Bandrés was described as a Basque nationalist. He served as the Minister of Culture within the Basque government of José María Ardanza, as well as the Guipúzcoa Provincial Council. He became a Basque parliamentarian as a member of the Basque Nationalist Party and the party's executive leader in Guipúzcoa. He later became the leader of the Basque National Party (PNV) and continued to serve in that capacity until his death in 2009.
Luis María Bandrés died on December 2, 2009, after a long illness at the age of 65. His funeral was held at Santa María parish in San Sebastian.