Basque parliamentary election, 2012

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Basque parliamentary election, 2012
Basque Country (autonomous community)
← 2009 21 October 2012 2016 →

All 75 seats in the Basque Parliament
38 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Registered 1,775,351 Red Arrow Down.svg0.0%
Turnout 1,135,568 (64.0%)
Red Arrow Down.svg0.7 pp
  First party Second party Third party
  Iñigo Urkullu 2013 (cropped).jpg Laura Mintegi (cropped).jpg Patxi López 2012 (cropped).jpg
Leader Iñigo Urkullu Laura Mintegi Patxi López
Leader since 2 December 2007 2 July 2012 23 March 2002
Leader's seat Biscay Biscay Álava
Last election 30 seats, 38.1% 5 seats, 9.6% 25 seats, 30.4%
Seats won 27 21 16
Seat change Red Arrow Down.svg3 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg16 Red Arrow Down.svg9
Popular vote 384,766 277,923 212,809
Percentage 34.2% 24.7% 18.9%
Swing Red Arrow Down.svg3.9 pp Green Arrow Up Darker.svg15.1 pp Red Arrow Down.svg11.5 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party
  Antonio Basagoiti 2011b (cropped).jpg Gorka Maneiro 2011 (cropped).jpg
Leader Antonio Basagoiti Gorka Maneiro
Party PP UPyD
Leader since 25 October 2008 2008
Leader's seat Biscay Álava
Last election 13 seats, 13.9% 1 seat, 2.1%
Seats won 10 1
Seat change Red Arrow Down.svg3 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0
Popular vote 130,584 21,539
Percentage 11.6% 1.9%
Swing Red Arrow Down.svg2.3 pp Red Arrow Down.svg0.2 pp

Constituency results map for the Basque Parliament

Lehendakari before election

Patxi López

Elected Lehendakari

Iñigo Urkullu

The 2012 Basque parliamentary election was held on Sunday, 21 October 2012, to elect the 10th Basque Parliament, the regional legislature of the Spanish autonomous community of the Basque Country. All 75 seats in the Parliament were up for election. The election was held simultaneously with a regional election in Galicia.

Lehendakari Patxi López announced the snap election half a year before scheduled as a result of the People's Party (PP) withdrawing their support from the government.[1] The election saw a plummeting of the ruling Socialist Party (PSE–EE) share, with the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) retaining first place and returning to government after its first time in opposition. The abertzale left experienced a major breakthrough under the EH Bildu label, after 9 years of political illegalization. The PP deepened on its long-term decline and scored its worst result since 1990, while Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD) retained its single seat in Parliament.[2]


Following the 2009 parliamentary election, Patxi López of the Basque Socialist Party (PSE-EE) became the first Lehendakari (i.e. regional president) in thirty years not to be affiliated to the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV).

In 2011 Eusko Alkartasuna (EA), Alternatiba, other abertzale groups and independent individuals from the Basque leftist-nationalist milieu, formed a coalition named Bildu.

In the 2011 municipal elections, the EAJ-PNV came first with 30.1% of the vote, but the big winner was Bildu, which obtained 25.5% and a majority of town councillors. Among the other parties, the PSE-EE gained 16.3%, the People's Party (PP) 13.5%, and Aralar 3.0%.[3]

In late 2011 the leftist-secessionist coalition was enlarged to include other abertzale groups, including Aralar. In the 2011 general election, this new coalition, known as Amaiur, came second in the Basque Country with 24.1% of the vote, behind the EAJ-PNV, which came first with 27.4%. Among the other parties, the PSE-EE won 21.5% of the vote and the PP 17.8%.[4]

The four main groups that constituted Amaiur, namely abertzale left (former Batasuna members, led by Rufi Etxeberria), EA, Alternatiba and Aralar, announced that they would also stand as part of a joint list also in the election.[5] That list was named EH Bildu (EHB)[6] and Laura Mintegi was chosen as candidate for Lehendakari.[7]

Electoral system[edit]

The Basque Parliament was elected using the D'Hondt method and a closed list proportional representation. Under the regional Statute of Autonomy, all three Basque historical territories—the provinces—were to constitute multi-member districts, being assigned an equal number of seats each. The electoral law set this to a fixed-number of 25, for a total of 75 seats. A threshold of 3% of valid votes—which included blank ballots—was applied in each constituency, with parties not reaching the threshold not taken into consideration for seat distribution.

