Mayoralty contested between different orange tones
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Mayoralty contested between different orange tones

Mayoralty contested between different orange tones

Source: Tribuna Libre

Valencian left-wing Compromís or centre-right Ciudadanos, one of the two electoral lists will gather the most votes and determine who sits in the mayor’s chair for the next 4 years.

The fight for the city of Valencia will be contended between two orange parties, as much as traditional parties PP and PSPV would like to recover their governing alternance. Which tone prevails will be the key: rusty-coloured Joan Ribó (Compromís) or bright-coloured Fernando Giner (Ciudadanos).

Election polls that project regional results defend vote continuity from last elections, but they are not taking into account the local government’s exhaustion -PSPV (Socialist Party of the Valencian Country) included- and the progressive decline in supporters of the extinct Podem, now rebranded as left-wing Unidas Podemos. The purple political formation cannot hold onto the 15M movement anymore, its leaders either absorbed by other parties or have moved on and are looking for settling within stable political reality, which may limit them for these elections.

In the context of a changing ecosystem that is very different to that of 2015, Sandra Gómez’s (left-winged PSOE) favourable situation after president Pedro Sánchez’s unexpected victory -due to the number of seats rather than votes- doesn’t seem to be enough. For that reason, PP (right-winged People’s Party) and Ciudadanos may have a chance that is however stained in the case of the former by past corruption in Mª José Català’s formation, and in the case of the latter, by public ignorance and Fernando Giner’s noble and too feeble manners.

By looking at one of the polls that go unnoticed by the media for not supporting their editorial interests -as it is the case of the poll promoted by Universitat de València- we can observe how PSOE does not call the shots, but rather that Joan Ribó (Compromís) could be the one to be elected mayor again with 9 city councillors, as he currently has, with between a 22.8 and a 27.6% of votes. With results that could range from the failure of the 7 representatives to success as a consequence of having swallowed EU (Valencian socialist Esquerra Unida) and Unides Podem’s voters, the acting mayor would obtain 10 councillors for the first time in his history and would see his management supported despite Compromís’ Grezzi and Fuset.

This hegemony could only be challenged by another orange party, since predictions assign 8 councillors to Ciudadanos, two more than their current number. Fernando Giner would obtain between 22.4 and 27.2% of votes and 7 to 10 councillors. The university estimates that in case of the same percentage, the rusty orange-toned formation to which they feel close would outweigh the bright orange.

Far from what the CIS (Centre for Sociological Research) and polls conducted this last week by left-media predict, the Sadra Gómez-led PSPV-PSOE would obtain 6 councillors, one more than they have now. According to the poll promoted by Universitat Valenciana, they would obtain between 16.2 and 20.4% of votes and 5 to 8 seats. Socialists would not achieve to have unknown Sandra Gómez recover the mayoralty that they lost in 1991. A breath of fresh air that would be reduced to a soft breeze and that would endanger the tripartite’s hegemony.

The left would need Unides Podem-EUPV again to successfully reedit the Pacte de la Nau (signed by Compromís, PSPV and València en Comú in 2015) and compensate the reediting of the Pacte del Botànic (signed the same year by PSPV-PSOE and Compromís with Unides Podem’s support), but this formation is expected to only barely reach the 5% of votes, which would assign them 2 councillors, one less than València en Comú (which Podem joined, but not EU) obtained in 2015. María Oliver-led Unides Podem would obtain, if they resist Compromís’ biting progress, between 5.4 and 8.2% of votes and 1 to 3 councillors. Without them, the left will certainly lose the city of Valencia.

Another mystery is what will happen with Valencian PP. The UV’s (Universitat de València) poll lowers their expectations to 5 councillors, half the representation that they obtained 4 years ago. Too strict a punishment that, become a reality, it would sink hopes of the centre-right to manage Spain’s third capital again. The list lead by María José Català (PP) would obtain between 13.4 and 17.4 % of votes and 4 to 6 councillors.

Truth be told, it all depends on whether Català manages to cannibalise far-right Vox and recover voters that are angry at PP ex-leaders stained by alleged corruption during their management of the city. A great deal of those votes would presumably go to Vox, which would irrupt in the city council with 3 councillors.  Vox candidacy led by José Gosálvez would be supported by between a 6.9 and 10% of voters and they would obtain 2 to 3 councillors. Or not. If their unmet expectations after national and regional elections translate in disappointment among voters, PP may rise from the ashes like a phoenix.

That is why, given the outburst of polls agreeing on a peaceful and successful election night for the left similar to what they experienced a month ago, it is necessary to bear in mind that national and regional results do not tend to coincide. The people are wise and know how to counterbalance results, but we live in strange times with two elections in one month. Anything could happen.


Por José Antonio Giménez

Analista de MK político