-M.
What Casado and Díaz Ayuso have agreed on is their reaction to the clash between the Monastery and the Churches in the Cadena SER debate. Aware that the controversy can mobilize the left-wing electorate, the two conservative leaders have tried to turn the page as quickly as possible. “We do our thing,” Casado asked at a Diaz Ayuso rally held on Saturday in Pozuelo. “We are not going to be for circuses right now,” the candidate seconded. The plan is to stay the course and ignore what happened from now on. The campaign strategy continues to focus on unifying the center-right voter around Ayuso, with appeals also to disgruntled socialists, and emphasizing that Sánchez has “one foot out of La Moncloa” if the PP wins in Madrid.
The important thing is the elections. Then will come the formation of the Government. And if Vox is decisive for the PP, as the polls indicate, Casado and Díaz Ayuso will be in an uncomfortable position.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.