From depression to recovery: PSOE’s cyclothymic campaign in search of a turnaround 23J

PSOE’s election campaign has become a rollercoaster of mood. “We’ve fallen and got up, pedaled anti-clockwise, crossed every flying target, climbed every imaginable port, and have a few meters to go before the final sprint.” Pedro Sánchez himself described the journey at the end of the campaign this Friday at a rally in Getafe surrounded by an atmosphere of euphoria very different from the feelings set in the party itself and the debacle among its bases. on May 28.

This roller coaster ride, like all of them, started very low that night. The hecatomb of the municipal and regional elections is already remembered by socialists as one of the toughest, from an electoral point of view, in many years. The left lost most of its territorial power with the exception of Asturias and Castilla-La Mancha. And, the depression that arose from a debacle of such a magnitude threatened to cause real internal convulsions in the party, which could even shake the leadership of Pedro Sánchez. But the president of the government was once again ahead of everyone.

The next morning Sánchez appeared in Moncloa and announced the dissolution of the Cortes and the calling of early general elections for July 23. In a matter of hours, he managed to sidestep the euphoria of the PP and the depression of the PSOE to get the country (and his party) back into campaign mode.

The first days of June were very difficult on Ferazi Street. There were many people in the PSOE who took the decision to go ahead with the election as a clear assumption of defeat, as a surrender without nuance. And background movements began for the day after the election, which everyone considered lost. with a fuss over the preparation of the lists, which ended in great difficulty. It was then that the PP began to make agreements with the extreme right of Vox, from which Alberto Núñez Feijo has been trying to escape in recent months.

Mobilization against the extreme right

The first, which arrived almost directly, was the coalition pact governing the Generalitat Valenciana. After negotiating with a man convicted of ill-treatment who eventually managed to separate himself from the regional executive, the residents of Feijo surrendered the vice-presidency within hours, leaving it in the hands of Francoist sympathizer Vicente Barrera and his portfolios. Agriculture, Justice and Culture. And the ultra agenda was devoted to sexist violence or LGTBI rights.

Then came the arrangements to rule also with Vox’s hand in the Balearic Islands and Extremadura. In the case of the latter autonomous community, the PP was embroiled in real internal turmoil for weeks. The popular candidate and current board president flatly refused to agree with Abascal, whom he accused of homophobia and sexism. He gave his word, but was forced to swallow it by Genoa.

At that moment, and on the eve of the official start of the election campaign, the direction of the wind changed in the PSOE. The socialists’ so-called “pacts of shame” between the PP and Vox acted as an affront to the fragmented and demobilized left in regional and municipal governments. These days coincided with the celebration of LGTBI Pride Day. And in many cities, the new PP and Vox governments have dedicated themselves to removing rainbow flags, while in the courts of Valencia, the far-right president boycotted a minute’s silence in memory of women killed by sexist violence.

“High” TVs.

At the same time, the Socialist Party ran a new election communication campaign: very few rallies and many media exposures of Pedro Sánchez in spaces and formats that were not too dissimilar to the leftists the president had avoided throughout his term. At first they were Onda Cerro with Carlos Alcina and ‘El Hormigero’ with Pablo Moto. Then, Ana Rosa’s program. And the bottom line in Ferraz was that the president passed those tests with flying colours.

Then, in the socialist ranks, they began to talk about the “change of tendency”, which, indeed, was reflected in all polls. But Atresmedia came “face to face”. With high expectations from the PSOE, which asked the PP to hold up to six debates between the two candidates, the prime minister appeared on TV as the clear favorite and on a mission to use the contest as the final denouement of the campaign. But the night did not go as planned.

The erratic Pedro Sánchez was unable to overcome his opponent, nor his word. And the spirit of the socialists fell again. It didn’t take long for the polls to show that the downward trend with the PP had not only slowed down, but that the right was still gaining ground. Interestingly, digesting Feijóo’s theoretical success “face to face” became difficult for the popular and became a new stimulus for the PSOE.

“It’s that Feijo doesn’t even tell the doctor the truth,” the Socialist candidate has repeated at every rally since that day to point out the lies used by the Galician politician during the “face-to-face”. The PP leader in those days re-engaged in his own lies, mainly in an interview on Spanish television, where he came to ask to correct a journalist who offered him correct information about what the PP governments had done regarding the revaluation of pensions. And the Socialists saw an excellent opportunity to re-engage in a campaign based on the image of the “liar” Feijo.

In the PSOE, they note as particularly relevant, in addition, the debate with three representatives of Television Española, which the PP candidate decided not to attend. They believe the day was important because of the image shown by his potential government partner, Yolanda Díaz, to far-right leader Santiago Abascal. “The Socialist Party is going to win the elections and Yolanda Díaz’s party will be the third force ahead of Vox and will be the progressive government for another four years,” predicted Pedro Sánchez to an enthusiastic crowd of 4,500 at the Getafe rally.

“This is not a joke, we are going to win, seriously,” says the Ferraz leader, who is part of the team closest to the president, when asked about the forecast. In the absence of what the polls decide, the comeback the PSOE has made is its state of mind.


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Source: El Diario





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