Asturian parliamentary election, 2012

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Asturian parliamentary election, 2012
← 2011 25 March 2012 2015 →

All 45 seats in the General Junta of Asturias
23 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Registered 989,993 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg0.3%
Turnout 506,368 (51.1%)
Red Arrow Down.svg10.6 pp
  First party Second party Third party
  Javier Fernández Fernández 2012 (cropped-2).jpg Francisco Álvarez-Cascos 2010 (cropped).jpg Female portrait placeholder cropped.jpg
Leader Javier Fernández Francisco Álvarez-Cascos Mercedes Fernández
Leader since 23 October 2010 18 January 2011 14 February 2012
Last election 15 seats, 29.9% 16 seats, 29.7% 10 seats, 20.0%
Seats won 17 12 10
Seat change Green Arrow Up Darker.svg2 Red Arrow Down.svg4 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0
Popular vote 161,159 124,518 108,091
Percentage 32.1% 24.8% 21.5%
Swing Green Arrow Up Darker.svg2.2 pp Red Arrow Down.svg4.9 pp Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1.5 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party
  Jesús Iglesias (cropped).jpg Ignacio Prendes (cropped).jpg
Leader Jesús Iglesias Ignacio Prendes
Party IU–IX UPyD
Leader since 2007 2 November 2010
Last election 4 seats, 10.3% 0 seats, 2.4%
Seats won 5 1
Seat change Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1
Popular vote 69,118 18,801
Percentage 13.8% 3.7%
Swing Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3.5 pp Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1.3 pp

Constituency results map for the General Junta of Asturias

President before election

Francisco Álvarez-Cascos

Elected President

Javier Fernández

The 2012 Asturian parliamentary election was held on Sunday, 25 March 2012, to elect the 9th General Junta of the Principality of Asturias, the regional legislature of the Spanish autonomous community of the Principality of Asturias. All 45 seats in the General Junta were up for election. The election was held simultaneously with a regional election in Andalusia.

This was a snap election held as a result of the incumbent government under Francisco Álvarez-Cascos failing to pass the 2012 budget in the General Junta after just six months in power.[1][2] The Asturian Socialist Federation (FSA–PSOE) under Javier Fernández, which had scored first in votes but second in seats in the previous election, went on to win a decisive victory whereas Álvarez Cascos' Asturias Forum (FAC) lost its seat plurality of seats it had won in the previous election and fell from 16 to 12 seats. The People's Party (PP) was unable to improve on its 2011 results despite a change of leadership and remained stagnant at 10 seats, while United Left (IU–IX) grew from 4 to 5 seats. Voter turnout was the lowest since 1983, as just 51.1% of the electorate cast a ballot.

The election resulted in a draw between the centre-left (PSOE–IU) and centre-right (FAC–PP) blocs after the counting of the vote of those living abroad deprived FAC from a seat in the Eastern District, awarding it to PSOE. Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD), which managed to get into parliament after failure in 2011 to do so, became determinant for either bloc to attain an absolute majority, with ensuing negotiations resulting in a Socialist minority government led by Javier Fernández.

Electoral system[edit]

The General Junta of the Principality of Asturias was elected using the D'Hondt method and a closed list proportional representation. Under the regional Statute of Autonomy, the General Junta was entitled to a minimum of 35 members and a maximum of 45, which the regional electoral law set to a fixed-number of 45. All seats were allocated to three multi-member districts—each entitled to an initial minimum of two seats, with the remaining 39 allocated among the constituencies in proportion to their populations—. 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.

