Ayuso's victory in seven keys

Isabel Díaz Ayuso

The ballot boxes have spoken in Madrid and have decided that the right will govern comfortably and without ties in the remaining two years of the legislature, because the Statute of Autonomy stipulates that elections must be held every May with a four-year interval, whether or not elections are repeated during the legislature. The readings of what happened in Madrid are diverse, but they conclude in the same theory: President Isabel Díaz Ayuso has clearly defeated President Pedro Sánchez and has managed to remove the extremist Pablo Iglesias from the political life of the country after only seven years in the institutions. A headline from which seven key points of analysis can be derived:

Why was the turnout 76%, an all-time record in Madrid?

This 4-M has shown that an increase in turnout does not always benefit the left. This was a principle that seemed to have been established in our democracy. The highest historical turnout in the Community and one of the highest in democracy for more than 40 years, shows that the mobilisation of the vote can be transversal, and not only with a progressive character. Polarisation in a binary concept of the public sphere has motivated almost everyone to give their opinion, with the well-known result. Forty-one per cent of voters chose the worldview offered by the left. 59% preferred the opposite. But they all wanted to demonstrate on the working day that became a democratic holiday. Democracy which, by the way, is still in force today in the Community of Madrid despite predictions to the contrary. 

What will Ayuso do with such a large majority?

He came within four seats of an absolute majority, which he did not achieve because of the increase in representation in the Assembly that the increase in population implied. The results, with his list winning in 177 of the 179 towns in the capital region, allow him to govern without the toll of a partner such as Ciudadanos, more concerned with its own prominence than the health of the coalition. Despite all this, he will incorporate members of Ciudadanos into his government. He will not need the support of VOX in the investiture, which will eliminate the alibi that the left needs to continue to charge against its fascist and ultra-right ghosts. Although despite being eliminated, the alibi will continue to be used permanently as it has been repeatedly (trumpista is the fashionable term for disqualification) since election night. 

Why have the people of Madrid preferred the liberalism of the right?

Because of the dilemma posed by the measures of the socialist and extremist left-wing government, which the PP was able to propose as a campaign slogan: freedom against everything else. And for all those small-big things that make citizens freer: lower taxes, a commitment to economic activity without forcing businesses to close, respect for families in their ability to choose a doctor, a school, classes with moral content for their children, the price at which they offer the rent of the flat they have inherited thanks to decades of family effort... Retired couples have also felt in the back of their necks what will be the lack of freedom on realising that they will have to pay almost a hundred euros a month due to the elimination of joint personal income taxation, which the Government has already communicated to the European Commission, despite the fact that it is now trying to confuse us. 

Why has the PSOE gone from being the most voted party to being relegated by the extreme left?

The worst result in its history in the Community deserves a deeper analysis than that of a regional election. Moncloa's handling of the socialist candidacy cannot be dismissed with the absence of the Monclovite councillor in the photo at the desolate Hotel Princesa on the night of the defeat, and with the disappearance of the leader to explain what happened. The collapse was not of the physicist Ángel Gabilondo, but of the president of the government. Many socialist voters preferred the original: faced with the radicalisation of the PSOE's discourse, they chose the real radical leader who headed the Más Madrid candidacy. And Sánchez has been disavowed for his way of handling the pandemic, for the lies of his Executive to the population, for his rude use of the institutions (RTVE, CIS, Fiscalía, BOE) ...

Are the two million voters of the PP and VOX fascists?

Madrid's public opinion has rebelled against all those who have tried to manipulate it: not only political actors, but also public and private television, print and digital media and radio stations, all of them dedicated to ridicule and constant media harassment of the leaders of the right, especially the popular candidate. A circumstance that shows how difficult it is to interfere in people's opinion with exaggerations. Not a single one of the voters of the PP or VOX are fascists, however much we are led to believe that from the news and talk shows. 

Did Pablo Iglesias really want to be a regional deputy for Madrid?

It was never in his intentions to end up in opposition in a regional parliament a few weeks after leaving the vice-presidency. His future strategy is known only to himself, but he seems tired of frontline politics and will continue to be present in the public debate by other, even more productive means. If he were to take up the post, he would have lost his pension of more than five thousand euros a month as former vice-president of the government. Only five out of every hundred people who went to the polls yesterday voted for him, the only ones who looked the other way in the face of the leader who sent his employees to break up an opponent's demonstration, beating up the police. The group of university professors who saw the 15-M of a decade ago as an opportunity to gain notoriety has been diluted to the ground. 

What consequences will the result have on national politics?

Everything will remain the same as far as the government and its allies are concerned, unless the PNV changes friends again, which does not seem likely now. If Ortúzar, Urkullu and Esteban so decide, Sánchez will fall or be forced to call the polls. But the most likely outcome is that the legislature will run as long as possible, with a novelty that was unexpected until eight weeks ago: an alternative has been born with the regrouping of the centre-right.