The PSOE of Andalusia, the hegemonic party in power for 37 years, had never had to do math on its fingers after regional elections. The expense that he invested in the campaign with part of the electoral subsidies advanced by Parliament was more than recovered after the elections, because the results provided more funds than had been spent. The June 19 elections also put an end to this dynamic: the Socialists dug into their electoral ground, going from 33 to 30 seats, and obtained less representation in the extra-parliamentary management bodies.
In the last year, the regional management has had to invest in some express primaries so that the former president Susana Díaz and the candidate for the position Juan Espadas could compete for the Andalusian electoral poster; Subsequently, an extraordinary congress was organized in Torremolinos, and finally an electoral campaign was invested with all the polls against it.
This accumulated overspending has undermined the finances of the Andalusian PSOE, which this week has sent a letter to local and district groups -once called houses of the town- claiming “percentages of collaboration” of up to 15% of the accumulated balance as of 31 December 2021, according to the statement from the regional management advanced by Digital Economy, and to which this newspaper has had access. The purpose is to “readjust” or “rebalance” the accounts of the party with the solidary support of the local structure. The problem is that in a few months it will be the local groups who will make the calculations to face the municipal elections of May 2023.
The “collaboration framework” mentioned in the letter establishes a table of contributions according to the accumulated remainder: up to 15% for groups with 10,000 euros or more; 10% for those that accumulate between 7,500 and 10,000 euros and 7.5% for accounts between 5,000 and 7,500 euros. Below these figures, the regional directorate does not require funding.
The financing of the Andalusian PSOE depends on the quotas of the militants, on the subsidies of the group in the regional Parliament and the extra quotas that public officials contribute. The last two routes of money entry have been affected in the last year, and significantly after the electoral failure of 19J. Until now, the most common thing was for the regional directorate to help the accounts of local groups for “extraordinary” expenses, for example electoral processes. Now the trend has been reversed and the contribution of funds is claimed from the bottom up, and not the other way around.
The letter is signed by the Secretary of Administration of the PSOE-A, Juan Tomás de Aragón, and was sent to the houses of the town of the party one day before the Official Gazette of the Andalusian Parliament (BOPA) made public the table with the electoral subsidies in the form of an advance payment that corresponds to each parliamentary group for its operation. Each party had asked the Chamber for a part of those funds with which to assume campaign expenses. For the Socialists, the risk was to ask for an advance much higher than the financing that would later correspond to them based on the result obtained in the elections.
Finally, the PSOE-A has access to 450,000 euros as an electoral advance of a total of 2.9 million euros per year [15.000 euros por escaño]. After the 2018 elections, when the Socialists won three more deputies (33), their funding reached 3.2 million euros. Instead, the PP has gone from 26 seats then to 58 now, three above the absolute majority, achieving the largest funding of Parliament in its history: 5.4 million euros a year.
The next milestone that the Socialists face are the municipal elections, where their last institutional bastion of power and, therefore, of financing, is at stake. The Andalusian PSOE governs in six of the eight provincial councils and has mayoralties in 458 municipalities of the 778 that exist in Andalusia. Both the regional and the federal leadership are convinced that the result of the regional elections cannot be extrapolated to the municipal ones, and that the weight of the socialist councilors and their local muscle will block the way for the PP of Juan Manuel Moreno, who since 19J has predicted a change in the political cycle throughout the territory.