The debate for six of the candidates for mayor of Madrid organized by Telemadrid has missed a seventh lectern. That of the former mayor Manuela Carmena whose management José Luis Martínez Almeida (PP) has repeatedly mentioned to avoid the carpet bombing that has fallen on her by becoming the center of attacks from both the left-wing candidates, led by Rita Maestre ( More Madrid), as well as those on the right, led by Javier Ortega Smith (Vox).
The debate has had more tension and alternatives than the one held last week with the candidates for the presidency of the Community of Madrid as a result of the multiple carambolas that the polls draw: equality between the blocks of the left and the right - which endangers Almeida's baton of command in favor of Maestre-, the possibility of being left without parliamentary representation -in the case of Ciudadanos- or the opportunity to be the coveted key to form a government -Vox for the right and United We Can for the left-.
Begoña Villacís (Cs) and Reyes Maroto (PSOE) have also joined the contest, who have been weighed down by their role as secondary actors predicted by demoscopic studies, as well as Roberto Sotomayor (Podemos-IU-AV) who has been the most daring of all to make himself known to the general public and try to enter the municipal plenary session of Cibeles for the first time.
In the conservative arc, with some polls that predict a victory for the PP but without enough numbers to govern, Almeida has started displaying his service record as mayor to gain momentum and scratch the votes that will allow him not to depend on Vox whose candidate, to In turn, he has not hesitated to join the left on more than one occasion to make it clear that he will sell his support very dearly if it is necessary for an investiture.
All this has happened while Villacís has tried to appropriate a good part of the successes broken down by Almeida so as not to be the small fish of the coalition devoured by the big one.
On the progressive side, Maestre, Maroto and Sotomayor have not hesitated to focus all their attacks on Almeida, aware that, according to the polls, the possibility of ousting Almeida from Cibeles depends on a few thousand votes. Except for a small exchange between Podemos and Más Madrid for not having reached an agreement to present themselves in a coalition, the left-wing aggression pact has been exposed.
Maestre has been the most incisive cornering Almeida in terms of mobility and the environment. Two issues in which the Más Madrid program has at times overwhelmed the mayor, who has found no better way out than to attack the management of the former mayor Carmena, for whom Maestre was spokesperson to try to redirect the debate towards the failed promises of 2015. instead of the difficult-to-evaluate promises of 2023. "Talk about your government, stop throwing balls out," Maestre had to remind Almeida when verifying his insistence on using the Carmena wild card.
The scuffles between the mayor and the opposition leader have captured all the attention to the point of blurring Maroto's strategy, weighed down by having to put up with criticism from the right-wing of the central government as former Minister of Industry, and Begoña Villacís (Cs), who at times has seemed content with aspiring only to fight with the socialist for the votes of the center so as not to go from the vice mayor's office to disappearance at the municipal level.
Almeida and Maestre have collided on the economy, housing, mobility, urban planning, security, public services... In fact, they have not agreed on a single proposal despite sharing the misdiagnosis of the housing problem that the capital suffers. This has resulted in a clash of styles that will be the one that the people of Madrid will have to decide on at the polls if possible, the result of the well-known pacts, that from 29-M both the PP candidate and the candidate for More Madrid. Everything points to a decision by a few thousand votes.