On Friday, June 3, in the first act of the first day of the electoral campaign, Juan Espadas stood in the Alcosa shopping center in Seville, wearing sports shoes. It was the metaphor of what was to come, of those 6,000 kilometers that the socialist candidate for the Junta de Andalucía calculates that he has traveled during these two weeks, a race that has closed this Friday night again in the Seville capital. The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has accompanied him again, but little new had to be added to everything already said, because in reality the PSOE is very clear about what to expect: everything depends on the ‘lost’ votes in 2018 that it achieves recover and from those who can now ‘steal’ him, because the socialist voter does nothing more than receive invitations from the PP and also from Por Andalucía. To the figure that comes out once the two previous factors have been adjusted, another must be added, which is the one to which the PSOE also entrusts its options and that is that of a hidden vote that trusts that this 19J will give them joy.
Mapping of the 400,000 lost votes of the Andalusian PSOE: where to look for sleeping socialism?
For the numbers to add up in this game of addition and subtraction, it is also vital for socialist interests to raise participation above 56.56% in 2018, the second lowest in regional history after 55.34% in 1990 Hence that pounding insistence on “if we vote, we win”, which has become the campaign motto and which this Friday, at the Muelle de las Delicias, has been chanted again. Something that, if it really translates into votes, will allow the polls to be thrown “in the bin”, which in turn will mean that a coalition between PP and Vox would be “stopped”.
In an act with some 2,500 attendees in which the ministers María Jesús Montero, Luis Planas and Pilar Alegría were also present, Espadas has emphasized the irony that supposes that the PP asks the socialist militants for the vote to precisely haggle over Vox. “Whoever insults you asks for your vote, the world upside down”, hence he has predicted the PP candidate, Juan Manuel Moreno, that “nobody is going to vote for you”.
The PSOE, “part of the solution”
In his speech Swords, he stressed that “socialists are part of the solution and they are part of the problem” in the face of the loss of quality of public services, guaranteeing that as president of the Board his priority will be “equal opportunities”. Specifically, he pointed out that women and young people “have to be the center of Andalusian policies”, also connecting the social armor that Andalusia enjoys to the work carried out by all the socialists who, for 37 years, led the transformation of the community from the regional government. For this reason, he has remembered “all the socialist presidents who have worked hard for Andalusia: Rafael Escuredo, José Rodríguez de la Borbolla, Manuel Chaves, José Antonio Griñán and Susana Díaz.
For his part, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has made an intervention basically in a national key, although he has recalled that “all the social advances and achievements in Andalusia have come from the PSOE”. For this reason, he has demanded “memory and truth” in the face of 19J “you have to choose between a government that is committed to the public and another that cuts, between Swords and the PP with Vox.” Sánchez has broken down the social policies deployed by his government, a sense in which he has stressed that “socialism and patriotism are the same, it is loving Spain, it is loving its people. We make a homeland and others twitch”, he underlined.
Candles on the altar of the hidden vow
For this reason, Sánchez has called for participation on 19J, but the truth is that it is not exactly easy for the formula on which the socialist future revolves to fit, because the objective is to recover 400,000 votes while containment dams are put in place so that they do not go more voters. The electoral floor was put by Susana Díaz in 2018 with just over a million votes and 33 parliamentarians, and the PSOE believes that it has already averted the danger of getting worse. Another thing is that this gives him not only to recover the Junta de Andalucía, but even to win the elections, two objectives that the electoral polls put as little less than impossible today. Hence the importance that the hidden vote acquires (an altar on which the socialists are putting many candles) and which ballot the undecided take in the end, a block that the studies placed at 30% of the electorate at the beginning of the week. In fact, it is estimated that up to 10% decide their vote at the polling station itself.
In this electoral campaign that is now behind us, and in which Espadas has been gradually refining the tone of his message, it has served to make some things clear. One of them is that the PSOE, if necessary, does not plan to abstain in any way in the investiture if Juan Manuel Moreno (PP) does not have an absolute majority, thus avoiding the bad experience of putting Vox in his government. And this is a demand that the far-right party has made crystal clear during these two weeks.
“Socialist pride” to recompose the PSOE
In the internal order, Espadas has appealed during these days to “socialist pride”, he has claimed that the Andalusia of today has been built by PSOE governments and has even claimed the personal figure of the former presidents convicted of the ERE case, Manuel Chaves and Jose Antonio Grinan. The general secretary has thus paid for the internal cohesion of a party that presented itself fractured to the 2018 regional elections, with the undisguised pulse between Susana Díaz and Pedro Sánchez, which has translated into a better oiled machinery and in which Ferraz and La Moncloa They have overturned throwing organic positions and ministers into the arena, with the president himself participating in three rallies and some more in pre-campaign.
If all this is enough to turn around forecasts that are not exactly the best, it will be seen on Sunday. This Friday night, what it has served is to, in addition to haranguing the militancy, insist on messages such as that on 19J one chooses “rights or rights” and “between social justice or inequality.” It has also been the end point of those 6,000 kilometers of travel to celebrate almost 40 acts of all kinds and conditions: sectoral, rallies of considerable influx and others of small format, presentations of proposals for the electoral program, walks to greet the countrymen… The accent has been placed above all on the eastern half of Andalusia and on reinforcing the image of Swords, which he considers already has enough posterity to defend the socialist brand, something that will be verified in a matter of hours.