A poll has put Spain’s centre-right Popular Party (PP) ahead of its rivals less than a week before votes are cast in a hotly contested regional election in Madrid on 4 May. EURACTIV’s partner EFE reports.
Even if the party emerges victorious, however, PP candidate and incumbent regional president Isabel Díaz-Ayuso would need the support of the far-right VOX party to remain in office.
The same poll shows any potential coalition of left-wing forces composed of socialist party PSOE, the left-wing Unidas Podemos and Más Madrid would only obtain 65 seats, which would not be enough to govern.
As for the centre-right party Ciudadanos, it may not even obtain more than the required 5% threshold required to enter Madrid’s regional parliament.
‘Battle of Madrid’
The election, set up as the “battle of Madrid” by the Spanish press, could resonate far beyond the political boundaries of the Spanish capital and may affect the future strategies of the national coalition government of PSOE and Unidas Podemos.
The result in Madrid may have an impact at the national level ahead of the next general election in 2023.
As candidates entered the final stage of the race this week, the focus of their messages was on making the populous Madrid region a better place to live and work.
Díaz-Ayuso’s campaign defended its values of economic liberalism and low taxes, and showcased its management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the opposition left-wing block attacked the regional government for missteps in the pandemic, stressing the lack of sufficient support for the badly hit tourism and hospitality sectors. The left-wing block also defended the key role of public services in easing the crisis.
The campaign, however, was overshadowed by bitter political clashes between VOX candidate Rocío Monasteri and the candidates for Unidas Podemos, PSOE and Más Madrid, respectively Pablo Iglesias, Ángel Gabilondo and Mónica García.
Death threats were also sent to officials including Iglesias and Díaz Ayuso, along with bullets and knives. Tourism Minister Reyes Matero, Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlask, Civil Guard Chief María Gámez and ex-PM Jose Luis Zapatero were also among the Spanish officials who received threatening letters.