Pacts to two, three and four bands in the Canary Islands

The 28-M elections pose a very open scenario in the Canary Islands and in which the formation of pacts with two, three and even four bands for the formation of the next government will be inevitable, as happened in 2019.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
24 May 2023 Wednesday 22:24
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Pacts to two, three and four bands in the Canary Islands

The 28-M elections pose a very open scenario in the Canary Islands and in which the formation of pacts with two, three and even four bands for the formation of the next government will be inevitable, as happened in 2019.

In the last legislature, the course of the region has been marked by the so-called flower pact, made up of the PSOE, Nueva Canarias (NC), Unidas Podemos (UP) and the Gomera Socialist Group (ASG), led by Casimiro Curbelo, former senator Socialist who created this party in 2015 after the PSOE expelled him for the scandal he staged in a hostess club in Madrid.

Curbelo, with only 0.60 of the votes of the Canary Islands -some 5,400-, achieved three deputies in the 2019 elections and became the key party to open the door to the governance of the islands. This year everything indicates that the same thing will happen again and Curbelo will once again be key. The question is to know if this time he will position himself with the left block -PSOE, NC and UP- or with the one on the right -Canary Islands Coalition (CC) and PP-. The Canarian electoral system tries to strengthen the less populated islands compared to the capital ones -Gran Canaria and Tenerife-, hence the overrepresentation of Curbelo, who sweeps La Gomera.

Arithmetic aside, the reality is that today it is difficult to anticipate the color of the next executive from the Canary Islands. One of the options is to reissue the pact of flowers.

The agreement of the four of the political forces that make it up was forged on the basis of ending 26 years of CC government on the islands. A change of scenery was necessary, to “clean up” the administration and show that there was another way of doing politics. Although at first the pact arose with many doubts and no one believed that it would exhaust the legislature due to the likes and phobias among its members, it has finally come to an end despite the fact that it has been four difficult years, economically and socially, due to the pandemic.

The Canary Islands, an economy in which the service sector represents 70% of activity and employment, experienced its first tourist zero in history in 2020. Despite the difficulties, it has managed to succeed thanks to the ERTE and today it is at historic employment levels, with almost one million employed. It is also one of the economies with the highest growth forecast this year thanks to the good progress of tourism. The tailwinds are pushing it in the right direction and this is the endorsement with which the leader of the PSOE, Ángel Víctor Torres, is running for re-election.

The current president of the Canary Islands is a very close politician who has earned the trust of his citizens. His is the only one of him but and what his political opponents, with CC at the helm, blame him for is that he has not known how to defend the interests of the Canary Islands as he should and has kept silent before the impositions of Madrid.

In his favor is having been close to the citizen in all the critical situations experienced in these four years, including the episode of the eruption of the La Palma volcano. Even Torres has succeeded in the Mediator case.

The Canarian PSOE lived with nervousness the first weeks after uncovering the case involving the former PSOE deputy for Fuerteventura, Juan Bernardo Fuentes, his nephew, Taishet Fuentes, who was Minister of Agriculture in the Government of the Canary Islands, and the general of the Civil Guard, Francisco Espinosa Navas. However, despite the initial noise, the case has been confined to them and there have been no ramifications to other institutions or members of the party on the islands. So the PSOE does not anticipate that it will take its toll on them at the polls.

According to the latest CIS survey, the PSOE will remain on 28-M as the leading political force in the Canary Islands and could even improve the results of 2019, revalidating the current 25 seats and even reaching 26 or 27. Its rise would compensate for the drop in UP. Although the CIS believes that Podemos will improve its results, other surveys carried out at the regional level point to a drop in votes for the leftist formation, which has fractured after the decision of Alberto Rodríguez, El Rastas, to run with his own brand: Drago Canarias . For its part, NC will remain in the 5 deputies and ASG will achieve three. All in all, this bloc would exceed the 36 seats needed to obtain a majority and form a government.

On the other hand, there is CC and PP. The nationalists aspire to recover the government of the Canary Islands. The current senator and presidential candidate, Fernando Clavijo, presents himself as the only one capable of defending the interests of the Canary Islands in Madrid without having to answer to anyone. However, the polls are not favorable. The CIS foresees that it will lose more than 5% of the votes, so that it will fall below the 20 deputies of 2019. It would go from second to third political force, with the PP occupying its place, with good prospects. The CIS estimates that the PP could achieve 20% of the votes, five points more than in 2019 and achieve 15 deputies. Its leader, Manuel Domínguez, makes his debut as a candidate for the Government after fifteen years as mayor of Los Realejos (Tenerife). PP and CC could count on the support of ASG and add the 36 deputies necessary to form a government. Curbelo has a close relationship with Clavijo and that pact is not ruled out.

There are even those who point to a possible agreement between the PSOE and the CC, forged on the need for support from the Socialists in Congress, although in the campaign the attacks between the two are being constant and that pact seems distant.

As a detail, this 28-M everything points to Ciudadanos, who in 2019 won two seats, disappears from Parliament and Vox enters.