Who votes for Joan Ribó in the city of Valencia?

The mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó, announced this week his intention to stand for re-election to support Compromís and try to revalidate, for the third consecutive term, the Mayor's Office of the cap i casal.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
26 September 2022 Monday 00:33
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Who votes for Joan Ribó in the city of Valencia?

The mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó, announced this week his intention to stand for re-election to support Compromís and try to revalidate, for the third consecutive term, the Mayor's Office of the cap i casal. Ribó has become the main asset of the Valencian coalition after the forced march of Mónica Oltra, so his resignation (with which he feigned for months) would have been very detrimental to Compromís.

But, how has Ribó, in a city like Valencia - where Rita Barberá ruled for 24 years and anti-Catalanism has had more roots - managed to be in the hands of political Valencianism since 2015?

In 2019, although the context was more favorable to him -because the regional elections were held together with the general ones, which harmed Compromís- Ribó achieved 27.5% of the votes, 10 points more than those achieved by the regional candidacy he headed Other. Data unthinkable a few years ago.

Amadeu Mezquida, general secretary of the Compromís municipal group in the City Council and coordinator of the pre-campaign and municipal campaign, explains to La Vanguardia that "the majority of voters" in the coalition are between 25 and 45 years old. Young people who joined Compromís in 2011 and who have been growing both in age and in number. A pattern that is quite homogeneous in the rest of the Valencian Community, with the exception that the data is better in all age groups when talking about Valencia city.

However, the most interesting analysis is the one given by neighbourhoods. Compromís detects a "correlation between the level of income and the vote". Thus, he concludes that "the most popular neighborhoods vote more for Compromís." A variable that, adds Mezquida, "is not so clear in the regional vote."

To this is added another nuance, in the most hostile neighborhoods and that retain a greater vote of support for the PP, Compromís remains the leading force on the left, which leads the political scientists of the coalition to deduce that "the voter of center-left is more seduced by Compromís than by the PSPV".

The head of the Compromís Strategy area and member of the regional coalition electoral commission, Vicent Martínez, stresses that, after years of absolute dominance by Rita Barberá in all areas of the city (she was sweeping the Eixample, but also won in Cabanyal), now the class criterion has been recovered in a certain way when it comes to voting: the working-class neighborhoods vote more to the left and the rich to the right and "Compromís has a central role in the left of the city of Valencia".

As can be seen in the count of the last municipal elections, the PP was still the most voted in districts with high incomes such as L'Eixample, Pla del Reial or Ciutat Vella (with the exception of the neighborhoods of Carme, El Pilar and El Mercat ). On the other hand, in L'Oliverta, Patraix, Jesús, Rascanya or Campanar, the coalition led by Ribó easily surpassed them. Only in Pobles de l'Oest (Benimàmet and Beniferri), the PSPV surpassed Compromís.

One of the keys to this electoral growth, says Mezquida, is that the coalition is identified by many voters as the brand that "best defends the interests of Valencians and the city." A variable that, in the opinion of the ideologue of the municipal campaigns, "dilutes the identity stigma that Compromís has carried for years." Thus, he points out that, as has been seen in celebrations such as 9 d'Octubre, the formation embraces "a symbolic universe with which citizens can coexist".

There is another element that would explain Ribó's good results. "Having the Mayor's Office and governing means that you can accompany your speech with policies." Vicent Martínez adds that after eight years of management, people are happy and identify with the mayor and the changes for the better in the city. A phenomenon that is not exclusive to the leader of Compromís and that also happens in other municipalities in the metropolitan area, where the PSPV has strong first mayors who seem invincible.

A change in the city's policies, Martínez points out, "without fanfare." "In times of uncertainty, people value calm and experienced people," says the head of Compromís Strategy.

Mezquida likes to compare him to King Solomon. "He flees from the conflict and is usually above the discrepancies between the PSPV and Compromís", which are not few. He plays a role of judge, of making peace. To this, adds Martínez, a new nuance is added that makes it that asset with which Compromís seeks to endure after Oltra's blow; and it is that Ribó has a different profile from the majority of Compromís candidates to the point that "his figure of him transcends the limits of the brand".

In spite of everything, his re-election at the age of 75 will not be easy. In Valencia, equality is maximum; with two consecutive legislatures where the municipal government is decided by a single councilor. The PP. In addition, riding the crest of the wave of the polls and with a powerful candidate like María José Catalá, he aspires to return to being the first political force after electorally gobbling up a weak Ciudadanos.

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