Yolanda Diaz rIt reels five years in the history of Spanish politics. The refusal to occupy only the space to the left of the PSOE and his intention to build a transversal project has reopened old debates about space. This bet, which has the challenge to add a million and a half voters, goes back to the political strategy of the first Podemos and that assumes the hypotheses defended then by Iñigo Errejón, who remained in favor of appealing to the majorities in the face of the ideological retreat of the left that assumed Pablo Iglesias. A struggle, in short, that fractured the match in half and that accelerated wear on the brand in record time.
During that time, Yolanda Díaz tried to stay away from the internal war that led to Vistalegre 2 but He always showed loyalty to Pablo Iglesias, with whom he kept a close personal friendship -now deteriorated-, and to whom he offered his support in the bloodiest of the battle. Almost six years after that, the withdrawal to the left of Podemos has been consummated, the party won 35 deputies in the last elections, less than half of the 72 it achieved in 2016.
The arrival of Yolanda Díaz as a candidate now revives the initial debates of the training, after her express intention to build a project away from the left-right axis, reclaiming the spirit of the first Podemos. If once the purples appealed to those of ‘up’ and ‘down’ or to terms such as caste, now the leader aspires to build an alternative that puts the social, the labor and the green at the center – ‘green laborism’, they have come to call it. A new subject that give up corsets of existing parties.
“I do not want to be to the left of the PSOE, I give him that little corner,” he defended this Thursday in an interview on Radiocable, where he openly resigned to limit himself to a sum of left forces. “I don’t want to join the leftWhat I want is for Spanish society to be the protagonist of a process of essential social transformation “, he advanced, giving some clues about what he intends to build.
“Parties are a very small thing in our country and they are an obstacle. I am here to change people’s lives (…). They are simple tools, nothing more, and they have to act as simple tools. I am a simple tool, I am nothing important; the important thing is that Spanish society speak. Let’s open a great discussion “, advocated the future candidate.
Hunting for 1.5 million votes
The thesis that Díaz now rescues in the face of the construction of his candidacy for 2023 not only has a social purpose, but also an electoral one, with the ultimate goal of adding a million and a half votes and aspire to five million, the figure Podemos achieved in its day and in which the Popular Party is located.
The sum of United We Can and More Country-Compromís currently represent 3.7 million; a pool of voters that Yolanda Díaz, in case of uniting all these forces under her umbrella, could increase without great problems to 4 million votes, considers Jose Pablo Ferrándiz, founding partner of Elemental Research, which considers the four million as “a starting figure” in the current scenario, two years before the elections and without knowing who will integrate the new platform.
The sociologist believes that it is relatively easy to reach this number of voters, given the sympathy that Yolanda Díaz arouses in the electorate of the center. According to the latest CIS barometer, Spaniards who are located on the left and in the center – on the ideological scale from 1 to 5 – Yolanda Díaz is the highest rated political leader. Those who are in the total center -the 5- do not approve any politician, but give Díaz the best score (3.9).
In addition, warns Ferrándiz, this barometer offers another interesting data: two out of three Spaniards who are at 5 and 6 (67% in both cases) say that in general elections they vote according to what most convinces them at that time. An element that makes them “the most volatile voters, more predisposed to change their vote and, therefore, easier to capture by other political formations“, and to which the Vice President of the Government could appeal.
That is why Díaz would have a easy room for improvementAlthough Ferrándiz considers it extremely difficult for him to achieve six million votes. “Talk about six million is also utopian today, “warns the sociologist. This is due to several factors: the main one is the situation of the PSOE itself, which six years ago was fighting to lead the opposition.
“The PSOE is in the Government, something that did not happen in 2015 and 2016, and we do not see a declining figure of Pedro Sánchez, who is still well evaluated among his own “. Thus, he assures that”no emerging leadership versus declining leadership“, something that makes it difficult to transfer voters from one formation to another, as it did six years ago, where the climate of social discontent also contributed to change.
Today the transfers, points out the expert, there are more “intrablocks”, so that it is very difficult for a right-wing voter to bet on the left, and vice versa. Added to this is the fact that Díaz is still considered by many as a leader of Podemos, despite the first public displays of distancing towards the party. An element that would play against the Galician.
