Who wants to agree with whom?

In this final stretch of the electoral campaign for the elections in Castilla y León, a keyword in these elections: pacts. Absolute majorities are already the exception in times of fragmentation in parliaments and after each appointment with the polls the negotiation process begins with an eye toward possible government coalitions.

Most of the surveys of this 13F indicate that the PP would win the elections but far from the desired absolute majority and would need Vox to rule All except the CIS, which draws a much more open scenario with a victory for the PSOE that, according to this survey, could govern with the support of Ciudadanos and United We Can. According to the CIS, the PP-Vox sum does not add up and would need other forces to reach the Board.

Beyond the polls – which all the candidates pose as a “still photo of the moment” – Sunday is the moment of truth for Castilla y León and the citizens will decide with their vote who pilots this community in the next legislature. Will there be continuity after more than three decades of PP governments or a historic change? The candidates have been giving clues in the campaign – some more than others– about their preferences when sitting down to negotiate and under what premises. We summarize what was said in the campaign about electoral pacts after 13F:

Mañueco wants to govern alone and does not get wet with Vox

During the electoral campaign his opponents have repeated it several times- “Manueco is not Ayuso“- and, if the polls are successful, the ‘popular’ candidate, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, is not going to repeat the overwhelming success of the president in the Community of Madrid, who bordered on an absolute majority, eliminated Ciudadanos from the Madrid map and only He needed the support of Vox for the investiture plenary session.

It does not seem that the road is so clear for Mañueco and he would have to look at Vox, if the polls are correct, for something other than counting on his votes for the investiture. Despite the fact that there are many times that he has faced this question, the candidate does not get completely wet and, although he does not rule it out at any time, he limits himself to insisting over and over again that the PP wants to govern only Castilla y León, without saying if it would form a coalition government with the party of Santiago Abascal. He reiterates that the community “needs a strong government” and, in his opinion, with only one party sitting in that government: the PP.

Throughout the campaign, all the candidates, without exception, have attacked him on that flank – his possible pact to govern with the “far right” – which would make this community the first in which that government alliance is formed – but Mañueco maintains the mystery about what he will do if he needs the support of Vox and if he would seat party advisers in his government if he has no choice. It was clearer this Tuesday precisely Ayuso at a rally in Valladolid, where he pointed out that he prefers to agree “with Ortega Lara’s party” than “with those who agree with those who kidnapped him.” The PP in all the acts insists again and again on asking for the concentration of the vote of the entire center right in Mañueco.

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And what does Vox say to the PP? “Yes, but never free”

Vox no longer hides that he wants to govern and if his votes are decisive for Mañueco they will not hesitate to demand to enter the Government. Although its candidate, Juan García-Gallardo, refuses to talk about “distribution of seats”, its leader, Santiago Abascal, has repeated it in each and every one of the rallies he has attended: they will talk to the PP but they will not give their support “for free”. “To those who want us to give away our votes, vote directly for the PP,” says Abascal, one of the most dedicated leaders in this campaign.

They also make it clear that they will demand to apply “part of their program” if they are necessary and that They will negotiate with the PP “depending on the strength of the results” and all the surveys predict a significant growth of Vox, which could become the third force in the Cortes of Castilla y León with up to eleven attorneys. A government with Vox would surely entail an internal debate within the PP because not everyone is sympathetic to Abascal’s formation. For the president himself, Pablo Casado, the PP-Vox relationship has been a headache. Since his total ‘break’ with Abascal in the motion of censure against Pedro Sánchez in 2020, the electoral appointments in which the PP has triumphed – Galicia and the Community of Madrid – have done so overwhelmingly and have not needed to negotiate with Vox Really, but this time it may be different.

Much more critical are those of Abascal with the PP– party that they call “complexed” – that vice versa; and those of Vox have come to say that if Mañueco cannot govern alone and stays at Vox’s expense, he will repeat the elections.

Igea says ‘no’ to Mañueco but opens up to a PP without him and to the PSOE

For his part, the Ciudadanos candidate, Francisco Igea, is clear: “I will never make Mañueco president“And he has not said it once or twice or three, but every day of the electoral campaign. The one who was vice president of Mañueco believes that “he is not an honest person” and presents their relationship in terms of disloyalty, after Mañueco dismissed him in a sudden way and found out in the middle of a radio interview of his dismissal and the call for elections.

