PSOE set to win vote, govern in coalition in Andalucía

Andalucia polls show Socialist party holding steady, PP losing votes to Ciudadanos. Graphic: El Diario
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With less than one week to go before crucial 2nd December elections in Spain’s southernmost region of Andalucía, voter preference polls are showing the regional affiliate of Spain’s Socialist party (PSOE) on target to win the most votes, but falling short of a 51 percent majority that will deliver enough seats to govern without a coalition partner.

Andalucía’s incumbent President Susana Díaz of the Socialists’ PSOE-A regional affiliate governed through most of her previous term with the support of centre-right Ciudadanos, but that party withdrew its support for Díaz to trigger early elections and Ciudadanos has made clear it will not form a governing pact with the Socialists this time around.

The PSOE-A’s logical coalition partner after the votes are tallied is seen by all to be the Podemos-backed Adelante Andalucía ticket, given that Podemos continues to provide tenuous support to the PSOE minority government of President Pedro Sánchez at the national level. Together, the PSOE-A and Adelante Andalucía are expected to net 57 percent of the vote and as many as 69 seats in the 109-member regional parliament.

With the PSOE’s traditional challenge from the political right coming from a Partido Popular (PP) riven with scandal at the national level and internal dispute locally, Ciudadanos has emerged in the polls as the front-runner challenge to the governing party from the right, siphoning off centrist votes from the PP while the nascent ultra-right party Vox is said to be stealing voters from the PP’s right flank.

While voters on the right appear to be divided on which of those three parties to support, some observers say the emergence of Vox and the possibility it will gain a foothold in Andalucia’s parliament with anywhere from 1-4 seats has the left worried.

In a four-way televised debate Monday evening, Díaz appeared to give credence to that view, questioning the PP and Ciudadanos candidates if they would join together with Vox to try to block the formation of a PSOE-AA governing alliance in parliament. If the polls are to be believed, however, it is unlikely that the right can put together enough seats to mount a real challenge.

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