The “new” Government of Sánchez celebrates one year with better valued but less well-known ministers

It was a Saturday. July 10, 2021. Pedro Sanchez It undertook the first profound remodeling of the coalition government since its formation in 2020. The changes only affected PSOE ministers while United We Can kept the same people in their positions. Shortly before, Pablo Iglesias had ceased to be second vice president. The most notorious exits then were those of José Luis Ábalos, Carmen Calvo or Isabel Celaá apart from that of Iván Redondo as chief of staff. A year later, the “new” Executive of Sánchez has similar data in the polls, about 20 seats below the Popular Party (PP). And most of the new ministers are better valued but are less known by the population.

Ábalos, Sánchez’s strong man at the political level, left his position as Minister of Transport. Calvo did the same as First Vice President and Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory. And Celaá stopped being Minister of Education. They were replaced, respectively, by Raquel Sánchez, Félix Bolaños and Pilar Alegría.

The Foreign Minister, Arancha González Laya, also abandoned her responsibilities after a serious crisis with Morocco. Jose Manuel Albares was his substitute. The other exits were those of Juan Carlos Campo in Justice (by Pilar Llop), Pedro Duque in Science (in favor of Diana Morant) and José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes in Culture (by Miquel Iceta).

She also entered as Government spokesperson and Minister of Territorial Policy Elizabeth Rodriguez, leaving María Jesús Montero in charge of the Ministry of Finance alone. Nadia Calviño was appointed first vice president and as far as Sánchez’s cabinet is concerned, Oscar Lopez He replaced Redondo, in a move that was interpreted as a way to reconcile with the PSOE.

The photo of that moment came at a time when the comfortable victory of the regional elections in Madrid by Isabel Diaz Ayuso boosted the popular in the polls, even with Paul Married as leader of the opposition and with no internal crisis in sight.

This is reflected in the ‘Key Data’ (studies that collect the latest trends in public and private electoral surveys) published in Public before and after those elections. In February of last year, for example, the Government already noticed a certain wear and tear in the polls. But still the PSOE remained in first position, with 114 seats, for the 101 of the PP. United We Can remained with 28, also reflecting a fall.

But already after Ayuso’s electoral victory, the PP took off. At the end of May, the polls already reflected a takeoff of the popular at the state level with 115 seats, by 110 of the Socialists and 25 of UP. Both government parties continued to fall in the polls. In July, just a year ago, 122 seats were granted to the PP and 102 to the PSOE. The upward trend of the popular followed the following months until the beginning of the outbreak of the internal war in the PP between Casado and Ayuso, which began to become visible during the months of September and October.

The June 2021 and 2022 polls reflect a similar distance from the PP

The PSOE started 2022 leading the polls again. The popular ones sank due to the total war between Casado and Ayuso that ended with the traumatic departure of the first. But the arrival of Alberto Nunez Feijoo to Genoa again boosted the party. The elections in Andalusia confirmed a comfortable victory for Juanma Moreno Bonilla, leading the PSOE to the worst result in its history in this autonomous community.

The last ‘Key Data’ published, on June 25, places the PP in the 121 seats, for the 100 that the PSOE would have. Vox would reach 56 seats and UP would remain at 27. With these figures, the electoral turnaround for the right and extreme right would be fulfilled. Inflation, the “Feijoo effect” and the Andalusian hangover are some of the factors that explain the situation, according to demoscopic experts. The distribution of seats, as has been pointed out, is very similar to what we found a year ago.

New ministers better valued but less known

Among the new additions made a year ago, Bolaños stands out. Very close to Sánchez, the current Minister of the Presidency It was already part of his nucleus of trust in Moncloa. He held the position of Secretary General of the Presidency, from where he piloted, among other matters, the negotiation with the Franco family for the exhumation of their remains from the Valley of the Fallen. In addition, he had played an important role in the primary process that Sánchez won five years ago against Susana Díaz and the entire PSOE apparatus.

The last time the Sociological Research Center (CIS) asked about the assessment of the members of the Government one by one was last April. And most of the new ministers fared quite well compared to the same barometer published in July 2021. For example, Bolaños had a score of 4.74 in April. his predecessor, Carmen Bald, it stayed at 4.51. Of course, Calvo’s degree of knowledge reached 80%, while Bolaños remains at 52%.

Of the seven new ministers, only two are better known than their predecessors

Elizabeth Rodriguez, who has been a spokesperson for a year now, making her one of the most visible ministers for public opinion, had a score of 4.89 in April. But the degree of knowledge of it by the population was very low, only 26.9% according to the CIS. The pattern compared to María Jesús Montero, spokesperson until last year, is the same as the previous case. In July, she had a worse grade than Rodríguez, 4.23, but her degree of knowledge rose to 71.7%.

For its part, Ábalos it had in 2021, shortly before leaving, a low valuation of 3.99. But it was also very well known, reaching 71.1%. his successor, Rachel Sanchez, is very unknown, only with 17.7% but reaches a note of 4.83. In Exteriors, Laya also had a low grade last year before her departure, with 3.96. The degree of knowledge was not very high, 41%, but higher than that of delivery noteswho has a grade of 4.88 and is known by 35.3%.

In Education, Celáa was quite well known by the people surveyed (69.2%) and had a grade of 4.02. her successor, Pillar Joy, was only known in April by 22.7%. His grade is higher, a 4.76.

The two exceptions in terms of the degree of knowledge come, first, in Culture. The predecessor of Miquel Iceta, Rodriguez Uribes, had a grade of 4.03 before leaving and the degree of knowledge was very low, 18.8%. The current minister reaches a 4.5 assessment and 74.9% knowledge. But we must bear in mind that Iceta was already part of the Government.

On the other hand, the current Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, is only known by 22.1% and her grade is 4.5. her predecessor, John Charles Fieldwas slightly less known (21.7%) and had a worse grade (3.86).

For its part, Sánchez maintains similar general evaluations, if we compare the CIS barometers for the months of June in 2022 and 2021. Last year it was scored at 4.2 and this year at 4.3. The substantial difference is on the other side, in the PP. Casado had a score of 3.6 last year and Feijóo surpassed Sánchez last month with a 4.75.

During these last weeks, especially after the results in Andalusia, different information has appeared about a possible new remodel of the Government by Sánchez. The changes to the socialist leadership and the spokespersons both in Ferraz and in the parliamentary group would also affect them. The president has said that he has full confidence in his Council of Ministers and in his party. But there are also those who warn that Sánchez tends to make unpredictable decisions.


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