Category Archives: Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba

El Mundo opinion poll shows PP on course for massive victory

Another great in-depth poll comes to us today courtesy of El Mundo and Sigma Dos. With exactly one week to go before polling day, it will make grim reading for the Socialists and give a confidence boost to the PP.

The full findings are behind a paywall (here), but the main points are as follows:

  • After last week’s televised presidential debate between the Partido Popular’s Mariano Rajoy and the PSOE’s Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, the PP has extended its lead to 17.8 points. (PP – 47.6% , PSOE – 29.8%)
  • The Partido Popular is on course to win 198 seats (currently 154) while the PSOE will fall to 112 (currently 169).
  • The PP will top the polls in every single Autonomous Community, except for Catalonia(where the PSC will come first) and Navarre(where the PNV will come first).
  • When asked to rank party leaders participants placed Rajoy first while Rubalcaba came third behind UPyD’s Rosa Díez.

If these predictions come true Rajoy will be very close to the record number of deputies for one party achieved at an election (202 deputies in 1982 by Felipe González’s PSOE). Conversely, the Socialists will suffer their worst defeat ever – worse even than the 125 seats they gained under Joaquín Almunia in 2000.

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Rubalcaba takes his fight to Brussles

As the crisis in the Eurozone rumbles on, and Italy teeters on the brink of economic disaster, threatening to pull Spain with it, you would expect the issue of Europe andSpain’s relationship with the EU to be at the centre of the main parties’ electoral campaigns.

Socialist candidate Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba has sketched out how he believes the Government should deal with its EU partners. Continuing the quasi-aggressive theme of his campaign (his electoral slogan is “Fight for what you want!”), he said he would “go to Brussels to fight and convince, and not to receive orders… I want to defend the interests of the country inBrussels– Rajoy has never done it and never will.”

Listening to Rubalacaba you would think his party belonged to one of the European Parliament’s political groups fighting for a looser union and a return of powers to Member States.

Rather the PSOE in the European Parliament recently voted to maintain first class travel for all MEPs despite the economic crisis, and one of their Members was caught signing in to claim her daily allowance and then heading straight to the airport to return to Spain. Well, at least his MEPs have listened to his slogan – they are clearly fighting for what they want.

Spain’s political parties attempt to harness internet as electoral tool

Ever since the Obama campaign ignited America thanks to its creative use of social networks and the internet, European political parties have tried to ape the success in their own general elections. The UK’s last general election in 2010 was billed as the “Internet Election”, but the effect of the internet turned out to be a bit of a damp squib compared to expectations, and in comparison to the 2008 US Presidential elections.

And now, with their own general election just ten weeks away,Spain’s main parties are looking to extract maximum advantage from the World Wide Web. Yesterday, PP spokesman Esteban Gonzalez Pons, revealed that his leader and presidential candidate Mariano Rajoy was fully prepared for a “Twitter debate” with the PSOE candidate, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba.

And this morning the PSOE themselves have launched their own internet initiative, launching a special web portal for people to communicate their “ideas, opinions, solutions and proposals”. This virtual political conference will be running from 30th September to 2nd October, and can be accessed here.

However, the political parties’ internet presence is on the whole pathetic, compared to other Western democracies. All the main parties have decent websites and tick the boxes with their Twitter pages, Facebook accounts etc, but their efforts so far have been, frankly, unimaginative.

In addition, very few elected politicians have their own personal website or blog, and there are few internet debating sites of any renown outside of those provided by the main stream media.

So although these initiatives are welcome in part of the much-needed process of bringing citizens closer to their politicians in Spain, it would be safe to assume that the internet is not going to change the course of the election in any significant way.

The first party that truly cracks the problem of engaging effectively with voters online will be set to reap the benefits

PSOE failing to emit confidence as polls point to defeat

The PSOE seems to be suffering a self-confidence crisis. As all the polls point to a huge victory for the conservative Partido Popular in November’s General Election, the Socialists are bracing themselves for heavy losses – with only die-hard loyalists such as José Bono trying to keep the flame of hope alive.

Newspaper ABC reports today that PSOE sources are expecting to lose as many as 15 of their 36 seats in Andalusia- traditional socialist heartland.

According to the paper, the party leadership is so concerned about the effects of a possible electoral bloodbath in Andalusia ahead of next year’s regional elections in the region that their presidential candidate, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, is making repeated journeys to the area to try and prevent haemorrhage.

Rubalcaba himself has done little to stem the feeling of despondency in his camp today. When asked about what he will do in the event that his party loses the General Election, he did not dismiss the question as hypothetical as politicians so usually do, but rather said that he would make a decision about his future “on the night” of the election.

The PSOE will need to rediscover self-belief, and start emitting confidence – if they do not to see a landslide PP victory in November.

