04/05/2021

Madrid is Ayuso

2 min
The president of the cominitat of Madrid, Isabel Diaz Ayuso , votes
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The overwhelming triumph of Isabel Díaz Ayuso in the Community of Madrid establishes the PP's radicalisation for the polarisation of Spanish politics. It is the victory of a Trump-inspired populism and it is, at the same time, the normalisation of the far-right Vox, whose discourse has been whitewashed by an Ayuso who will need its support to be invested president. Ayuso now aspires to everything: to take control of the Popular Party and to prepare a leap towards the government of the Spanish government, from the platform her resounding success in the capital's elections gives her. Ciudadanos's disappearance from the Madrid Assembly, key to Ayuso's victory, leaves open the PP's path towards the hegemony of the right, with its sights set on the government of the State. In fact, PP's candidate has not taken place in a local key, but against the first left-wing coalition government in Spanish history, a PSOE-Unidas Podemos government that was possible thanks to the votes of Catalan and Basque independentists, for whom the ascent of the new leader in pectore of the Spanish far right is a direct threat. The mental distance between the electoral majorities in Catalonia and Madrid is widening. In the Community of Madrid, the unabashed neoliberal discourse and the unleashed Spanish nationalist discourse have won: this is what the sum of Ayuso and her appendage Monasterio represent. Neither the management of the coronavirus nor the corruption cases affecting the PP have taken their toll on this reinvented right wing. What counted more were open bars and the promise of lower taxes, metaphors of a precarious and reductionist ideal of freedom, a flag brandished before the absurdity of a supposed communism embodied by Iglesias.

But the elections in greater Madrid have not only enthroned, with broad popular support, a PP that is finally the one Aznar wanted, but have also shown the impotence of a left that, fragmented and competing among itself, has been unable to counter Ayuso's ideological and demagogic steamroller, well supported by an unconditional media core. Not even from the power of the Spanish government have they been able to stop this right-wing populist wave. The PSOE, with a candidate who was already perceived as a loser, has suffered a historic defeat: it won the 2019 elections. Iglesias, after abandoning the vice-presidency of the Spanish government, has barely managed to save his party from disappearing. And Más Madrid, with Mónica García as their candidate, has made a meritorious but insufficient leap forward to stop the Ayusist avalanche. The three left-wing parties add up to less than Ayuso's alone. Sánchez will now have to decide how he will face his likely future rival at the polls: whether he dares to truly make the idea of a plural and progressive Spain his own, or whether he will take refuge in his usual tacticism.

The other doubt consists in knowing whether the electoral phenomenon of Madrid represents Spain or, on the contrary, whether it is a fabulous and powerful exception. Will Ayuso manage to be followed by the whole electoral body of the State? In any case, unlike most large Western cities, metropolitan Madrid, in case there was any doubt, in this 4-M has reinforced its marked rightward tilt.

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