• Alliance guarantees IU 8 Congress seats, up from just 2 seats won in 2015
• Podemos moves left, abandons Errejón’s less-ideological ‘transversal’ strategy
Spain’s populist, anti-austerity party Podemos and it smaller, old-left rival Izquierda Unida (IU, “United Left”) announced Monday afternoon that they have reached agreement to form an electoral alliance that the parties’ leaders claim will net more votes that the Socialist party (PSOE) in the upcoming 26th June general election (26-J).
Pending approval by the parties’ respective memberships, the Podemos-IU alliance represents a marked shift to the left for Podemos engineered by party leader Pablo Iglesias and the abandonment of a less-ideological “transversal” electoral strategy championed within the party by Podemos co-founder Íñigo Errejón, who appears to have been increasingly marginalized within the Podemos leadership since a series of resignations and Iglesias’ sacking of Errejón-ally Sergio Pascual rocked the party in March.
Some analysts think that Podemos’ move to the left may benefit the Socialists at the ballot box, if the PSOE can convince many of its centre-left voter base who abandoneed Spain’s traditional mainstay leftwing party for Podemos in 2015 that the anti-austerity party now has veered too far to the left and the best option for obtaining a progressive government is to return to voting Socialist in the upcoming election.
► Read Spanish Text of Podemos-IU ‘pre-acuerdo’ …