News World Does bipartisanship return to Spain?

Does bipartisanship return to Spain?

Does bipartisanship return to Spain?

In the recent May elections, the Popular Party (PP) has experienced a significant boost by benefiting from the disappearance of Ciudadanos, positioning itself in first place in the polls. On the other hand, the PSOE did not suffer as much as its coalition partner, Podemos.

In the general elections in Spain, experts foresee a surprising increase in votes above 60% for the two main traditional parties. Something unthinkable in other European countries, where political fragmentation is more marked. What are the reasons behind this trend? Experts point to various causes, and one of them is the crisis of parties that were born out of indignation, such as Ciudadanos and Podemos. None of these marks appear on the ballot papers.

“Citizens are tired of some projects that were born with great hopes and that have turned out to be a bluff”highlights Euprepio Padula, an expert in political leadership. “When there is disenchantment in politics, two things can happen: either you go after the populists who sell you easy recipes for their difficult problem, or you go to the useful vote for the party you already know, and that is what is happening! happening now in Spain!”, Padula adds.

From bipartisanship to “bibloquism”

Spanish society has gone through different stages, from bipartisanship to multipartyism and now “bibloquism”, as experts describe it. Although the big parties continue to have support, it seems that they still depend on alliances with VOX or Sumar to obtain a majority.

“Right now it is adopting a two-two form, because we are seeing that PP and PSOE are at the top competing for the first position and then separated by Sumar and VOX competing for the third and fourth position,” adds Ferrandiz.

The Electoral Law benefits the PSOE and the PP

For both parties, the stone in the way has always been the Electoral Law of Spain, which gives more weight to the votes of the provinces where the election tends to be more traditional. It is more difficult for the small parties to obtain seats since they have not been able to penetrate the provinces where the traditional vote greatly benefits the large parties of always, due to the territorial proportion.

“The d’Hont Law was made giving a lot of weight to these small and medium constituencies that we always talk about, where depending on their population they would have a more minority representation than they have and have great weight in decisions”points out the director of Public Opinion and Political Studies of IPSOS, Jose Pablo Ferrandiz.

The law makes the votes of the more urban regions have less weight. This is precisely where Podemos and Ciudadanos have come to have their majority of votes in other elections. “For example, Ciudadanos, in order to have a seat in the provinces, as in the Catalan ones, has had to have much more votes than are necessary for the Socialist Party”says Euprepio Padula.

“PP and PSOE have that more transversal capacity that neither Podemos nor Citizens ever achieved in social groups, in ages and in territories where they never arrived”says Ferrandiz.

The pandemic or the war in Ukraine have not influenced the big parties like the 2008 crisis

Another issue that has allowed traditional parties to survive, according to Jose Pablo Ferrandiz, is that the latest crises have not had the same incidence when it comes to opening a political crisis that would revolutionize the political landscape with the appearance of new parties. The newest projects were already in circulation. Instead, each one has experienced its own crisis and each of the formations for different reasons.

The difference with the 2008 crisis is that on this occasion there has not been a bailout with its corresponding cuts, but rather another series of expansive policies that have not made a dent in the formations that are governing the regions or the country.

“With the pandemic, even with the war in Ukraine, there has also been an attempt from Europe, of course, to give a less radical solution that affects citizens and the middle class less as happened in 2008. So, that has also allowed a scenario different so that the traditional parties can also consolidate”, emphasizes the director of Public Opinion at Ipsos.

Ciudadanos and Podemos have lost votes in different ways

As for Ciudadanos and Podemos, both have lost votes, but in different ways. Ciudadanos has suffered a significant bleeding of voters, to the point that it has decided not to run in the most recent elections. Instead, Podemos has maintained a more solid electoral ground, although it has had to join other political forces to maintain its representation.

According to Ferrandiz, the strategy of the orange formation has been wrong:“It was strategically a bad decision when he suddenly chooses to position himself clearly in one of the two blocks in the block on the right”.

For his part, Padula points out the “monumental sequence of strategic mistakes” and the lack of “self-criticism”, those who have led the party to “disappear completely”

This disappearance has strengthened the Popular Party, which is facing the upcoming elections with a higher percentage of voting intentions, according to the Spanish press.

However, in the case of Podemos, it has not been such a big drop. The formation has been greatly affected after the regional elections in May where it lost representation in Madrid. In a week he had to join the confluence of the left Sumar to be able to attend the elections and avoid an electoral fragmentation that could have affected him even more according to experts.

“I would have ruled out the possibility of reissuing a left-wing government”says Ferrandiz. Although he points out that the electoral ground of Podemos has always been very firm. “A floor that we could perhaps establish around 9-10% of the vote, something that did not happen to Ciudadanos which we have quickly seen as good, because when they have stopped trusting him… they have stopped trusting very much quickly and all almost at the same time.”

Podemos has not liked the coalition as well as the PSOE

According to experts, the purple formation has been affected by its way of managing some issues during the legislature, such as the Law of Only Yes is Yes, or rather the Law of Equality where a minister of Podemos, Irene Montero, was. The law enshrines consent as the key to sexual freedom. However, the way in which it was done has not been liked by Parliament and has had to be modified over the months because it had an undesired effect according to its promoters, such as reduced sentences for rapists.

The law that was intended to help the left ended up backfiring according to experts. “The balance that people make. And I’m not just talking about people on the right, I’m also talking about people, socialists, people on the left. It’s not especially positive,” Padula points out.

“It has been a government coalition marked by many differences between the main parties and then it has also had to have agreements with the independentistas, with Bildu, with a series of political forces that Spain still does not like very much”adds the expert in political leadership.

The PSOE has also been harmed by the errors according to Ferrandiz, as well as by the successes. But being head of government “the president or president of the party that is part of the coalition to which he belongs, since he usually has or takes all the electoral and political revenues.”

“The social mood has changed”

In short, both experts agree that voters have changed. Now they look for other types of interests. According to Jose Pablo Ferrandiz, the social mood has changed.“It has gone from indignation to what we would come to say a normalization of the political sphere”point.

For his part, Euprepio Padula points out that “when there is disenchantment, politics can want two things or that you go after the populists who sell you easy recipes for their difficult problem or you go to the useful vote for a party that you already know, which is what is happening now in Spain”. “Personally I think they are looking for the solution that really seems less bad to them,” he concludes.

Source: Euronews Espanol

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