Just two days after the start of the election campaign in Castilla y León, clear trends in the strategies of the different candidates can already be observed. The one of the current president and candidate of the PP, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, seems clear: to imitate the one that turned out to be very successful campaign of the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayusoplacing the dart directly on the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, and incidentally, ignoring, in a certain way, the socialist candidate, Luis Tudanca.
Thus, in each act of the ‘popular’ candidate, the messages are repeated endlessly: he asks concentrate the vote on the PP to “avoid the plague of sanchismo” in Castilla y León and gives voters the choice between two models: that of Sánchez’s “sectarianism” and “radicalism” or “the future project of the PP”. He continues his attacks on the president, whom he accuses of “marginalizing” Castilla y León with the distribution of European funds and “disparaging” the community in the General Budgets. Many attacks on Sánchez and few references to Tudanca, therefore.
The strategy of the PP, to which all the polls give victory except the CIS, goes through attacking Sánchez to repeat the good results of the Community of Madrid and, incidentally, promote the national leader, Pablo Casado, in his race to La Moncloa. The ‘popular’ insist in each meeting and in each act on the idea of ”change of cycle in Spain”.
Two days into the electoral campaign, two days into Casado’s territory in this community, in which the party has turned with the constant presence of the national leader, but also of great heavyweights: Díaz Ayuso herself and other ‘barons’ like Alberto Núñez Feijóo and Juanma Moreno, who is already warming up for his next elections in Andalusia, or former presidents José María Aznar and Mariano Rajoy.
Casado has also harshly attacked Sánchez this Saturday, whom he has accused of “make up economic figures” and of “leading Spain to disaster”. In the opinion of the president of the PP, these elections are a ‘match point’ and he has reminded him that the PSOE came third in the elections of Galicia, the Basque Country and the Community of Madrid. “Since now he takes a setback, Pedro Sánchez in the end will have to see what he does, right?”, He added.
Since Sánchez was sworn in as president two years ago, there have been elections in those three communities and in Catalonia, where the PSOE won but could not overcome the pro-independence majority, and the PP wants to continue adding regional victories.
And if Mañueco takes Ayuso as a reference in his campaign, he also intends, like her, to govern alone and there he already runs into polls that are less liked in the PP and that force him to look at Vox, who has already said that he wants to enter governments, leaving behind his role as a mere promoter of ‘popular’ governments. This would be the first autonomous government of the PP-Vox coalition if it were to take place. Mañueco repeats over and over again that he wants to govern alone and for this he calls for the union of the entire center right around the PP ballot and increases his messages against the formation of Santiago Abascal, for being a “rookie”.
Sánchez trusts that the PSOE will make history again in this region
And while Sánchez has been the most named in the different acts of the PP, The President of the Government has not even summoned Casado in his first rally of this campaignin Zamora, where he has linked the PP with “corruption” and “social backwardness”.
Tudanca did want in that same rally to ridicule Mañueco’s strategy of giving these elections a ‘national’ veneer and has directly challenged the ‘popular’ candidate: “If you are not going to reach the Board, you are enough to take anyone to Moncloa”.
And if the ‘popular’ call to concentrate the moderate vote on their ballot, Socialists urge all progressives to vote for the PSOE since for Sánchez the only formation that can guarantee “change” and “hope” is “Tudanca’s”, he said, later recalling that he already achieved this milestone in 2019, even though he could not govern. Not once has Sánchez summoned his partner in the Government, United We Can, whom he would need for that historic change they seek in Castilla y León, where they have not governed for more than 30 years.
The socialists trust that Mañueco does not have the same drive as Ayuso and they remove the national focus from these elections, in which they point against the regional president. Sánchez’s was the first of the four rallies that he plans to hold in the community to promote his candidate.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.