The phrase of Alfonso Guerra in 1996, after the elections won by José María Aznar, would best sum up the electoral result of July 23rd. “There was no bitter victory or sweeter defeat.” And it is that the Socialist Workers Party lost the elections after 14 years in power, but lost just over one percent of the vote and 300,000 votes.
The People’s Party won the election, taking 14 seats from the Socialist Workers’ Party, which remained at 122, two more than it had, but its 136 would not be enough. Vox had 33, and lost 19 compared to what it had, and that will not be enough for Figo to form a government, because it does not reach an absolute majority, but rather the sum of the two remains 169, compared to the 176 necessary for an absolute majority.
The result does not meet the expectations that the People’s Party had and the opinion polls gave
Thus, a bitter victory, also because the People’s Party, led by Alberto Núñez Figo, was expecting something else, another outcome, of course more positive. He had made his home floor a 150 seater, and they stayed apart. Their hopes were pinned on reaching 160, a number they considered magical to convince Vox to let them rule on their own.
PP blames Vox. In eight counties, Vox received few votes, no seats, preventing the People’s Party from picking up another eight seats and the Socialist Workers’ Party not getting those seats. For example, Girona, where the People’s Party did not get a seat, and which Gontz got, with a thousand votes, only those that Vox got in that constituency.
With the results, the People’s Party has no way of achieving an absolute majority, but will try to govern on its own, to entice the PNV
With the result obtained, the People’s Party found it very difficult, if not impossible, to govern. Not alone nor in a coalition, despite the victory of the People’s Party, Alberto Núñez Fijo does not have the accounts, because the sum of the popular seats plus the Vox seats is six less than the absolute majority, and they can only count on the support of the UPN deputy and the endorsement of the Canary coalition. There is no formula to reach the required number of 176.
Despite this, the head of the People’s Party last night claimed his “right to form a government” and asked the rest of the parties “as usual in democracy” to allow the candidate of the winner of the elections. His argument, in addition to winning the election, is that the People’s Party “rose more than any other party, 47 seats, while the government coalition, i.e. the Socialist Workers’ Party and Sumar, did not win any of them.”
The leader of the People’s Party asserts that his party is the winner and would be an “abnormality” if it did not rule.
Feijóo wants to rule. He admits it won’t be easy, but he’s determined to try. “As the candidate with the greatest support, with all humility and determination, I take responsibility for trying to form a government and ask that no one be tempted to besiege Spain again.”
Alberto Núñez Figo does not, at least, give up trying, and for this he will start a round of talks with the rest of the parties. He will explain to all of them that there is no governmental formula which does not pass either through Feijóo or “by Bildó’s express consent”. That is why he went to the PSOE and the PNV to ask them for “the same commitment that Feijóo had in Vitória”, they say in PP sources, when he allied himself with the PSE and the PNV so that there would be no mayor for Baldo, and he got it. The justification, for asking for this support, is that it is about “diminished decision-making capacity of the nationalist left”.
Feijóo recalls that in Spain, the person who did not win an election was never president
For this reason, the head of the People’s Party stressed that “we will not understand a decision that did not go in this direction,” and noted that “this country has never made a person who lost the election president.” He stressed that the opposite “would be an anomaly” because whoever would have received the highest number of votes would not be president.
That is, as in 1996, although it won little by little, the PSOE won by about 300,000 votes, something more than a point of difference. Subsequently, the Socialist candidate, Felipe González, confirmed that he believed that the most voted list should try to form a government. Now Sanchez is not of the same opinion, but the acting head of government will need the support, in addition to Sumar, of the ERC, Bildu and Junts or PNV.
Sanchez called Figo and summoned him to keep in touch in the coming days
At the moment, Pedro Sanchez has sent a WhatsApp message to the head of PP. According to PP’s sources, in the letter, Sanchez “did not go into specifics of the audit, nor his options for appointment.” Alberto Núñez Viejo responded to the letter urging him to “maintain contacts, in the coming days, in order to avoid a political blockade” of Spain.
Feijóo will initiate a round of contacts with all parties to try to attend the inauguration
Although the People’s Party did not want to see reality until well before the vote, and were confident that a recount would take them to at least 140 seats, the People’s Party followers feared it from the start. From very early on, the People’s Party prepared to party and go out onto the balcony, but the outpouring of supporters, perhaps first because of the heat, but later because of how the results came out, was scarce, barely a few hundred. Only after 11:30 pm, when it was learned that the People’s Party had won the election, were more citizens encouraged to go to the PP headquarters. There, and during the speech, the chants of “President, the president” of Figo, and “Oa, oh, oh, fijo a la moncloa”, but also the exclamations of “Ayuso, Ayusu”, cheering for the President of the Community of Madrid, who is on the balcony with the leadership of the People’s Party and the mayor of the capital. An outcry that apparently wasn’t pleasant for Alberto Núñez Figo, who, to lessen the impact, joined the bandwagon thanking the Madrid president for standing by his side all along.
Despite the applause, the victory was bitter. All night, the only appearance before the media was Coca Jamara, when only the polls were known, and he spoke of prudence. Then Qamar confirmed that the People’s Party regained first place by being the first force, something that had not happened since 2015, which was confirmed, although it was not the only one that won, but the Socialists as well. In short, a bitter victory that is hard to swallow.