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And then where will Citizens look? Igea has been one of the clearest in the campaign to say who she would sit with if she has the option of talking to someone after 13F. And he has three clear points: first, he will only speak with a PP in which Mañueco is not, which seems complicated; second, he “completely” rules out supporting a coalition government of PP and Vox; and third, he is open to negotiating with the PSOE, which opens up other possibilities and other amounts.

In fact, Igea has never hidden that the pact with Mañueco after the last elections of 2019 was a mere “marriage of convenience”. The former leader of Ciudadanos, Albert Rivera, imposed that pact in the times of ‘no means no’ on Pedro Sánchez and the PSOE. Now Ciudadanos, in full free fall after the last electoral processes, can change its strategy, although to do so it must turn around and a lot to some unfavorable polls, which predict a very important drop to a single representative and some point, even, to disappearance. The formation feels hopeful in this last stretch of the campaign.

Tudanca and its only red line: Vox

The PSOE candidate, Luis Tudanca, stands as the the only one capable of removing Mañueco and the PP from the Board after more than 30 years of power in this community. For this, he calls to concentrate the “progressive” and “change” vote and does not close doors to negotiate with anyone with the sole exception of Vox.

I am willing to talk to everyone except the extreme right, except Vox: We cannot allow them to make decisions,” he has said in this campaign, while the socialist calls for a repeat of the electoral success of 2019 – when he won the elections but could not govern – because Ciudadanos preferred the PP, which came second.

The PSOE has focused practically all the campaign blows on PP and Vox. And it has practically not touched United We Can in this campaign, Government partner in Moncloa. This same Wednesday the candidates of PSOE and United We Can, Pablo Fernández, staged their good harmony and attended together an act with unions.

The entire PSOE has conspired under the slogan “if we did it in 2019, it can be repeated now” and they hope to reverse the polls that point to that PP victory or to add another possible alternative majority.

United We Can agree with the PSOE and does not rule out speaking with Cs

United We Can and its candidate, Pablo Fernández, have also set themselves a single objective: remove the PP “and its corruption” from the Junta de Castilla y León. And for this, Ione Belarra’s party, which abjures almost all relationship with Ciudadanos at the national level, is open to sitting down even with Ciudadanos to achieve this purpose, although they do not see it as the ideal option, yes, since they consider that Cs is the “antithesis of democratic regeneration and change”.

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Their plan after 13F is to reissue the pact at the national level PSOE-United We Can in this community and if they need to talk to the formation of Inés Arrimadas in this case they consider that the end justifies the means.

The objective is to dislodge the PP and if that requires Cs, we’ll see what we do“, Said the candidate recently in an interview on TVE, who is very clear that “the PP is not going to have any doubts about agreeing with Vox”.

The party, to which all the polls give an increase in representation – now it has two attorneys – has as its mark “compose a Change Executive” and a “Copernican turn” in Castilla y León, for what is considered a “determining factor “.

With whom do the minority want to agree?

Minor parties know that sometimes a single vote will swing a vote, so they also talk about preferences when it comes to agreeing. For Ávila, a split from the PP, aspires to improve its results, as the polls predict, and its only attorney and candidate, Pedro Pascual, says he is open to agreeing with everyone. It is defined as “the useful vote of the province” and ensures “not have cordon sanitaire with anyone“.

For its part, the Union of the Leonese People (UPL), is also open to negotiating “with whoever wants to change things” in this community. “We are not like others who talk about armchairs“, has affirmed its candidate, Luis Mariano Santos, to whom the polls also predict that other attorneys from his party could accompany him in parliament.

Soria ¡Ya!, ready to reach an agreement with both the PSOE and the PP

All eyes are also on these elections in the emptied Spain platform – which is open to negotiating with any party and says “not to be on the left or on the right” – and especially in Soria ¡Ya!, a formation to which the polls they predict representation for the first time in the Cortes. The head of the list of voters, Ángel Ceña, is also open to reaching an investiture agreement with both the PSOE and the PP, as long as deadlines for the execution of your program are established.

There are three days left in the campaign and the candidates have already said almost everything. The pacts will be almost the only protagonists after the electoral night of 13F, when then yes, the parties and their candidates have to sit down to talk. Will they keep what they said in the campaign?


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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