Catalonia turns to the right

Catalonia continues to be different in electoral terms, but a little less.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 04:21
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Catalonia turns to the right

Catalonia continues to be different in electoral terms, but a little less. The left (PSC, ERC, Comuns and CUP) continue to be the majority. Between these four formations they added up to 51.55% of the votes in last Sunday's elections. But the no less diverse bloc of the right, which would include the hegemonic party of Catalan independence (Junts), the main force of conservative constitutionalism (PP), the ultra-Spanish far-right (Vox), the dying winner of the 2017 elections ( Ciudadanos) and the extreme right of the independence movement (Aliança Catalana) are closing the gap. It thus becomes clear – with all due precautions when placing such diverse parties in the same bag and which occupy opposite positions in their location on the national axis – that Catalonia is no stranger to the right-wing wave that invades the Old Town. Continent and that could manifest itself with maximum intensity in the European elections from June 6 to 9.

Additions and subtractions don't lie. The left bloc, despite the incontestable victory of the PSC, incidentally much more leaning to the right than on other occasions, loses more than 35,000 votes in these elections and more than six percentage points compared to 2021. The bloc ideologically The opposite party, on the other hand, has 231,000 more ballots than three years ago, partly due to the good electoral performance of Junts, but thanks above all to a PP that is only taking one more step – it still has a long way to go – towards the normalization of a totally anomalous situation. And it is that a party that is the most voted in Spain in the general elections, in almost all the regional elections and in the majority of large cities in the municipal elections could not afford to have only three of the 135 deputies of the Parliament, less than 4% of the votes and occupy eighth position in Catalonia and, to cite a very hurtful case of its past irrelevance, also in the city of Barcelona.

The extinction, even more dazzling than its effervescent emergence, of Ciudadanos, a party that deserves a few lines in the Guiness Book of Records for having passed in just seven years from the victory in an election flying the greatest of anti-process flags to rush into hell and be left without parliamentary representation.

The success of the Popular Party, always relative and depending on the chosen comparison, has not come at the expense of that uncomfortable rival, as well as a necessary partner in many institutions, which is Vox. The party led by Santiago Abascal collects a quarter of a million votes (30,000 more than in the previous Catalan elections) and confirms that a primary discourse, with hardly any nuances, based on attacks on “illegal immigration” and its connection with Citizen insecurity also works, as in the rest of Europe, in a Catalonia that until recently seemed to live in another reality.

In the field of the right, the great novelty of these elections, beyond the recovery of the Popular Party and the solid resistance of Junts, is the appearance of a second ultra party of “Catalan obedience” and, therefore, located in the opposite extreme to Vox on the identity axis.

Aliança Catalana barely manages to gain a foothold in the big cities, but it does break the shell of Ripoll, where the party of mayor Sílvia Orriols is once again, as in the municipal elections last year, the most voted force with 33.1%, even improving the results of those local elections. Aliança Catalana makes the leap to many rural areas of Catalonia, especially in the provinces of Girona and Lleida, where it obtains the two deputies that grant it nouvingut status to the unstable world of Catalan politics.