Not so long ago, the liberal Ciudadanos was very close to holding the balance of power in Spain before it suddenly imploded at the last general elections with many wondering if the party would be able to survive. However, the party managed to keep its head above water and on Sunday, the party elected a female leader, practically the first woman in the country’s history to head a main political party. The 38-year-old Inés Arrimadas won an overwhelming 77 per cent of the vote in Ciudadanos’ internal poll but will now have to contend with the fragmentation of the Spanish right as she seeks to revive the party, which lost 47 of its 57 congressional seats in the last election, in November.
Arrimadas is a powerful speaker who trained as a lawyer and is expecting a baby towards the end of May, has a big past electoral success to her name.
In 2017, she led Ciudadanos to first place in Catalan elections, although the party was unable to form a regional government. So, she appears to the right person for the job, she is certainly going to give the extreme right party Vox a run for its money - in fact she might be able to persuade the right wing Partido Popular to put some daylight between themselves and Vox and start nudging back to the centre ground and even form an alliance with Ciudadanos.
While “progressive” is the buzz work with the ruling left wing pact, it could be said that Ciudadanos has just made the most progressive move of all.