The PSOE warns that the war in the PP only “gives Vox more gasoline”

  • In the party and in the Executive the alarm spreads over the transfer of votes to the extreme right: the fight between Casado and Ayuso “harmsto the entire political class

  • Some socialist leaders do admit that a hypothetical rise of Feijóo would be a risk, because his profile would be more competitive in front of Sanchez

When last Thursday the PP was opened in channel, it was inevitable not to look back, until October 1, 2016when, after 12 hours of pitched battle in Ferraz, the PSOE broke. But neither the context, nor the protagonists, nor the conditions of the war, nor the internal architecture of the two parties, both systemic, are similar. Nor are the potential exit routes. That one, the one from more than five years ago, the one waged by Pedro Sánchez and the socialist barons and notables led by Susana Díaz, was also a contest “Very painful“, but that was not reduced to a struggle for power. It was, as all the leaders consulted agree, an ideological struggle, structured around the dilemma between “no is no” to Mariano Rajoy and abstention, in addition to a organic and personal confrontation. Sánchez and Díaz had not been friends nor were they later, nor did they share a political career. Pablo Casado and Isabel Díaz Ayuso are, on the other hand, wedge of the same woodboth come from Madrid’s New Generations and have maintained a friendly relationship for 17 years. Until today, when his political and personal divorce has plunged the entire PP into a absolute civil war. With another element, no less, that was not crossed in the socialist crisis: accusations of corruption and espionage and dirty laundry back and forth.

“The PP thing exceeds all known until now”. Says a veteran socialist, but it is heard in all the corners of the party. In the Government and in the PSOE they could hardly hide these days their logical satisfaction at seeing how the PP fell into its “brutal“Internal crisis. The media focus shifted on Genoa, on Sol, on the barons, while stupefaction spread. Leaders and ministers bounced the popcorn bucket emoji when asked about their perception. That is, see and enjoy of the direct and televised sinking of the rival.

But the socialists, after the impact of the crossed daggers between Ayuso and Casado, and in the absence of knowing the scope of the closure (probably false) of the conflict this Saturday, are also convinced that the war in the PP does not benefit them . Gives “more gasoline to Vox“, according to the most widespread reading in the Executive and in the party. And that worries them. As some officials are also beginning to worry that the future of the popular ones passes through the president of the Xunta, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the adversary, they believe , more competitive and difficult for Sánchez.

The calculation made by the socialists is that a part of the PP voters will “flee” to Vox and another group will take refuge in abstention, but there will hardly be a transfer to the PSOE

Only the extreme right benefits“, “we are embarrassed, this affects the image of the country, apart from feeding Vox and denigrating politicians and institutions,” say two ministers close to the president. “It translates into discredit for the political class, so that see us as all the same, it does not help any of us,” says a third member of the Cabinet. “noise hurts us. It kills politics and therefore benefits those who deny it”, they explain in Moncloa. The fight between Casado and Ayuso, the collapse of the PP is “very serious”, at a time when the extreme right is a “threat for democracy,” said the head of the Treasury, María Jesús Montero, in a interview in ‘El HuffPost’ published this Saturday.

The leaders consulted estimate that a foreseeable drop in support for the PP does not automatically revert to a gain for the PSOE, because a part of those who voted for the popular “will flee” to the formation of Santiago Abascal, and another group will remain in abstention . “Whoever stops voting for the PP is going to vote for the PSOE? No, he will vote for Vox,” formulates a member of the federal leadership. And in that situation, the right “leans more to the rightHowever, there are those who concede that if the PP “leaves the space in the center” free, perhaps the Socialists can “take advantage of it”. PP and Vox can favor the PSOE in general, but “There’s still a lot” to be able to verify it, they warn.

“We will continue to rule”

It remains, Moncloa and the party insist, because the president “not tempted to call early elections” taking advantage of the moment of maximum weakness of the PP. Sánchez himself denied it from Brussels on Friday, alleging that he has his sights set on overcoming the pandemic, economic recovery and the management of European funds, and in his team emphasize that there is not the slightest movement to shorten the legislature. The fear among the popular, however, persists. “While they are stabbing themselves, we we are going to continue governing, with capital letters“, points out a high official. In the PSOE, even those furthest from the chief executive, take it for granted that there will be no advance because it is not convenient for him to run the risk of having Vox as the second force in the country. However, if the PP sinks in the polls from now on, the incentives for an advance will grow.

A collaborator of the president estimates that “no PP candidate” will arrive in time for 2023, because in the party “they continue to have the dragon in the room: what to do with Vox”, with open governance in Castilla y León

And it is that another risk that Sánchez assumes is that the battle in the PP ends up politically killing its two protagonists, Ayuso and Casado. The Madrid president won the first pulse this Saturday, but the war is probably not resolved given how far the hostilities have gone. Feijóo could emerge as an internal consensus solution. In Moncloa they warn that he is “very premature“Situation in that scenario, but different leaders do admit that his profile, more moderate, and his political history (four consecutive absolute majorities in Galicia) would threaten Sánchez much more. The best opponent for the socialist president, then, would be a Casado ” weakened”.

No PP candidate would arrive prepared for 2023 —objects a close collaborator of the president—, because in the PP they continue to have the dragon in the room: what to do with Vox. The problem with their implosion is that they are on an island and out of reality.” Whatever happens to Casado and Ayuso, the governability of Castilla y León remains to be resolved —and now Alfonso Fernández Mañueco finds himself in a position of greater weakness against the extreme right—and the future of Andalusia.

The analysis that the crisis of the PP leaves the worrying message of the “degradation of politics” is traced in the leaders of the PSOE in Madrid, the epicenter of the contest, and in Andalusia, the next federation that will have to go to the polls —the The feeling now is that Juanma Moreno will hurry to the maximum and take the elections to the end of the year. Although with nuances. because they are perceived opportunities for the following processes.

In Madrid and Andalusia opportunities are perceived for their respective candidates, Lobato and Espadas

In Madrid, because of the “good opposition job” that its new leader, Juan Lobato, is doing, and because in their circle they hope that the citizens “he will think about it before normalizing corruption“Also because it is not clear that Ayuso will repeat as a candidate, either because Casado, in case she resists, does not trust her anymore, or because she aspires to be the headliner for the generals.

And in Andalusia, say sources close to the regional secretary, Juan Espadas, because “everything that is division and fight” can “help everyone except the PP.” Moreno, point, is “nervous and worried“, because the war has broken out a few months after the Andalusians, and that, in a traditional socialist bastion (such as Castilla y León for the PP), can erode their electoral expectations.

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The fate of the PP, however, different leaders agree, will depend on the steps taken by its protagonists, the party and the barons. And the fratricidal war has practically just begun. Although the first round Ayuso undoubtedly writes it down. “She has won the pulse, and she will go further. Married does not reach the generals“, predicts a leader.