Spain’s establishment Right and establishment Left parties, the PP and PSOE, have come together in the region of Murcia, where the PP will hold the presidency. VOX, for its part, is to be excluded from government. In a similar vein, the local leader of the PP in Orense has suggested forming a coalition with the PSOE and Galician nationalists.
Indeed, in terms of the national brand, the party’s head, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, has signalled that he prefers the socialists over VOX as coalition partners (the PP is also tepid when it comes to opposing regional nationalists and separatists, and displays no particular interest in fending for the country’s geopolitical interests).
And yet, the PP and VOX have agreed to govern jointly in multiplicities in Burgos, Guadalajara, Valencia, Alicante, Granada, and Mallorca. Therefore, it seems political necessity, and the fact that the PP’s electoral base is more committed to conservative positions than the party itself, can force it into greater proximity to VOX.
At least this is the case at the municipal and even regional levels, where local party chapters are closer to the voter and less subject to international pressure than the national leadership.
However, it is dubious that Spain’s likely imminent PP-led government will allow VOX to steer it away from its commitments to the UN’s 2030 Agenda, for example, or, in general, from acting like a slightly less ‘woke’ PSOE.
Of course, the PP’s management of the economy will be more competent than that of the socialists, but providing for economic growth and filling the state’s coffers is simply the establishment Right’s role in an alternation that then allows the PSOE to spend lavishly on society-disintegrating initiatives.
Realistically, then, local PP-VOX pacts do not allow us to gleam much about the overall direction of the PP, or about how it will act in a national coalition with VOX. Nor is the current groundswell of support for the PP particularly impressive, given that alternation between the two major parties is a perfectly predictable dynamic in Spain, as in other countries.
Indeed, the slowdown in VOX’s growth indicates voters are looking for the safest option to end the disastrous PSOE government, rather than pushing back against long-standing dynamics (namely the two-party domination of politics) whose net effect is to weaken the country.
VOX, for its part, has more or less accepted this mindset, which is understandable given the possibility of entering national government, but if this accommodating orientation is not quickly shed, the party will cease being credible.