Bullfighting, hunting and flamenco. These three themes invested in a rather surprising way the electoral campaign “typically Spanish” legislative elections in Andalusia, according to the information site El Confidential, liberal conservative leanings. Voters in this autonomous region of 8.5 million people, the most populous in Spain, are being called to the polls on Sunday 19 June. A historic socialist stronghold, Andalusia has been in the hands of the Popular Party (PP, right) since 2018. The PP of the region’s president, Juan Manuel Moreno, governed with the support of the center-right Ciudadanos party and that of the formation of extreme right Vox.
The previous Andalusian election, in December 2018, had enabled Vox, a party founded in 2014, to obtain its first major electoral successes in Spain. He won nearly 11% of the vote. Since, “Andalusia has straightened out”, notice El País, close to the Spanish socialists:
“In three and a half years, the autonomous region has experienced a dizzying change that has tilted the moderate left electorate [le vivier du Parti socialiste ouvrier espagnol (PSOE) dans la région] towards more conservative positions.”
The traditional themes are part of the Andalusian electoral programs, both on the right and on the left, remarks El Confidential. As in its previous electoral campaigns, Vox brandishes 100% Spanish symbols and clichés “hitherto invisible in the electoral sphere, sometimes proscribed, but which have proven effective in attracting votes”.
Proof if needed, the head of the Vox list in Andalusia, Macarena Olona, appeared a few weeks ago in the company of the famous matador Morante de la Puebla in the bullring of Seville, a few days before wearing a tee shirt bearing her likeness to the Congress of Spanish Deputies, where she sits.
Opposite, its main adversaries, whether the PP or the PSOE, take care to seduce the world of bullfighting (“bullfighting is one of the shows that arouses the most interest”, it fascinates 25% of the Andalusian population, according to El Confidential), hunting (hunters represent “half a million votes, according to party estimates”) or supporters of popular culture and regional identity (starting with flamenco lovers, “one of the most universal and shared Andalusian symbols”).
Crash test for socialists
In Andalusia, El Pais fears a defeat of the PSOE, led at national level by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez. This vote is a test for him, a year and a half before the Spanish general elections. The country’s most widely read generalist daily expects the Andalusian election to give “a clear majority for right-wing parties (from the center to the extreme right)”. This feeling is shared by the site on the left Publico :
“Polls indicate that the PP will win the elections, although without an absolute majority, with a scenario where it would need Vox to be able to govern.”
Clear, “it would be repeating the formula of Isabel Díaz Ayuso in the autonomous region of Madrid”, summarizes the very conservative newspaper La Razon. The new figure of the hard line of the PP won the Madrid legislative elections in May 2021, and has since governed with the support of Vox in his region.