The municipal ones, a litmus test for the PSOE of Juan Espadas

The Andalusian PSOE is looking for a path of opposition that will allow it to reconnect with a majority of Andalusian society, which today trusts the PP. After 37 years of consecutive governments, the loss of the Junta de Andalucía in 2018 and the absolute majority of Juan Manuel Moreno’s PP, obtained in June 2022, keep him on the couch.

Months before President Moreno called the polls, John Swordsthen mayor of Seville, won a primary Susana Diazthe last socialist president and the party entered a new era.

The resounding defeat of the Andalusian PSOE last June was a result that was almost taken for granted in the hegemonic party until then, an unprecedented situation. The exhaustion of the organization after years of internal battle, the neglected government project, as demonstrated by the demonstrations due to the deterioration of health, in addition to the tremendous slab of corruption of the ERE, and the leadership with a friendly face -not like that its policies, clearly right-wing – of Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla they were too much for a newcomer Espadas.

Espadas and its leadership have based their internal policy on a seamless alliance with the project of Pedro Sanchezafter years of trouble and mistrust between Ferraz and San Vicente.

There has only been one relevant disagreement with the Government, which has already been redirected. It was at Doñana’s expense, when no one understood the abstention promoted by Espadas to a bill of the PP, Vox and Cswhich had generated tremendous alarm in Europe because its purpose was to expand the irrigable areas around the National Park.

In Ferraz they are watching Andalusia very carefully – it is the most populous Community and therefore its weight is relevant in the country – and they have set their sights on the municipal elections next May, prior to the great battle of the generals, in which that the socialist project is playing against Alberto Núñez Feijóo.

In an organization like the Andalusian PSOE, which maintains, despite the defeat, a very strong establishment in cities and towns, in which everything is discussed, in which everything is talked about, the leadership of SwordsAlthough sottovoce is criticized, it is not seen to be consolidated at all and some of its decisions are not completely understood, it is not on the table at this time.

Of course, there are few public demonstrations against him, except for the group of critics he leads Luis Angel Hierro –the third candidate in the last primaries–, who has already called for the resignation of Espadas, after a surreal parliamentary episode with the amendments to the Junta’s budget, which caused regrets from the president of the Chamber, jesus aguirre (PP). That there is a deep sea in the party proves that not in all places the leadership has managed to impose its candidates.

Another issue, according to the sources consulted, is what happens after the municipal ones, strategic elections. A result similar to that of the regional ones –in which the PP won in places where it had never achieved it before– in the municipal ones could have a bad digestion in the PSOE, according to the sources. More than 450 PSOE mayors seek its renewal and there is concern among them.

Beyond the national readings that are made, in a context of an absolute majority of the PP in the Junta, the municipal power and the councils is very relevant and the Andalusian leadership is well aware of what is at stake.

Context favorable to the PP

In these elections there two key mayoralties for the socialistswhich the PP has marked in red, that of Sevillea square that before the departure of Espadas –which left Antonio Muñoz– they considered lost and in which they are now looking for a victory, and Grenadewhich governs the PSOE, with external support.

Right now, the wind is blowing in favor of the PP and against the PSOE. The latest survey by the Center for Andalusian Studies, dependent on the Andalusian government, which among Socialists is considered a propaganda tool for the PP, reveals that the PSOE has not yet hit rock bottom. For the first time, it would be below 20%, figures unthinkable just four years ago, if regional elections were held at this time.

That the municipal ones are not autonomous is evident, but the contexts play a role, as Juan Espadas well knows, who, as now in the Junta, in his first attempt at the Seville City Council, in addition to local factors, paid the price of the discredit of the PSOE after the last Government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

These municipalities will test the strength and endurance capacity of the Andalusian PSOE in the territory and represent a real acid test for the Secretary General, Juan Espadas.

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