There is life after Manuela Carmena. Well, there is. The ‘made in Madrid’ project that Íñigo Errejón engendered since the ostracism of Podemos under the shelter of the iconic former mayor of the capital has shown two years later that he is capable of looking down on the PSOE and stopping the attempt to absorption of an entire former vice president of the government as a regional candidate. Despite the change of faces and the lack of national packaging of the party in elections that were much more than autonomous ones, Mónica García’s candidacy knew how to grow until it became ‘in extremis’ the main force of the opposition.
In its second elections, Más Madrid is consolidated as a revelation actor in the troubled regional politics. More than 600,000 voters endorsed the strongest opposition to the health management of Isabel Díaz Ayuso and a less tense campaign in a scenario of great polarization. A loot of 24 seats – four more than in the previous appointment, when four fewer seats were at stake – that will matter little for the formation of the government, but which underpins a political platform that many took for granted at the beginning of the race towards the 4th -M.
In a matter of a month and a half, Errejón’s party has gone from less to more. From seeing their expectations weighed down by a possible PSOE and Podemos clamp, with Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias involved to a lesser or greater extent in the battle, to consummating the historic ‘sorpasso’ to the socialists at the polls. The unstoppable ‘Garcia effect’ enlarged the prick of Ángel Gabilondo, relying on the rise in participation in the southern municipalities. In the capital he was again the first force on the left and confirmed that in 2023 he will fight again for the Mayor’s Office with the PSOE in slipstream.
The presidential candidate, in any case, did not want to make firewood from the fallen tree by overtaking the socialists. In his speech after the recount, far from being exultant, García tiptoed through the ‘sorpasso’ and limited himself to claiming his role as a “dynamic force of the progressive bloc.” A leadership clouded by the “bad results”, as she herself called, of the left in the face of Ayuso’s “law of the jungle” model.
The national project
With these results, Errejón and his people receive a boost for their alternative and strengthen a political space that was until recently unexplored. A third way from the left with an environmentalist and feminist tint that is riding the ‘green’ wave that is reaching all corners of Europe. Another very different thing is that what happened is something that can be extrapolated to a general election. Neither Madrid is the same as Spain, at least electorally speaking, nor is Más Madrid the same as Más País. The few three deputies it has in Congress, one of them from Compromís, speak for themselves.
The challenge now is precisely that: to find a way for this third left to find a place in a national political framework of a thousand and one edges. For now, the party that evokes Carmena’s legacy lacks an autonomous structure beyond Madrid and time plays against it. The specter of a general election is approaching.
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