Barcelona is the jewel in the crown that the PSOE believes it has within reach in the upcoming elections in May. Madrid is not only much more difficult for the left but in particular for the socialist expectations in the sum of the left.
On the contrary, in Barcelona the polls smile at the PSC that today would be in a technical tie with the ERC of Ernest Maragall. But ahead of Ada Colau who will hardly be able to retain the horrible of her voters. Or that seems to indicate the polls with which Republicans and Socialists work.
For Pedro Sánchez, becoming Mayor of Barcelona would be an endorsement of his ‘reunion agenda’ and a visible trophy to display in the face of the push of the PP and the December general elections in which the game is all or nothing. In the PSC they are convinced that they can surpass Colau. The third time’s the charm they say after two elections to Colau’s wheel.
If the polls are confirmed, the order of the factors that should alter the product would be reversed. That is, Collboni snatching the mayoress rod from Colau. Also there is the variable geometry of the PSC. And, in particular, the courtship of the PSC with Junts, against ERC. The only pact that is discarded, as it already happened in 2019, is that of PSC and ERC.
But it is still early to say anything while waiting for it to materialize the candidacy of Xavier Trias, which he himself does not want to confirm, nor does his environment. What does not mean that probably no one in Junts doubts that he is going to accept. The doubt, if anything, is the political price he will exact. His will is to form a candidacy with people he trusts and with the minimum concessions to the party. And of course without a trace of the determined of the president of Junts Laura Borràs. Trias knows that Junts’ only hope of not starring in a debacle is by staying away from noise and outbursts. And Puigdemont’s co-religionists are going to cling to it like a burning nail, knowing that without Trias they have it raw.
Another issue to confirm is whether Trias’s candidacy is really a boost for Junts and allows them to raise their heads in the Catalan capital. The Junts outlook is bleak in the rest of the metropolitan region. No longer represented in the consistories of cities such as l’Hospitalet de Llobregat (second Catalan city), Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Cornellà, Viladecans, Sant Boi de Llobregat or Sant Adrià de Besòs. And with bad omens for May 2023 in all of them. At most, they aspire to be the PSC’s crutch wherever they require their councilors to achieve the investiture, as could happen in Sabadell, a city of more than 200,000 inhabitants. This does not mean that a notable result from Trias could make up the absence of post-convergents in a large part of the metropolitan region.
For more inri, Paradoxically, in Junts they entrust everything to the only candidate who unapologetically claims the legacy of Convergence to the point of exclaiming!I wish it still existed! And that he also does not hesitate to admit, without any complex, that his priority to agree in Barcelona is the socialist candidate Collboni who, in turn, allows himself to be loved by Trias. If that coalition were to add up and bear fruit, there is no doubt that it would be compared with an agreement also in the Barcelona Provincial Council, giving continuity to the current one.
A pact that should have already been the subject of consultation with the Junts bases, to agree on whether it should be maintained, they agreed according to their August Congress. What they are not even going to comply with. Among others, because Puigdemont is firmly opposed to leaving the juicy Barcelona Provincial Council. And thus discard any query to have to avoid positioning. What, on the other hand, he did do with a frenzy to get Junts to leave the Pere Aragonès government with the purpose of provoking new elections despite being aware that today he would probably take them to Salvador Illa street. Puigdemont’s premise is clear, you have to beat the Republicans at any price. That is today, without a doubt, his obsession and commitment. With one hand he stirs the estelada and with the other, he plans broad agreements with the PSC to evict ERC and curtail the aspirations of Oriol Junqueras to beat the PSC again and continue to grow in the metropolitan region, the true Achilles curtain of independence.
Trias gives wings to Colau
But paradoxes of life, the irruption of Trias gives wings to Ada Colau. For this it is much easier to confront with Trias the right to do it with Collboni or Maragall. There is another suspicion that the polls have not yet been strongly confirmed. Trias’s candidacy will not restore a single vote to Colau, but it could erode the moderate electorate of Maragall and Collboni. Because despite running for Junts, Trias wants his personal brand to blur that of the party that is going to present him. That is, the classic of hiding the initials in the belief that they can be ballast. Without Trias, Junts seemed doomed to succumb again to the leftist triplet ERC, Colau and Collboni. Or even worsen the worst results after more than 4 decades, when Elsa Artadi stayed at 5 deputies.
Barcelona is the last fortress of what the 15M supposed, although with lead in the wings. Ada Colau renewed as mayor despite losing to Ernest Maragall. But not without the toll of the votes of Manuel Valls, a failed bet on the part of Albert Rivera with the support of a good part of the city’s bourgeoisie that sheltered and generously financed Valls’ candidacy and his personal wealth. In 2019, Colau did not hesitate to hold on to the former French Interior Minister so as not to lose the Mayor’s Office to a Maragall who surpassed her by 5,000 votes. With the aggravating circumstance that Colau, three days before the elections, she indignantly assured that she would never become mayor counting on the votes of “the worst right in the city.”
Badalona and Albiol
Badalona is, along with Terrassa, the third most populous city in Catalonia. Internal polls indicate that the popular Xavier García-Albiol is going to win on the street and once again sweep all the space on the right. Some internal poll predicts even two more councilors to the current 11 with whom he already won clearly in May 2019. And despite winning with solvency, he could see himself removed from the Mayor’s Office again for the sum of PSC, ERC, Comunes and CUP. With the question of whether Junts will manage to retain the only councilor that they retain today in that Consistory. If in Barcelona it might seem that we are all against Maragall, in Badalona, without a doubt, the adversary to beat is Albiol. Badalona has a parallelism with Castelldefels where the PP also clearly prevails without ever managing to govern, again by the left-wing alliance that adds up to the absolute majority. The difference between Castelledefels and Badalona is that while in the former the PSC would take over the Mayor’s Office without discussion in the left-wing bloc, in Badalona the results are closer between the left-wing formations with ERC in conflict with the PSC.