With the polls against who are already predicting a victory for the right – with the PP in the lead – in the event that general elections are held now, the left in the Government is also facing a complex last year of the legislature marked by growing inflation and the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. The president himself, who rules out that Spain will suffer supply cuts, did admit this Tuesday in the Senate that "we have an immediate future plagued by uncertainty that will depend on things that escape us from the governments of the European Union because they are going to depend on Putin. What we are doing is preparing for the worst," acknowledged Pedro Sánchez in his appearance.
In this context, both Sánchez and the second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, leader of the United We Can space that aspires to unite around its political project – if it finally confirms that step – the entire electorate that is situated to the left of the PSOE, They have decided to take to the streets and launch their respective citizen listening initiatives, which will intensify this fall.
The objective is to reconnect with progressive voters, fight against citizen disaffection generated by the attrition of four years in government and try to turn the polls around both in the face of the municipal and regional elections in May – the left is playing to maintain power in a handful of communities – such as for the general elections in December 2023. The socialists and the parties that support Díaz trust in being able to reissue the coalition of the current legislature and stop the options of reaching Moncloa with the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who could use the help of the extreme right of Vox.
Both spaces consider direct contact with the left-wing electorate to be essential. Diaz was the pioneer starting in July Add, the process of listening to civil society after which she will decide, at the end of this year, if she finally runs as a candidate for the Presidency of the Government as requested by Podemos, IU, En Comú, Más País and other parties to the left of the PSOE . Sánchez, for her part, aware that her second vice president beats her in all the polls in terms of popularity and public sympathy, has also launched her own listening plan, which will lead him to star in more than 30 acts in the streets between now and December.
Díaz defends this formula "against the decisions that are made in the offices of the capitals without talking to the people", as explained saturday last week in the Sumar act that he starred in in the region of O Courel, in Lugo. From there he once again sent a message to the political formations that aspire to be part of this project, and that Díaz wants them to play a supporting role. "It is not added from above, it is added from below. And listening to us is essential to change things," he added.
It is a very similar message to the one launched this Friday in Bilbao, where Díaz held meetings with representatives of SMEs and social transformation cooperatives as well as with cultural agents. This format of meetings with representatives of civil society will take the vice president to travel throughout the country during the next four months, while she combines the complex construction of that political project with her work in the Government as Minister of Labor in a adverse economic context.
“We promote a citizen movement, from society, in which the leading role is yours, not ours. You are going to add," Díaz told them on July 8 to more than 5,000 people who attended the first act of Sumar in Madrid. "It's not about parties, it's not about acronyms, it's about collective intelligence, thinking about a better country. It's about presenting a country project for the next decade," he added, to conclude: "We have more than a year to think about the country we love".
Sánchez, for his part, is considering listening more to the traditional voters of his party who, as explained by the socialist leadership, after four years of government are in many cases abstaining, so it is necessary to mobilize them. Until December, the President of the Government will star in 30 PSOE events throughout Spain. The first took place last weekend in Seville, where Sánchez presented himself as the president “of the people” against the "docile right with the powerful." The socialist leader started a campaign with which he intends to strengthen his turn to the left in the pre-election race and defend the government's management "against the doomsayers" on the right. “Whatever it takes,” he said, the PSOE will defend the middle and working class, also in a nod to the electorate further to the left than the traditional niche of socialist voters.
Sources from the socialist leadership acknowledge the intention of the head of the Executive to turn to face the polls that place him below the PP, "reconnect with the people" and recover the electorate the PSOE is a "winning force" in the new cycle election that will begin in May with the regional and municipal elections and will end in December with the general elections.
The objective, they point out from the Socialist Executive, is "to reach the local world". But as the PSOE leadership acknowledges, Pedro Sánchez "wants to get out of the strictly institutional role" that, according to what he points out, has characterized him in recent months. "He comes for all, to go through all the towns and streets of Spain," they point out in Ferraz. The idea is to seek "a more direct relationship with citizens," also to confront his main electoral rival, the one that may arise from Sumar, the listening process launched by Vice President Yolanda Díaz.
It is about, insists Ferraz, "connecting directly with the people" and "that each citizen has the possibility of touching the president, listening to the president, without the mediation of the powers that be." The socialist strategy consists of emphasizing that Sánchez “is a close person”, who needs “skin-to-skin contact with people”. The "closeness of the president" will, in fact, be the "fundamental element" of the pre-election campaign that has already started, with the start of the political course, and that led him last Tuesday to hold an act with citizens in Moncloa.
"Let's go for it all," insists Ferraz, who considers that, according to the polls, the vote that won them elections four years ago has gone to abstention, so "it is not a lost vote" but must be activated . In the context of this tour, the PSOE leadership plans a big event on October 28, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Felipe González's victory in the general elections in 1982. Although Sánchez's team is aware of the difficulties of achieving a majority absolute like that of that victory, he also considers it essential to vindicate the legacy in the PSOE Government to face the new electoral cycle with greater strength and maintain power in the State as a whole but also in communities and municipalities.