The overwhelming victory of Isabel Díaz Ayuso in the elections to the Assembly of Madrid held on Tuesday is directly proportional to the resounding thrashing that she has inflicted on Pedro Sánchez, who, from his pedestal at the Moncloa government palace, has led the left to a defeat of the type that hurts. The Popular Party (PP) restores its hegemony on the right, shows its teeth in an important win, which can no longer be ruled out not to be repeated at Spanish level, and places Ayuso on the launch pad to aspire to greater roles than that of president of the Autonomous Community of Madrid.
Ayuso is the PP's new hope, sending the once-fancied Galician Núñez Feijóo back to his feud and repeating, almost 30 years later, operation Aznar: the right becoming grouped around a single strong party and a leadership with character. Capable, even, of stopping the growth of Vox, which has been left with virtually the same number of seats as two years ago. The PP is so few MPs short of an absolute majority that it will be enough for Vox to abstain in Ayuso's inauguration, as she has more seats than the entire left together.
Sánchez is not the only loser in the election. He shares this dubious honour with, at least, Inés Arrimadas, who has converted Ciudadanos (Cs) into a political hologram. In Catalonia the party lost 30 seats and twenty percentage points of vote on 14th February. In Madrid, 26 deputies have disappeared and the party has become extra-parliamentary, with 3% of the vote. From here onwards, the PP will gradually absorb its leaders in a process that will not take very long.
Former deputy PM Pablo Iglesias deserves his own mention, having decided to leave politics after Podemos finished as the last parliamentary force. His main problem was twofold: his electoral harvest contributed very little on the left, and, above all, the brilliant result of Más Madrid - the party split off from Podemos by the party's former number two, Íñigo Errejón - which managed to overtake the Socialists (PSOE) as second force - was very difficult to digest.
The stratospheric victory of Ayuso, who was an absolute unknown not long ago, highlights the importance of political strategy over the politics of improvisation. Ayuso is a lab product, but she is a good lab product for those voters she addresses: the extreme right, the right and the centre, which she wins with ideology; and voters from the left, whom she conquers with a strong dosage of populism. The long arm of MAR - Miguel Ángel Rodríguez - which rescued Aznar from Castilla-León to turn him into PP leader, has repeated the manoeuvre with Ayuso. The other side of the coin is that of Iván Redondo, the architect of a turn towards the centre by the PSOE to absorb Cs that has been a total failure.
If the Catalan independence movement had the slightest sense of power and the slightest notion of how to reverse the political situation in which the deep state has placed Catalonia, an action in which the complicity of the PSOE is essential, they would turn up this very morning at the Moncloa palace and put on the table the conditions under which Sánchez could depend on their 23 deputies in Congress. If he doesn't accept it, condemn him to lose, one after another, all votes in the Spanish Parliament. Because what is not understood is that, even holding the key to the governance of Spain, when there are political prisoners who have been in prison for more than three years, leaders in exile, court cases so densely packed they overlap each other, and the Court of Auditors converted into a veritable guillotine of the assets of former members of the Catalan government, time is still wasted. It remains a great shame. And, in politics, all opportunities must be seized. I repeat, all of them.