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Opinion

Andalusia as a thermometer of the next general elections?

Juanma Moreno Bonilla

These were elections in the treble clef. Neither the ultra-right has entered the government nor has it taken over the Andalusian political spectrum, and for Ciudadanos it has meant removing the respirator condemned to its demise: Juan Marín is leaving politics. In this electoral feat, the desire to have a stable government, a coherent outlook, in the midst of so much national and international uncertainty, has won the day.

The Andalusians have spoken loud and clear about their political destiny for the next four years: neither the heat wave nor the temptation to go to the beach stopped them. On the contrary, they went to the polls motivated to give a majority to Juanma Moreno Bonilla, the Partido Popular candidate, who was seeking to revalidate his government for another term.

And to do so free of alliances, of Frankenstein alliances, which only end up empowering the new parties of recent generation and here the electoral expectations of Vox - for the first time - were not exceeded with its candidate Macarena Olena and the 14 deputies to the Andalusian Parliament.

Here in Malaga the election day of 19J was well attended, with entire families voting and many young people voting for the first time. There is affection for Juanma Moreno who, despite being born in Barcelona, has claimed his Malaga essence due to his years of upbringing and studying in Malaga.

I saw him and greeted him at a forum organised by Diario Sur in the Malaga capital with businessmen and sympathisers to whom he spoke bluntly about his vision of modernising and leading Andalusia to compete for more investment; to even look Catalonia in the eye as a technological and tourist pole. For leaving behind the image of an Andalusia mired in backwardness and inequality.

Moreno Bonilla is an ambitious politician because he has a vision of the future and the people of Andalusia have bought his discourse, they have told him at the polls that they believe in him. They have decided to give him more confidence: natural PSOE voters decided to vote for the PP and Ciudadanos voters were carried away by Moreno Bonilla's tsunami.

The PSOE's former fiefdom has been dismantled, election after election, the struggles between Susana Díaz and Pedro Sánchez were two train wrecks between susanismo and sanchismo with Susana defenestrated and the imposition of Juan Espadas from the Moncloa.  The results of this manoeuvre are obvious: Sánchez's candidate has lost and obtained the worst results in history for the PSOE with 30 seats.

Andalusia does not like sanchismo, that is the message sent to the Moncloa. They are fed up with the Frankenstein policies, with the way the pandemic has been managed and with the policies of subsidies when people want a job with the certainty of an income that allows them to live with dignity. 
Juanma Moreno is a political tsunami who has already made history by sweeping the polls with his 58 seats (at least half a million borrowed votes), fulfilling his goal of governing alone with an enviable absolute majority that now makes him the envy of the Moncloa and the governments of the other autonomous communities.

The left-wing forces united in Por Andalucía won five seats and the chalky Teresa Rodríguez, with her party Adelante Andalucía, won two seats.

For President Sánchez this result is a huge setback that he had already foreseen because Espadas did not arouse any passion during a bland campaign in which he was completely overshadowed by Moreno Bonilla and by Olona's shocking speech.

Espadas tried to corner Moreno Bonilla with the possibility of an alliance with Vox and even went so far as to summon him before a notary to put on record that he would not agree to a government with Vox if he did not achieve a majority.

Olona was swallowed up by the fear of many Andalusians of losing transversal rights and of many foreign voters of being relegated as second-class citizens. The Manichean use of the issue of masturbation and children's education in the classroom, brought up in the last of the debates, rather than serving to whip up public opinion, was cornered by her own arguments.

It now remains to look ahead to the municipal elections and then the general elections in 2024. Sánchez's government has already been warned, and the message also goes to his Podemos partners in the face of the weariness of an electorate tired of unfulfilled promises and erroneous decisions.