Zamora (Spanish Congress Electoral District)

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Location of Zamora electoral district in Spain.

Zamora is one of the 52 electoral districts (Spanish: circunscripciones) used for the Spanish Congress of Deputies - the lower chamber of the Spanish Parliament, the Cortes Generales. It is one of the nine electoral districts which correspond to the provinces of Castile and León. Zamora is the largest municipality, accounting for almost a third of the total electorate. Benavente is the only other municipality with more than 10,000 voters.[1] Zamora was one of the relatively few districts where the electorate fell between 2000 and 2004. It is also one of the smallest districts in terms of electorate, ranking 42nd out of the fifty two districts.

Boundaries and electoral system[edit]

Under Article 68 of the Spanish constitution [2] the boundaries must be the same as the province of Zamora and under Article 140 this can only be altered with the approval of congress. Voting is on the basis of universal suffrage in a secret ballot. The electoral system used is closed list proportional representation with seats allocated using the D'Hondt method. Only lists which poll 3% or more of all valid votes cast, including votes "en blanco" i.e. for "none of the above" can be considered for seats. Under article 12 of the constitution, the minimum voting age is 18.

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Electoral procedures[edit]

The laws regulating the conduct and administration of elections are laid out in detail in the 1985 electoral law. (Ley Orgánica del Régimen Electoral General.[3]) Under this law, the elections in Zamora, as in other districts, are supervised by the Electoral Commission (Junta Electoral), a permanent body composed of eight Supreme Court judges and five political scientists or sociologists appointed by the Congress of Deputies. The Electoral commission is supported in its work by the Interior Ministry. On election day, polling stations are run by electoral boards which consist of groups of citizens selected by lottery.[4]

The format of the ballot paper is designed by the Spanish state, however, the law allows political parties to produce and distribute their own ballot papers, either by mailing them to voters or by other means such as street distribution, provided that they comply with the official model. The government then covers the cost of all printed ballot papers. These must then be marked by voters, either in the polling station or outside the polling station and placed inside sealed envelopes which are then placed inside ballot boxes in the polling station. Following the close of polls, the ballots are then counted in each individual polling station in the presence of representatives of the political parties and candidates. The ballots are then immediately destroyed, with the exception of those considered invalid or challenged by the candidates' representatives, which are retained for further scrutiny. The result is that full recounts are impossible.[5]

Eligibility[edit]

Article 67.3 of the Spanish Constitution prohibits dual membership of the Cortes and regional assemblies, meaning that candidates must resign from Regional Assemblies if elected. Article 70 also makes active judges, magistrates, public defenders, serving military personnel, active police officers and members of constitutional and electoral tribunals ineligible.[2]

Number of members[edit]

From the 1977 General Election onwards, Zamora returned four members. For the 1989 General Election this was reduced to three members and it has retained that allocation since then.

Under Spanish electoral law, all provinces are entitled to a minimum of 2 seats with a remaining 248 seats apportioned according to population.[6] These laws are laid out in detail in the 1985 electoral law. (Ley Orgánica del Régimen Electoral General) The practical effect of this has been to overrepresent smaller provinces like Zamora at the expense of larger provinces. Zamora had a ratio of 60,793 voters per deputy in 2004 [7] a figure far below the Spanish average of 98,777 voters per deputy.[8]

Summary of seats won 1977–2008[edit]

1977 1979 1982 1986 1989 1993 1996 2000 2004 2008
Democratic Centre Union (UCD) 2 3 1
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1
People's Party (PP) 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

Seats shown for the Peoples Party include seats won by their predecessors the Popular Alliance in 1982 and the Popular Coalition in 1986.

Vote share summary 1977-2008[edit]

1977 1979 1982 1986 1989 1993 1996 2000 2004 2008
Democratic Centre Union (UCD) 46.6 50.6 18.7
People's Party (PP) 23.6 16.2 35.9 40.9 42.7 49.5 54.0 58.8 53.4 51.4
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 20.2 22.5 36.1 37.5 37.9 39.5 37.0 32.4 39.9 42.8
Christian Democratic Electoral Coalition (FDC-EC) 3.9
United Left (IU) 2.1 2.9 1.0 1.9 4.0 4.4 5.6 2.8 2.5 2.3
Democratic and Social Centre (CDS) 4.4 15.1 11.5 3.4 1.1 0.9 0.1

Results[edit]

Zamora has been a good district for the parties of the right, who have topped the poll at every election with the exception of 1982 when the PSOE had a narrow lead. Zamora was one of thirteen districts where the PP received an absolute majority by polling more than 50% in 2004 and Zamora was their seventh best district overall in terms of vote share.

2008 General Election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 9 March 2008 Congress of Deputies election results in Zamora.
Parties and alliances Votes % Seats Members elected
People's Party (Partido Popular) 66,699 52.19 2 Gustavo Arístegui San Román, Antonio Vázquez Jiménez
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) 53,723 42.04 1 Jesús Cuadrado Bausela
United Left 2,976 2.33 0
Others 2,899 2.29 0

2004 General Election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 14 March 2004 Congress of Deputies election results in Zamora.
Parties and alliances Votes % Seats Members elected
People's Party (Partido Popular) 71,821 53.3 2 José Folgado Blanco, Elvira Velasco Morillo
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) 53,757 39.9 1 Jesús Cuadrado Bausela
United Left 3,375 2.5 0
Others 3,148 2.3 0

2000 General Election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 12 March 2000 Congress of Deputies election results in Zamora.
Parties and alliances Votes % Seats Members elected
People's Party (Partido Popular) 75,268 58.8 2 Luis Ortiz González, José Folgado Blanco*
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) 41,498 32.4 1 Jesús Cuadrado Bausela
United Left 3,637 2.8 0
Others 5,336 4.2 0

* Folgado was replaced by Fernando Martínez Maillo on 23 May 2000.

1996 General Election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 3 March 1996 Congress of Deputies election results in Zamora.
Parties and alliances Votes % Seats Members elected
People's Party (Partido Popular) 75,223 54.01 2
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) 51,509 36.98 1
United Left 7,824 5.62 0
Others 3,039 2.2 0

Source: [9]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Number of voters by municipality 2008". Spanish census office. Retrieved 2009-04-24. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b Spanish Constitution
  3. ^ "Law governing electoral procedures". Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  4. ^ "OSCE observers task force report on 2008 Spanish election" (PDF). Organisation for security and cooperation in Europe OSCE. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  5. ^ "OSCE observers task force report on 2004 Spanish election" (PDF). Organisation for security and cooperation in Europe, OSCE. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  6. ^ General features of Spanish electoral system
  7. ^ Zamora election result 2004
  8. ^ 2004 Spanish election
  9. ^ Interior ministry link to election results