Could Spain be headed toward a ‘Super Sunday,’ with four elections in a day?

PM Pedro Sánchez is due to announce a date for a general election, but there are many in his party who want to avoid it coinciding with local, regional and European polls

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo.ULY MARTÍN

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will announce the date for a new general election this Friday. The decision comes after his 2019 budget plan was defeated on Wednesday in Congress, where the conservative Popular Party (PP), the center-right Ciudadanos (Citizens) and Catalan separatist parties all voted against it.

The right will no longer be able to accuse us of making deals with the separatists

Anonymous PSOE mayor

Sánchez, of the Socialist Party (PSOE), has been leading a minority government after successfully heading a no-confidence vote against Mariano Rajoy of the PP in late May of last year. He had warned that failure to pass the spending plan could lead to a snap election in Spain, which is already holding local, regional and European elections on May 26.

Although there has been talk of a “Super Sunday” that would see all four of those elections held on that date, several regional PSOE leaders oppose the idea. Another date that is reportedly on the table is April 28; several party leaders and members of government said this will probably be the date of the snap general election.

The PP and Ciudadanos would prefer a Super Sunday

The PP and Ciudadanos would prefer a Super Sunday while Socialist leaders oppose it, because they fear that the Catalan crisis would play more of a role in voters’ decisions. Mayors in Andalusia, Asturias, Madrid, Aragón, Castilla y León and Castilla-La Mancha said that their options for re-election hinge on whether the public debate focuses on their mayoral work or on the territorial crisis in Spain instead.

For these Socialist leaders, the fact that the budget was rejected actually helps them with their own campaigns. “It’s a pity that the budget wasn’t approved. It’s a paradox, but thanks to that now we have a narrative,” said one PSOE mayor. “The right will no longer be able to accuse us of making deals with the separatists. This was hurting us, and was creating uncertainty among our voters.”

English version by Susana Urra.

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