Leader of the Opposition (Spain)
|Leader of the Opposition of Spain
Líder de la oposición
Logo of the largest opposition party
|Residence||No official residence|
The title is automatically awarded to the leader of the largest parliamentary party in the Congress of Deputies not in government.
|Term length||No fixed term
General elections to the Congress of Deputies are held every four years at most. As it is not an official title, its hold is not subject to law. The holder usually remains as such for the duration of its tenure as party leader.
|First holder||Felipe González|
The Leader of the Opposition (Spanish: Líder de la oposición) is an unofficial title traditionally held by the leader of the largest parliamentary party not in government in the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of the Spanish parliament, the Cortes Generales. The Leader of the Opposition is invariably seen as an alternative to the incumbent Prime Minister of Spain at the time.
Despite its non-official character, the figure of Leader of Opposition has gained importance over the years because of its symbolism, usually receiving much more attention from the media in parliamentary sessions and activities, such as in the yearly-held State of the Nation Debate.
There is some ambiguity regarding the 'leader of the largest opposition party' definition. Usually, Leaders of the Opposition are both the official chairmen of the party as well as the candidate for Prime Minister, yet there has been one instance where both positions were held by different people. As such, in 1998–1999 Joaquín Almunia was the de facto party chairman, because of his position as Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (then-largest opposition party), but it was Josep Borrell who held the title of Leader of Opposition in parliament, as he had been elected as the party's Prime Ministerial candidate. For instance, the Leader of the Opposition is usually the person who is expected to lead the party in the next general election.
Leaders of the Opposition of Spain under the 1978 constitution
Names in bold indicate leaders that went on to become Prime Ministers.
|Main Opposition Party||Leader of the Opposition||Date||Days||Legislature|
|Spanish Socialist Workers' Party||Felipe González||13 July 1977||1968||Const. (1977)|
|30 March 1979||I (1979)|
|People's Alliance||Manuel Fraga Iribarne||2 December 1982||1660||II (1982)|
|24 July 1986||III (1986)|
|Antonio Hernández Mancha||8 February 1987||712|
|People's Party||Manuel Fraga Iribarne||20 January 1989||227|
|José María Aznar||4 September 1989||2434|
|5 December 1989||IV (1989)|
|9 July 1993||V (1993)|
|Spanish Socialist Workers' Party||Felipe González||4 May 1996||413||VI (1996)|
|Joaquín Almunia||21 June 1997||311|
|Josep Borrell||24 April 1998||381|
|Joaquín Almunia||14 May 1999||303|
|Manuel Chaves||12 March 2000||132||VII (2000)|
|José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero||22 July 2000||1364|
|People's Party||Mariano Rajoy||16 April 2004||2805||VIII (2004)|
|11 April 2008||IX (2008)|
|Spanish Socialist Workers' Party||Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba||21 December 2011||948||X (2011)|
|Pedro Sánchez||26 July 2014||311|