Pablo Casado celebrates three years in the presidency of the PP this Wednesday celebrating having left behind a long “crossing of the desert”, in his own words, because although he has not reached the Government, he has managed, he maintains, to regain the hegemony of the conservative space in Spain . The leader of the PP has brought together the party’s national board of directors in Gredos (Ávila) and in a speech before his own he has claimed as the main achievement of his presidency that, unlike what happened when he assumed office, no party threatens already with replacing the PP. “It has not been easy,” said Casado, who considers the struggle with Vox for the leadership of the right to be over. “I already warned a few months ago that it would be the last time that any party tried to replace us,” he stressed. “Our ideas”, remarked the leader of the PP before the main popular leaders, “do not admit or replacements or substitutes”, referring to both Vox and Citizens.
The elections in Madrid last May, coinciding with the PP, marked a turning point that has allowed the party to have options to reach La Moncloa. The popular base this expectation on the fact that they lead most of the private polls, unlike the CIS, which continues to lead the PSOE. In the latest private polls, such as DYM on Wednesday or Sigma Dos on July 19, they reach 28% of the votes for 24-25% of the PSOE, and they could be in a position to govern by adding with Vox . The CIS, on the other hand, offers a different photograph: according to the barometer for July, published this Wednesday, the PSOE maintains the leadership with 28.6% of the votes, five points away from the PP, which is in 23.4%.
The PP disdains the CIS data, which it sees manipulated, and believes that now it does have options to beat the PSOE. “We are now in a position to win the next elections,” Casado has proclaimed before his own. “Despite the difficulties, we have shown that we are strong.” Casado, whom some analysts describe as a politician who has starred in strategic ups and downs, claims to be a leader with clear ideas who has not been carried away by the dispute by part of the electorate with the extreme right. “We have kept our pulse steady, without being pressured. Defending our principles and values ”, he defended. In that firmness, Casado tells of his refusal to support Vox’s motion of censure last October, as highlighted in his speech behind closed doors by the general secretary of the PP, Teodoro García Egea, according to sources present.
The leader of the PP owes the recent boost to the victory of Isabel Díaz Ayuso at the polls. The Madrid president has become a rising figure in the new PP, at the same level as historical figures such as the Galician Alberto Núñez Feijóo. The leader of the PP also benefits from the serious crisis that Ciudadanos is going through, which the popular ones consider dead and which barely reached 5% in the latest polls (5.5% in the CIS). Casado congratulates himself on having put the fragmentation of the right in three brands (PP, Vox and Cs) at bay, although he still has to count on the extreme right. It has put a brake on it, but it is consolidated: almost in 17% of the votes, according to the DYM poll, or in the 13.6% that the CIS gives it. The advantage for the PP is that Cs does not raise his head.
The anniversary of Casado’s leadership comes at a time when bridges were broken with the Government. The granting of pardons to the independence leaders further cooled the relationship between the Executive and the main opposition party, which have not reached an agreement to renew the high institutions of the State as required by the Constitution. The only pact that they have signed during the presidency of Pedro Sánchez has been that of the leadership of RTVE. The leader of the PP has referred in his speech to the renewal of the institutions insisting that he will not move from his position: he only agrees to a pact if the Government admits a change in the election model of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ ) for the judges to elect the members of the body. “We will remain firm in the defense of constitutional and European principles, it would be irresponsible to weaken the institutions.”
Casado insists on a devastating description of the government, which he describes as “the worst in democratic history” and the “most radical in Europe.” The opposition leader has accused the president of having “negligently concealed the pandemic” and of seeking “regime change with a constitutional mutation.” And it has charged against the memory law approved this Tuesday by the Government: the PP will repeal all the laws on historical memory to replace them with a “concord” law whose content it has not disclosed. “No one should dig up old wounds now. And less because of an irresponsible interest in dividing ”, has defended Casado, who shared an act this Monday with the former minister of Adolfo Suárez and promoter of Vox, Ignacio Camuñas, who denied the coup of 1936 and blamed the Government of the Republic for the military uprising.
The good demographic moment has returned the internal calm to the PP after the tensions over the provincial renewal of the party structures and the anxiety after the puncture in the Catalan elections in February (3 seats). This past weekend, the popular offered an image of unity in the Congress of the PP of Galicia, with all the regional presidents behind Casado until the next general elections. Veteran voices of the conservative party often say that Casado has one bullet left: that of the next elections in which he will fight with Pedro Sánchez. Until then, the whole party will be lined up to help him get to La Moncloa. His survival as leader of the PP will depend on his success later.