Another reason why he considers it difficult to reach six million is the “possible wear and tear of the government in the coming months or years, “which could also affect Díaz, who is part of the same government. A circumstance in which the candidate would have to try to” separate “from the executive’s political line so as not to be harmed.
In the environment of Yolanda Díaz are cautious with the figures and today reject any possibility of ‘sorpasso’ to the PSOE; as the former adviser to the president, Iván Redondo, has suggested in recent days. They are also aware of the need for understanding with the socialists and are firmly in favor of the coalition government.
In this way, Ferrándiz considers that the figure of 5 million, even though it is difficult, “is a challenge” that could be achieved and that, if achieved, “it would be an absolute success“This would mean recovering the initial result of Podemos, which entered politics breaking all clichés and fleeing from labels.
A determining element comes into play here: the ability to mobilize. Something that the purple had in its beginnings and that now has changed hands. Although Diaz’s environment insists that sympathy does not always translate into votes, Ferrándiz points to the potential that this factor gives it: “The left needs a plus to mobilize, which is the illusion and that Yolanda has it. United We Can is worn out, it cannot attract other voters and its growth capacity is very limited. The only one who is capable of playing this role of transversality and union on the left is Yolanda Díaz. ”
The first Podemos
Podemos burst in 2014 collecting social discontent and gave the bell in the European elections, where it emerged out of nowhere with five MEPs. Pablo Iglesias It was the visible face and Iñigo Errejón, who held the reins of political discourse. This combination allowed the party to challenge the PSOE for the hegemony of the left and to dream of the ‘sorpasso’. How? Fleeing the language and platitudes of the left to try to address a broader electoral spectrum and become a project capable of generating consensus beyond the traditional left-right axis.
The first examination at the polls was outstanding. Although he did not manage to dethrone the PSOE as leader of the opposition, as some polls pointed out, Podemos broke in as a third force thanks to the support of five million votes in the generals of 2015, where he participated alone, in his bid to stay away from the traditional left that had existed until then.
Tensions increased in the following months, in the face of the electoral repetition and with the open debate on an alliance with the United Left. Errejón was in favor of maintaining the board centralism that had led Podemos to his position, while Iglesias advocated joining the existing forces and an alliance with IU, which had obtained a million votes.
The first public display of the disagreement was in March 2016, when the leader of Podemos attacked Pedro Sánchez, referring to “quicklime past“of the Socialists, employing a historical grudge that appealed directly to the more radical left and placed Podemos at one end of the board. An intervention that rejected, at the same time, the option of facilitating a socialist government to prevent electoral repetition. Errejón’s expression after hearing those words were the first symptom of the clashes that were already evident within the walls.
The withdrawal of Podemos to the left was consummated in May of that year, when Iglesias and Alberto Garzón sealed the call pact of the bottles to appear in coalition to the following generals. This sum lost a million votes in the electoral appointment, and Podemos achieved less support in the coalition than it had achieved alone six months earlier. Positions within the party were bitter.
Between Springsteen and Colplay
“We can need more Bruce Springsteen and less Coldplay. ” This phrase, pronounced by Iglesias in an act in Galicia in September 2016, was a comparison in musical terms of the two tendencies of the party: rock versus pop; more harsh messages and less ‘seduction’.
“The day that Podemos stops giving fear to those who get rich at the expense of the people, we will be one more,” Iglesias defended. “We already scare the powerful, that is not the challenge. It is seducing the part of our people that suffers but still does not trust us, “Errejón replied.
This episode was the first declaration of war, to which Iglesias himself tried to remove iron. “While others send subliminal messages, in Podemos we are proud to discuss with open doors. Being different is that. “That open-door debate ended five months later in the Vistalegre 2 fratricide.
Criticism of Errejón by the party’s hard wing pointed out for defending a pactist line with the socialists. “The seductive element of the carpet is extremely dangerous,” Iglesias went on to say, referring to what was his number two. The differences in shapes They also made an appearance, with harsh criticism of Errejón’s style and the use of blazers.
“We can need to remain transversal, but that is not to look like other political parties or dress as they do “, defended the leader of the party, in March 2017. A point on which the founder Juan Carlos Monedero insisted, who did not hesitate to point out:” There are people in Podemos who have profoundly changed their way of dressing. Look in Parliament, there is a before and after. Many do not dress now as we started and that can be revealing. ”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.