The elections in Andalusia on June 19 will mark another turning point in the legislature. In the socialist ranks they are preparing for a new setback, this time in the historic bastion in which Susana Díaz lost the Board for the first time in 37 uninterrupted years of power. All the party's interlocutors, both at the regional and national levels, recognize that the chances of Juan Espadas taking over the Government from Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla are minimal and they trust the result to the mobilization of nearly half a million voters who in the regional elections of 2018 they stayed at home, but they returned to vote for the PSOE in the general elections of 2019. "The important thing is to activate the electorate, our enemy is abstention", summarized from Moncloa.
Ferraz's intention is that there be a "landing" of ministers and members of the socialist leadership throughout the Andalusian territory in the scarce four weeks remaining for the polls. Pedro Sánchez intends to step on all the provinces – he has already been to Jaén and this weekend in Granada – although at the party's federal headquarters they avoid considering it closed due to the difficulties of the agenda. What they take for granted is that he will participate in the closing ceremony of the campaign. The deployment, in any case, has already begun with the presence of the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños; the deputy secretary general, Adriana Lastra; or the Secretary of Organization, Santos Cerdán. The Andalusian ministers María Jesús Montero and Luis Planas will have special prestige in the meetings of the PSOE-A.
The socialists will claim the management of the Government of Spain against that of the Board. The effects of the labor reform, the increase in the Interprofessional Minimum Wage, the shielding of pensions or the agreements reached to improve the situation in the countryside will be the axes of the socialist campaign at a time of low hours for the coalition, which sees how demographic expectations are diminishing, despite this normative production without finding an antidote to stop the fall. “The positive effects of the government reforms, such as the ERTE, are being taken over by Moreno in political discourse, although in parallel they are stirring up Sánchez on a daily basis,” complains a person close to the socialist candidate.
Swords has been presented with the powerful promise of reducing unemployment by half thanks to European funds, which in Andalusia – the only community that did not approve budgets for 2022 with which to take advantage of the millionaire injection from the EU – “only” has 40% of the resources received have been executed, 5,000 million "he does not know where he is going to spend it" and another 12,000 million are yet to be planned and "absolutely nothing has been said", according to the socialist candidate at an event organized by Europa Press. The other big proposal is to allocate 2,000 million euros for a first job opportunity program for young people.
The objective that Ferraz has set for himself is to recover those nearly 500,000 votes that left Díaz and reissue at least the 33 seats, but the distance with the PP could be a blow to Sánchez, who would chain three consecutive defeats in Madrid, Castilla and León and now the former socialist stronghold. Beyond their own result, in the PSOE they have seen with concern the crisis that the forces to their left have gone through.
A certain discouragement spreads in the socialist ranks because what several of the sources consulted agree on is that Moreno Bonilla has not worn himself out in these three and a half years. "Moreno Bonilla has not been disheveled," says an Andalusian leader who points, however, to the weariness of the management of public services, especially health. "It's not easy," says a mayor who considers, however, that there is room to recover the voters who put Sánchez's ballot in the general elections but had abandoned them in the regional ones: "With Susana Díaz, people did not go to vote for rejection. Now there is ignorance, but not rejection”. Swords has barely been at the head of the Andalusian federation for a year and the socialist leadership recognizes that his continuity depends largely on the result of these elections.
“The electoral base of the PSOE in Andalusia is very high”, continues that same source: “If we mobilize and people decide to go vote, there may be a surprise. And in that we are municipality by municipality and the territorial structure of the entire party. You have to push." The electoral base in the Andalusian PSOE, at this time, is one million votes in a community that disputes 6.5 million ballots, the historical floor of a party with almost 40 decades in power.
They also cling to that 'muscle' in Ferraz, where they recall that in Andalusia there is one socialist militant for every 200 inhabitants and that 73% of the 778 mayors in the region are theirs. And they are playing for re-election in a year, so they consider that they will mobilize without having to call a protest at the last moment as happened in 2018.
The PP candidate has referred to the electoral machinery of the PSOE-A, who has called on his own not to be overconfident: "We have in front of us the most powerful machinery that exists in Spain from the electoral point of view." In the socialist ranks they recognize that the party is not 100% activated. “It is still barely a campaign. People are not in flour ”, point out socialist sources.
And in the mobilization strategy, Ferraz continues to bet on spurring fear of Vox, despite the fact that this tactic has not borne fruit judging by the growth that the extreme right has had election after election. “It is that Vox has to be scary, because it is a danger”, answers a member of the Executive about the insistence on that formula. The speech is also complicated for Espadas, who is fueled by the Andalusian right due to alliances with ERC and EH Bildu, which have a difficult time fitting into a part of the socialist electorate of territories such as Andalusia, Extremadura or Castilla-La Mancha fundamentally. The pre-campaign has also been complicated by the storm unleashed by the espionage scandal, which forced Sánchez to hand over the head of the director of the CNI, Paz Esteban, to his partners, and the 'noise' has increased due to a hypothetical meeting with the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, who does not arrive and who will be more delicate the closer he gets to June 19.
Other socialist sources try to put some pressure on the PP. Once they have lost the fear that the right wing governs in Andalusia – "Moreno has governed as Susana Díaz could have governed", says a socialist leader who sees him from outside the region – they maintain that those of Alberto Núñez Feijóo are playing the model : or govern alone like him in Galicia or Isabel Díaz Ayuso in Madrid or hand in hand with Vox, like in Castilla y León.
On the other hand, a strong Vox can contribute to the PSOE being the first force –according to the most optimistic– or at least to shorten the distances due to what it takes away from the PP, which has already won the Board with its worst electoral result. However, in Ferraz all the alarms went off long ago due to the strong irruption of the extreme right in areas such as ruraltraditionally on the left.
And in the spirits it is felt that the expectations are low, although better than what the polls indicate, which leave the PSOE in second position, far behind the PP. “We are going to go from less to more. The campaign will help us. We are going to have the possibility of not having the bump that the surveys say, ”says one of the sources consulted. “If the people mobilize, I am not telling you that we are going to govern, but not everything is done,” concludes another interlocutor.