The PSOE have held their internal elections to elect a new leader and the party has chosen… Pedro Sánchez. Again. Against the wishes of the leadership.
Who was the leader of the PSOE until he was forced out last year by the party leadership, resulting in this election. Which he seems to have won by a very comfortable margin, beating our very own Susana (President of Andalucia) and Patxi López (President of somewhere oop north).
It’s as if, to draw a UK comparison, Corbyn was forced to quit after the June general election, only to stand and be soundly voted back in.
Susana Díaz was supposed to win in what was basically a rigged election. She was supported by all of the main party leaders, and offered a continuation of party values. She stood against Patxi López, who never expected to win but instead was encouraged to stand because an election needs two people.
But at the last minute Sánchez suddenly threw his hat in the ring (again) after gaining enough party support to be able to stand in the internal election.
And now the PSOE stands at a crossroads. Sánchez has won with enough support -thousands of votes- to be able to overturn the federal committee and ensure new candidates of his own making stand. He wants to break with the past, to reform what he calls a “broken party” into a new modern socialist party, and if that means throwing old, corrupt leaders to the judiciary, so be it.
What’s worse, to the old guard, is that Sánchez is prepared to form a coalition of the left with other parties such as Podemos.
I can envision him supporting the motion of no-confidence announced last week by Podemos against Rajoy – throwing out the PP and forming a new left wing coalition with Podemos to enter into the new general election. Something unthinkable up to now.
Who wants to bet he’ll be President within two months? Because I think the bookies odds have just shortened, dramatically.