Unidos Podemos can’t agree on cause of vote loss

Alberto Garzón (L) with Íñigo Errejón at 26-J election campaign closure in Madrid. Photo: José Luis Roca / El Periódico
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• Garzón blames 26-J vote loss on campaign disorganisation, lack of focus
• Podemos sees fault in Iglesias’ tactics, confrontational strategy towards PSOE

More than three weeks since the 26th June general election, the leadership of the two main partners in the Unidos Podemos (‘United We Can’) electoral coalition can’t agree as to the reason for the loss of more than one million votes over their previous general election showing in December.

On Saturday, a party congress meeting of the Izquierda Unida (IU, United Left) re-elected party leader Alberto Garzón, effectively ratifying the conclusions of a report he submitted to the party membership that blame disorganised election campaign management and vague messaging for the loss of more than a million votes over the combined vote count of IU and anti-austerity party and coalition partner Podemos (We Can) in the general election just six months earlier in December. Garzon’s report said the Unidos Podemos messaging should have been more ideological and combative, effectively faulting the “transversal” strategy of Podemos’ number-two leader Íñigo Errejón, who is the chief proponent of the transversal strategy and was in charge of campaign management.

Podemos, for its part, has already decided that the blame for the poor showing of the Unidos Podemos election foray lay with voter rejection of its negotiating strategy with the Socialist party (PSOE) following the December elections and specifically the confrontational tactics of Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias in the negotiating process. Though Iglesias caught the blame in a Podemos report co-authored by Errejón and party leaders Carolina Bescansa and Pablo Echenique, the party opted to hold nobody to account and postponed to mid-2017 its party Congress at which decisions on changes in leadership may or may not occur as a result of the 26th June electoral fiasco.

Neither of the two coalition parties’ top leadership has looked to the Podemos shift leftwards ideologically in partnering with Izquierda Unida as a cause for concern, with both Garzón and Iglesias affirming that the Unidos Podemos coalition will continue intact, at least for now.

► Read More in Spanish at El Periódico and El Mundo …

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