THE Partido Popular and Ciudadanos both want to lead the Opposition.
Pablo Casado, who took the PP to its worst-ever defeat, reasons that his party with 66 seats in the Madrid parliament should lead the Opposition because it was the second most-voted party on April 28.
Albert Rivera believes that honour should go Ciudadanos, demonstrating his unassailable belief in his and Cs’ worth, while overlooking simple arithmetic.
In the past, when Spain was a runner-up in international football, the side were invariably described in the media as sub-campeones.
Being a sub-campeon is almost like winning, which is why Casado and Rivera are bickering over second place while forgetting they lost.
The middle ground
PABLO CASADO and Albert Rivera are now evaluating the outcome of their lurch to the Right.
Casado knows and now admits that he lost votes by trying to out-voice Vox and placate PP voters likely to be seduced by Vox’s antediluvian policies.
Rivera’s strategists believe their originally non-nationalist dead-Centre party gained when the Ciudadanos leader saw an opportunity to attract turned-off PP faithfuls.
Both have tacitly admitted that they helped Pedro Sanchez to mop up the middle ground.
The PSOE has always done best and won elections from the centre, as have other parties, so it will be interesting to watch the PP and Cs shuffle to the centre in a bid to prevent a rout on May 26.
But would that stop them getting into bed with VOX if the numbers miraculously add up on May 27?
HOW Soraya Saenz de Santamaria must be laughing. Pablo Casado defeated the former vice-president and Mariano Rajoy’s righthand woman in the Partido Popular primaries last year and she has ostensibly left politics.
But no-one doubts that had she led the PP on April 28, the results would have been entirely different.
The general election results put ‘it’s all over bar the shouting’ in a different light because the shouting starts now.
The PSOE was the most-voted party, but with 123 parliamentary seats Pedro Sanchez is 53 short of an overall majority.
He cannot survive an investiture debate without support from other parties, but PSOE hierarchs are already clamouring for a minority government.
The logical solution is a repetition of the ill-fated PSOE-Ciudadanos alliance to form a government after the December 2015 elections as the two parties now have 180 seats between them.
Albert Rivera ruled out a replay before the last election and so did jubilant PSOE militants outside the Calle Ferraz party headquarters on the night of April 28 with the repeated chant of ‘Con Rivera no!’
Pablo Iglesias, who scuppered Sanchez’s March 2016 investiture when he was riding high, is still going to charge a high price for his 42 seats and Sanchez will in any case need others.
So until after the municipal election results give a clear picture of who’s in, who’s out, who’s strong and who’s weak, Sanchez is keeping schtum. To use another well-worn phrase, Sanchez is boxing clever between now and May 26.