Feijóo will be the “shadow candidate” in the elections in Catalonia and the Basque Country

The surprise advance of the elections in Catalonia shortens the margin for the leadership of the Popular Party to activate a regional congress of change in that autonomous community. That is the idea with which Alberto Núñez Feijóo's team landed in Madrid when it became President of the party, but in the same way that it resolved this renewal with diligence in the Basque Country, in Catalonia, however, time ran out. has taken over and plays as a factor in favor of its current regional leader, Alejandro Fernández, who has always shown his resistance to taking a step aside.

The negotiation with Ciudadanos to go hand in hand in these Catalan elections next May is another factor that intersects in Genoa's plans. They officially say that this negotiation is not yet resolved, but that it is moving forward, and the obstacle lies more in the distribution of positions than in programmatic differences.

In any case, the pre-campaign and the campaign in these two territories will have the national leader of the party as the main protagonist. So much so that in the popular leadership committee they speak of him as the “shadow candidate” because his profile has always been better received than that of other national leaders. This comes from Galicia and from his management at the head of the Xunta, with a territorial sensitivity that the PP is now trying to print in its electoral program without falling into contradictions with the national message they display.

In the Basque Country, the PP competes, as paradoxical as it may seem, with the PNV, and there the harshest or harshest message arouses misgivings that are detrimental at the polls. The idea of ​​the unity of Spain, but within a project that is sensitive to territorial differences, is what is called to direct the discourse. In Catalonia, the PP aspires to present itself as the only useful voting option for the constitutionalist electorate, and that is where its negotiations come into play to prevent Ciudadanos from presenting itself alone. That unity of acronyms, absorption, they say in the PP, “taking advantage of the weakness of the oranges”, is the trick to jibarize Vox in a coup to which they want to give a national projection.

Feijóo faces the problem that the speech he makes in Catalonia and the Basque Country must measure the extent to which he expresses his territorial sensitivity to prevent that message, in the national echo chamber, from turning against him, or from being ignored. even turn against him within his political organization.

Furthermore, in this national context, with the projection of the noise of Madrid and everything that has to do with the amnesty and the return of Carles Puigdemont, there is little room to dissociate the national figure and discourse from the territorial one. The key will be to present itself as the only party that clearly defends the Constitution, but this is not a message that is particularly exciting in either of these two territories in contention. That is why the PP's argument will include the idea that the time has come to move away from the debate “obsessed with what we are to focus more every day on what we need as a people.”

Feijóo's advantage both in Catalonia and in the Basque Country is that no matter how little the PP improves its results, it will already be an advance that it can display as another step on the path towards the reunification of the center-right.

Project review

In Catalonia the exam is for Pedro Sánchez, and in the Basque Country the person who is examined is the PNV. But these elections do have the importance of serving as a rehearsal for the review of a project that needs an update and reinforcement so that these two seats stop subtracting from the sum of a general election.

If in the Basque Country the PNV preferred elections in a Basque key, the strength of the Catalan elections, due to their impact on national governance, makes it easier for them to advance along that path. The Basque nationalists want to escape from the national debate, and for things to stay at home. Now they are almost more concerned about the final of the Copa del Rey and to what extent the electorate is unfocused in a campaign where their main risk is the demobilization of their electorate.

In any case, even if Catalonia pushes harder, the presence of national leaders will be impossible to short-circuit, but it will be very measured because all parties know that an excess can turn against them due to the particularity of the voter. In that sense, in the case of the PP, the Basque leadership will coordinate with Madrid, and together they will assess which profiles are added and which are the remaining ones. They will do the same in Catalonia when it comes to sifting which national leaders and in which provinces can help the most to improve the overall result.

For Génova, a defeat by Vox will be an excellent result in terms of the fight on the right, and the possibility of a new pro-independence majority would be confirmation that Pedro Sánchez has buried his term with the amnesty.