Blanco: The polls are wrong, the people prefer Rubalcaba

Some will view it as an ostrich-head-in-sand moment. Others will view it as a loyalist defending the corner of his embattled party. Either way, the comments of Public Works Minister José Blanco this morning have raised eyebrows.

Blanco has suggested that, even though the polls are unanimous in predicting victory for the PP, he believes they also show that “everybody prefers Rubalcaba as president [over Rajoy], they rate him higher and they believe that he can be the best Prime Minister.”

“For this reason,” he concludes, “I am sure that they will vote for the man they consider to be the best to govern”.

A valiant attempt to steady the socialist nerves, but perhaps he needs reminding that Rajoy was actually rated higher (albeit only just) than Rubalcaba in the latest opinion poll for El País

Must read interview of Rubalcaba published by El País

El País’s excellent “In English” website is a great reference tool for those who cannot speak Spanish but wish to keep up to speed with the major developments in Spain. Today they publish an excellent interview of PSOE presidential candidate Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba.

The interview covers a wide range of topics and gives a good overview of the politics that drive this man, and the direction in which he wants to take the country if he wins the general election on November 20th.

Rather than summarise it here, it would be better to read the article in full.

Obama fears Spain could be Eurozone’s next “big problem”

All eyes are on the economy again in Spainthis morning. The news that Greece may not have enough money left to pay public sector workers and pensions has caused panic in the markets.

Particularly badly affected was the Spanish Ibex stock exchange, which tumbled as Greece’s admission about their financial nightmare led to panic.

The flames of worry have been fanned somewhat by the President of the United States, Barack Obama (above), who has warned that the sovereign debt crisis in Spain poses a “great problem” to the Eurozone’s recovery. He rightly urged the Eurozone members to act fast to seek a common economic policy and deeper fiscal integration to deal with the sovereign debt crisis which threatens to spread to Spain and Italy. Obama also called on countries with a budget surplus to help those in crisis, an act which he believes will steady the markets and give them confidence.

The Spanish Government has so far refused to comment on President Obama’s remarks – Economic Minister Elena Salgado sidestepped questions by reporters this morning on the issue.

However, the PSOE’s presidential candidate, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, appearing alongside Salgado, explained that Obama was simply urging Eurozone members to “stop the contagion”. He went further, suggesting that the key is to resolve the Greek problem and “isolate” that country to prevent contagion to the rest of the economies.

Another one bites the dust – and Chavés has had enough

We noted earlier that serving ministers were jumping ship and not seeking reelection at an alarming rate. As we mentioned before, this emphasises how low morale is in the PSOE camp, and how unlikely victory seems even for those at the very top. It is also a very poor reflection on their belief in their own presidential candidate, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba.

Now the announcement of José Bono (left), the President of the Congress, that he will not seek reelection and his suggestion that the old guard of the PSOE should make way for a younger generation has finally made one of Rubalcaba’s loyal lieutenants flip his lid. Manuel Chavés, the current Third Vice President of the Government and President of the PSOE, has hit out at colleagues who are throwing in the towel for an easier life. “It is easy,” he said this afternoon, “to give up when a large hole has opened in the boat.”

“I believe that everyone is needed – including Mr Bono,” he continued. “I am the President of the Socialist Party and I have a responsibility; nobody in my party would understand if I were to give up now”.

Nobody, that is, except Bono…or Salgado…or Sebastián…etc…

PP set to gain absolute majority according to latest poll

Newspaper El País today carries a poll with devastating conclusions for the PSOE. According to their survey, the Partido Popular is well on track to achieve an absolute majority at the General Election, with a whopping 14.1 percentage point lead over the ruling Socialist party.

In a further blow to the PSOE candidate Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, only 37% of Socialist supporters believed he had the right policies to get the country out of the economic mess, and only 19% of the people polled thought he was a leader who inspired confidence.

The poll is not all good news for PP leader Mariano Rajoy (pictured), whose personal popularity ratings were nearly as low as Rubalcaba’s (22%), but he will take comfort from the fact his party is nonetheless on course for a thumping electoral victory in ten weeks’ time.

Carme Chacón officially heads PSC lists

Ministra de Defensa, Dña. Carme Chacón PiquerasAlthough his ministrial colleagues might be jumping the proverbial ship in their droves, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba can at least take some comfort in seeing his colleague and Defence Minister, Carme Chacón, officially chosen to head the list of Socialist candidates in Catalunya today.

However, considering some months ago Chacón was positioning herself for the PSOE’s leadership – which she eventually conceded to Rubalcaba – he will no doubt be reassured that she is coming into battle alongside him, and not at all worried that she has her eye on his job should the Socialists suffer a heavy defeat in November…