Sumar, a last-minute coalition to the left of the Socialists 

Progressives favor Catalonia-Spain dialogue, renewables, and "universal inheritance"

Anti-austerity Sumar candidate Yolanda Díaz with former Barcelona mayor Ada Colau in the background on July 6, 2023
Anti-austerity Sumar candidate Yolanda Díaz with former Barcelona mayor Ada Colau in the background on July 6, 2023 / Courtesy of Sumar
Cristina Tomàs White

Cristina Tomàs White | @cristinatomasw | Barcelona

July 18, 2023 11:55 AM

July 18, 2023 04:57 PM

Launched by Spanish labor minister and vice president Yolanda Díaz, Sumar is a newly formed coalition of 15 parties to the left of the Socialists - including, after a last-minute and uneasy agreement, Podemos, the junior partner in the current Spanish coalition government, which suffered a resounding loss in the May 28 local and regional elections. 


Recent polls suggest the coalition, which has the backing of former Barcelona mayor Ada Colau's Catalunya en Comú, could be the third most-vote group across Spain in the July 23 snap election, behind the Socialists and the conservatives, ahead of far-right Vox.  

The tight race between the left-wing and right-wing blocs means Sumar could possibly end up in government in coalition with the Socialists. 

Progressive, anti-austerity, and green policies

Specific policies the coalition proposes include shortening the workweek to at least 37.5 hours while gradually raising the minimum wage as well as creating more public housing.  

The coalition's climate action plan, meanwhile, seeks to create half a million renewable energy jobs and to reform the electricity market while pulling the breaks on future investment in natural gas and other fossil fuels. 

"In Spain, some flights have train route alternatives that are under three hours," coalition spokesperson and MEP for Catalonia's En Comú Podem Ernest Urtasun said in a recent campaign event. "Because of this, we want, as is the case in France, for these flights to be banned."

They also made headlines with their proposal to create a universal €20,000 inheritance for 18-year-olds, and they seek to, quote, "promote feminism to counter the far-right."

Dialogue and protecting minority languages

When it comes to Catalonia, the coalition is in favor of promoting talks between the Spanish and Catalan governments to dejudicialize the independence conflict and foster dialogue - any agreement stemming from it, they say, should be voted on by Catalans. 

Sumar also believes that co-official languages such as Catalan should be able to be used not only in public offices in their native territories but also across Spain and the EU.

"Spain is a country of countries, it is plural, it is diverse," Díaz told a roaring on the campaign trail. "We want a country that speaks Galician, Aragonese, Basque, and Catalan."

July 23 will be a test for Spain's progressives, especially after Podemos lost its footing in the political arena to the left of the Socialists, and in the face of the resurgence of the right and the far-right.