Prime minister in minority, Mariano Rajoy, intends to run for a third term. In my book that is political suicide for the right-wing Partido Popular. It took parliament ten months to elect a leader last time round and the latest polls show that he is not everybody’s cup of tea, especially not in Catalonia, one of the power houses of Spain.
The radical Podemos, which brought a new edge to politics at the last election, appear to have imploded, the Socialist Party has stagnated and the PP have been continually falling in popularity in the polls. And it is not just a case of looking at the polls, just listen to what people think.
The surprise package, as we saw in Catalonia, is Ciudadanos, the citzens’ party, which would be best described as Spain’s answer to the Liberal Democrats (politically that is). It has lots of cards stacked in its favour. While the PP continue to get caught for playing politics with black money, Ciudadanos comes to the table with a clear stack of chips.
And one big throw of the dice in its favour is that it was founded in Catalonia, so it is a Catalan party and a lot of Catalans like that, especially when it comes to thinking at a national level. The Catalans, whether they get independence or not, could at least have a Catalan party, although it does not believe in the break-up of Spain, leading the country. Not a bad alternative.
Furthermore, King Felipe VI has done the PP no favours by speaking out against Catalan independence, in short supporting the right-wing PP in what, in essence, is still a Republican country.
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