Voting was on the basis of universal suffrage, with all residents over eighteen and in the full enjoyment of all political rights entitled to vote—however, amendments to the electoral law in 2011 required for Spaniards abroad to apply for voting before being permitted to vote, a system known as "requested" or expat vote (Spanish: Voto rogado)—. Concurrently, residents meeting the previous criteria and not involved in any cause of ineligibility were eligible for the Parliament. Gender quotas were introduced in 2005, requiring for party lists to be composed of at least 50% of women candidates and for this proportion to be maintained for each group of six candidates. Groups of electors were required to obtain the signatures of at least 1% of registered electors in a particular district in order to be able to field candidates.

The Lehendakari had the ability to dissolve the chamber at any given time and call a snap election; otherwise, elected deputies served for four year terms, starting from election day. Additionally, the Parliament was to be automatically dissolved in the event that no Lehendakari was elected within a 60 day-period from the chamber's first convening, triggering a snap election likewise.[8][9][10]

Opinion polls[edit]

Party vote[edit]

Poll results are listed in the tables below in reverse chronological order, showing the most recent first, and using the date the survey's fieldwork was done, as opposed to the date of publication. If such date is unknown, the date of publication is given instead. The highest percentage figure in each polling survey is displayed in bold, and the background shaded in the leading party's colour. In the instance that there is a tie, then no figure is shaded. The lead column on the right shows the percentage-point difference between the two parties with the highest figures.

Color key:

  Exit poll

Seat projections[edit]

Opinion polls showing seat projections are displayed in the table below. The highest seat figures in each polling survey have their background shaded in the leading party's colour. In the instance that there is a tie, then no figure is shaded. 38 seats were required for an absolute majority in the Basque Parliament.

Color key:

  Exit poll



Summary of the 21 October 2012 Basque Parliament election results
Party Popular vote Seats
Votes  % ±pp Won +/−
Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ/PNV) 384,766 34.16 –3.98 27 –3
Basque Country Unite (EH Bildu)1 277,923 24.67 +15.05 21 +16
Socialist Party of the Basque Country–Basque Country Left (PSE–EE (PSOE)) 212,809 18.89 –11.47 16 –9
People's Party (PP) 130,584 11.59 –2.36 10 –3
United Left–The Greens: Plural Left (IU–LV) 30,318 2.69 New 0 ±0
Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD) 21,539 1.91 –0.21 1 ±0
United Left–Greens (EB–B) 17,345 1.54 –1.93 0 –1
Equo Greens–Basque Ecologists (EB–EE) 11,625 1.03 New 0 ±0
Blank Seats (EB/AZ) 11,480 1.02 New 0 ±0
Blank ballots 14,640 1.30 +0.20
Total 1,126,400 100.00 75 ±0
Valid votes 1,126,400 99.18 +7.98
Invalid votes 9,168 0.81 –7.98
Votes cast / turnout 1,135,568 63.96 –0.72
Abstentions 639,783 36.04 +0.72
Registered voters 1,775,351
Source(s): Department for Security of the Basque Country, Historia Electoral
Popular vote
EH Bildu
Blank ballots
EH Bildu

Distribution by constituency[edit]

Constituency PNV EH Bildu PSE–EE PP UPyD
 % S  % S  % S  % S  % S
Álava 25.5 7 21.7 6 19.3 6 18.7 5 3.5 1
Biscay 37.9 11 21.2 6 18.7 5 11.7 3 1.8
Gipuzkoa 31.6 9 31.8 9 19.0 5 8.4 2 1.4
Total 34.2 27 24.7 21 18.9 16 11.6 10 1.9 1


Investiture vote[edit]

First round: 12 December 2012
Absolute majority (38/75) required
Choice Vote
Parties Votes
NIñigo Urkullu PNV (27)
27 / 75
NLaura Mintegi EH Bildu (21)
21 / 75
Blank ballots PSE–EE (16), PP (10), UPyD (1)
27 / 75
Source: Historia Electoral
Second round: 13 December 2012
Simple majority required
Choice Vote
Parties Votes
YesYIñigo Urkullu PNV (27)
27 / 75
NLaura Mintegi EH Bildu (21)
21 / 75
Blank ballots PSE–EE (16), PP (10), UPyD (1)
27 / 75
Source: Historia Electoral