Íñigo Errejón: expectations vs. reality

A few months ago, the political rupture between Íñigo Errejón and Pablo Iglesias reached breaking point, through the ‘Más Madrid’ alliance, but the possibility of reconciliation vanished when Errejón was presented as leader of ‘Más País’ (Mp), a new formation that is standing for general election. Several hypotheses started to spread, and alarm bells over the division of the vote rang, since the damage that could be caused to his former party was palpable. However, is the roadmap marked by the leader of Mp being carried out?

Íñigo Errejón’s expectations

The current political climate is a game that requires several recourses to be able to lead the way to the objectives set. The last hours and the news are necessary to maintain political interest in a formation. ‘Más País’ knew how to create that interest, although it does not know how to maintain it. The announcement of a new party created interest about who would be the candidate, if anyone would desert the ‘Unidas Podemos’, what would happen to Carmena, Colau and the rest of the UP alliances.

The problem with this type of game is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to be a novelty the whole time. This possibility could become real if Íñigo Errejón does not find his own electoral seats. The limited electoral ceiling which he is faced with, as well as the high expectations of him, could prevent votes for ‘Más País’ from entering the polls if Errejón does not offer a consistent political offer.

This is something that doesn’t appear to feature in his plans, since his commitment to the left-wing populism of Laclau makes him vulnerable to empty signifiers that one day lead him to pledge himself unconditionally to the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), and on the next day to blame his former colleagues for the electoral repetition, and then to provoke a dispute with the Commons for breaking his word of standing only where he does not divide the vote.

We should add that the events unfolding over the recent days are occupying a large part of the debate and the information existing in the media about ‘Más País’, which has meant that the media boom which Íñigo Errejón’s candidacy experienced has been diluted, becoming a mere whisper.

The lack of electoral and social support that Errejón suffers may be due to his lack of clear positioning on important issues, which has left the expectation of UP’s imminent dissolving in the air.

Moreover, the expectation that Manuela Carmena might be a visible figure in the party has lost strength. Íñigo Errejón failed in his attempt to link the image of the new party to Carmena’s, first when the former mayor of Madrid refuced to head the list and occupy a symbolic position, and then by refusing to attend the official launch of the candidacy – last September 26 at the Madrid headquarters of UGT (Unión General de Trabajadores). This option ended when Manuela Carmena announced that she was retiring from the frontline of politics, and that she would focus on personal projects.

Abandonments in ‘Más País’

There are several people who, for one reason or another, have abandoned the formation project led by Errejón. To understand the reasons for this, it is necessary to analyse the motives that they themselves have given, such as Clara Serra and Alberto Montero.

Clara Serra

The first internal crisis of the political formation ‘Más País’ manifested itself with Clara Serra’s resignation on October 7. Number two in the candidacy of ‘Más Madrid’, the resignation of the individual who was MP in regional Parliament, brought with it a great storm.

One of the reasons for the distancing could owe itself to Errejón’s request to have the advisors who pertained to Clara Serra at his own disposal – for having relieved Lorena Ruiz Huerta. Serra refused to do so, which angered Íñigo Errejón.

In his own words, transmitted on social networks, one of the reasons for leaving the formation was not to share in the way that ‘Más País’ was going to stand for elections next 10 November. After May’s general elections, Clarra Serra had begun to distance herself from the party, losing presence. This was due Íñigo Errejón appointing Monica García deputy spokesperson, a decision that Serra did not understand.

When it was confirmed that Íñigo Errejón would stand for general elections with ‘Más País’, it was assumed that Clara Serra would be Errejón’s successor in the post of spokesperson. Instead, Íñigo Errejón transferred the post to Pablo Gómez Perpinyà, an action that did not please Serra. This entailed yet another crack in their political relationship.

Serra has severely criticised the ways in which ‘Más País’ is standing for election, especially condemning how they are standing for election in Barcelona. She believes – and disparages -that the electoral plan of ‘Más País’ does not take into account the work carried out by colleagues who have created and implemented essential projects in those places.

The former MP has also blamed Errejón for his use of feminism, expressing that he only uses it to play to the crowd and in elections, demonstrating her shame for not taking advantage of time outside of cameras to delve into the subject, for which she announced that she was going elsewhere to “do feminism”.

Her last reflection for the party was to remember that it was necessary to adapt spaces for debate where criticism and dissent are included, instead of insulting others who think differently. She summarised her reasons for giving the organisation some rules, procedures and formality.

Alberto Montero

Alberto Montero’s name is one that was heard as a possible head of the list for Malaga, an option that Montero himself did not discard. Although from the beginning he was politically associated with Íñigo Errejón, he ended up confirming that he would campaign for head of Unidas Podemos in Málaga.

There are many reasons why Montero has opted for UP. On the one hand, it does not share the project of this new formation and on the other, he thinks that it is not the time, since the consequence may be that the flight of votes takes away representation from the left-wing parties.

When ‘Más País’ announced Carmen Lizárraga as head of the list for the candidacy of Malaga, Alberto Montero showed his concern with the development that had led to the formation of the lists of the group led by Errejón.

Why isn’t it Íñigo Errejón’s time?

Many have affirmed that Íñigo Errejón has made his launch with a new formation during a time that does not belong to him, a claim supported by various arguments. Amongst them we find that there may be negative consequences for the left-wing caused by the diversification of the vote. This was, after all, one of the reasons that Alberto Montero gave for opting for the purple and red formation.

Others, like Clara Serra, say that the party led by Errejón is immature, poorly formed, blaming this on the precipitated nature of the organisation’s formation. They do not think it sufficiently organized and formalized to cover all the regional expectations that have been raised.

The expectations that have been marked as objectives, would be another reason to explain why this is not their time. He believed he could capitalise on the progressive vote, thanks to the discontent that the failure of negotiations between the PSOE and Unidas Podemos has generated among the voters. However, this is not going as smoothly as he thought, due to a greater fidelity of vote than estimated. The situation has been proved thus in the attempts of failed alliances.

Pablo Iglesias accuses ‘Más País’ of forming to divide, since the project of both formations share the same base points. The leader of the purple formation denounces the project for being neither original nor new.

This article was translated by Etta Selim of @RevolutionFore6.

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