The PSOE has already launched what some socialist leader has christened in private as a "dead bullfighter operation" so that the months that pass until the November 10 elections are an offensive without quarter against Pablo Iglesias.
It is a strategy designed from La Moncloa so that, after the new general elections, Iglesias not only is not essential when it comes to agreeing a hypothetical investiture of Pedro Sánchez, but that his figure is unrecoverable for politics.
«Cut the ponytail at once» and reduce its influence
It is a question of "cutting off his ponytail definitively", so that Podemos is forced to face a succession process, place it in the percentage of votes and the score of seats that the United Left had at its best, and have the alibi, with a more solvent majority than the current 123 seats, to propose a minority governance agreement based on Citizens, or in a technical abstention of the PP, which could no longer be denied. There is no longer a mere matter of personal distrust between Sánchez and Iglesias, but an irreversible break.
The analysis does not seem very wired. The risk for the PSOE, today, is not to jeopardize its electoral triumph, which in Ferraz they take for granted and superior in any case to 140 seats, whatever happens during the campaign. Nor do they assume as a vital risk the perception of a progressive demobilization of the electorate on the left, frustrated by the emotional fracture between the PSOE and Podemos, between Sánchez and Iglesias. Citizens can express their tiredness, how they are doing, and how they intuit the collapse that occurred days ago on the official website of the INE, where thousands of citizens demanded that electoral propaganda not be sent to their homes. However, the punishment vote transformed into late abstention is usually residual, and no one, in any party, believes that abstention will grow exponentially. Quite the contrary, they all handle the preventive thesis that there will be a growth of traditional bipartisanship, and severe wear and tear on the "new politics."
Abstention will not break out
Sánchez has several strategic premises. If a runaway growth of abstention is not a problem, and neither are the critical voices in the PSOE that have discussed Sanchez not accepting a coalition government with Podemos to avoid any risk of new elections, the only more complex variable Driving for Moncloa is the resilience that Iglesias can offer. His election campaigns are usually successful, he manages his presence in the media with solvency, and the moderation of his tone allowed him to have more seats in April than initially offered by the polls. Therefore, the essential objective of the PSOE will be to fulminate Iglesias.
Íñigo Errejón, to break up We can
For this, the PSOE is convinced that Íñigo Errejón will find the formula for his "More Madrid" party to be present in the general elections, either with Manuela Carmena or without her on the lists. Carmena has been voluntarily excluded but the pressure on her is increasing, although it is commonly accepted that if she returned to the political front line, she would do so only as a minister of a Government of Pedro Sánchez. Carmena has rejected Errejón's first offer, but has never taxatically ruled out a hypothetical signing by Sánchez. Errejón would thus be an ally – voluntary and premeditated – of the PSOE as a necessary cooperator in the personal collapse strategy of Iglesias.
Sánchez and his advisors believe that the internal fracture in Podemos has no reverse. The coexistence of the leadership of Podemos with that of the "tides" and the different currents of the party is appalling. Even the Andalusian faction of Podemos, led by a monolithic block of anti-capitalists, seriously considers facing the elections under a single brand, "Andalusia Adelante". The "federalization" of the parliamentary group that can lead in that case would be the trigger for new and numerous internal frictions.
Churches, without power in the autonomies
These movements translate into a progressive loss of power and internal control by Iglesias, which would also begin to lack the necessary strength to boost, in revenge against Sanchez, the autonomous governments now supported by an alliance between PSOE and Podemos. Sanchez counts on it and in this sense he thinks he has Iglesias imprisoned in tongs.
Moreover, Sánchez is hoping that a considerable increase in seats in the PP – up to a hundred – will facilitate at the time to close agreements for the renewal of constitutional bodies blocked for months, such as the CGPJ or the TC itself, at the end of the year without the interference of Podemos or Catalan independence.
Ferraz's only obsession is to find the formula that prevents Iglesias from going back in the polls. Without regard, without regrets, and presenting him as the only one guilty of "taking the dream" from the president of the Government, as Sánchez has graphically stated. The first phase of this strategy is based on a systematic display of victimhood. José Luis Ábalos has "stolen" his vote, and Sanchez would have insomnia with Iglesias in La Moncloa. The second phase will be the appeal of the useful vote on a left that Podemos, a broken and erratic "dead bullfighter," no longer handles. And the third, constant winks to moderation because Albert Rivera can no longer appear with his "no no" to Sanchez. .