Only one result could shake the political game: The former socialist Secretary Pedro Sánchez, ousted by the party barons six months ago, won the Socialist Party of Spain primaries on Saturday. And against all odds, against almost all the elders of the PSOE, against the editors of major newspapers (starting with the former philo-socialist newspaper El País), against the wishes of PP and Podemos, the majority of Socialist party members (out of an extraordinary 80 percent participation) chose the outsider, former secretary and former MP Sánchez.
The battle was bloody. Susana Díaz, the running favorite, enjoyed the support of the powerful Andalusian Federation (where she is the regional president) and all regional leaders, with the exception of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. She had the support of all former secretaries and the former socialist presidents of government. The third candidate, the former Basque President and President of Congress in the short previous term, Patxi López, and also a former ally of Sánchez, was backed by the Basque federation.
In the end, the treatment Sánchez’s enemies inflicted on him in recent months, turned out to be a gift. The socialist militants have chosen the victim of the intrigues of party bureaucrats, the heroic MP who’d rather than voting for Rajoy, chose to resign, the only one who, against his own centrist curriculum, could have saved the leftist soul of the party. Seventy-four thousand militants, more than 50 percent, voted for him. Fewer than 40 percent voted for Diaz and nearly 10 percent supported the third wheel López. But the most surprising fact, significant in the climate that reigns in the party, is that Diaz was the only one who got fewer votes than the number of signatures that supported her candidacy (especially in Andalusia).