Guardian readers respond to a Guardian editorial on the result of the Spanish general election
In your editorial about Spain’s general election (30 April), your optimism about the capacity of social democratic parties to win elections based on “socially inclusive improvements to the status quo” is based on somewhat dubious premises which might lead to equally dubious conclusions. For example, the Socialist party in Portugal did not win an election in 2015. Indeed, they obtained their second worst election result in 25 years, and were more than four percentage points behind the main rightwing governing party. Instead, they were catapulted into government by the strong showing of two left parties and obliged to govern on a much more radical programme than the one they had campaigned on. And, mirabile visu, they shot up in opinion polls.
The socialists’ partial recovery in Spain and Finland, to which you refer, is prompted by a similar alignment. The indications are that socialist parties can prosper when they run and deliver a more radical programme, against austerity economics and for an enabling state. However, the strong indications are also that they will only do so when pushed or pulled in that direction by strong parties to their left (Corbyn’s Labour may be an exception).