Unlike other uniprovincial autonomous communities, electoral districts did not correspond to a province. They were, instead, established by law as follow:

District Municipalities
Central Aller, Avilés, Bimenes, Carreño, Caso, Castrillón, Corvera de Asturias, Gijón, Gozón,
Illas, Las Regueras, Langreo, Laviana, Lena, Llanera, Mieres, Morcín, Noreña, Oviedo,
Proaza, Quirós, Ribera de Arriba, Riosa, San Martín del Rey Aurelio, Santo Adriano,
Sariego, Siero, Sobrescobio and Soto del Barco.
Eastern Amieva, Cabrales, Cabranes, Cangas de Onís, Caravia, Colunga, Llanes, Nava, Onís,
Parres, Peñamellera Alta, Peñamellera Baja, Piloña, Ponga, Ribadedeva, Ribadesella
and Villaviciosa.
Western Allande, Belmonte de Miranda, Boal, Candamo, Cangas del Narcea, Castropol, Coaña,
Cudillero, Degaña, El Franco, Grado, Grandas de Salime, Ibias, Illano, Muros del Nalón,
Navia, Pesoz, Pravia, Salas, San Martín de Oscos, Santa Eulalia de Oscos, San Tirso de
, Somiedo, Tapia de Casariego, Taramundi, Teverga, Tineo, Valdés, Vegadeo,
Villanueva de Oscos, Villayón and Yernes y Tameza.

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 General Junta. Gender quotas were introduced in 2007, requiring for party lists to be composed of at least 40% of candidates of either gender and for each group of five candidates to contain at least two males and two females. 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.

A 1999 amendment to the Statute of Autonomy granted the President the ability to dissolve the chamber and call a snap election, but limiting the exercise of such prerogative to the second or third years of the legislature. Elections were fixed for the fourth Sunday of May every four years, with early dissolutions not changing the period to the next ordinary election, meaning that elected deputies in a snap election merely served out what remained of their ordinary four-year parliamentary terms. The General Junta was to be automatically dissolved in the event of unsuccessful investiture attempts failing to elect a regional President within a two month-period from the first ballot, triggering a snap election likewise.[3][4]

Opinion polling[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. When a specific poll does not show a data figure for a party, the party's cell corresponding to that poll is shown empty.

Polling firm/Link Fieldwork/
publication date
Regional Election 25.03.12 N/A 51.1% 32.1 24.8 21.5 13.8 3.7 7.3
Celeste-Tel 19.03.12 ? ? 32.3 22.3 23.0 12.6 4.2 9.3
Ipsos 18.03.12 1,300 ? 29.5 22.5 22.6 13.0 3.8 6.9
GAD3 15.03.12–16.03.12 800 ? 33.3 21.0 25.8 10.1 3.8 7.5
Sigma Dos 12.03.12–15.03.12 1,000 ? 27.7 27.1 22.2 14.8 3.2 0.6
Opinión 2000 09.03.12 400 ? 35.1 20.9 24.3 12.4 2.6 10.8
CIS 15.02.12–28.02.12 1,800 ? 28.2 22.7 24.0 14.5 4.4 4.2
NC Report 15.02.12–28.02.12 900 57.6% 32.5 24.5 23.3 8.0
General Election 20.11.11 N/A 64.6% 29.3 14.7 35.4 13.2 3.9 6.1
Regional Election 22.05.11 N/A 61.7% 29.9 29.7 20.0 10.3 2.4 0.2

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. 23 seats were required for an absolute majority in the General Junta of the Principality of Asturias.

Polling firm/Link Fieldwork/
publication date
Regional Election 25.03.12 17 12 10 5 1
Celeste-Tel 19.03.12 14/17 10/12 11/13 4/7 1/2
NC Report 19.03.12 15/16 11/12 12/13 5/6 1/2
Ipsos 18.03.12 15 11/12 11/12 6 1
GAD3 15.03.12–16.03.12 15/16 10/11 12/13 4/5 1
Sigma Dos 12.03.12–15.03.12 13/14 13/14 10/11 6/7 1
Opinión 2000 09.03.12 17/18 10/11 12 5 0
PP 06.03.12 17/18 9/10 12/14 4/5 0/1
CIS 15.02.12–28.02.12 14 10/11 11/12 7 2
NC Report 15.02.12–28.02.12 16 12 12 4 1
Low Cost 16.02.12–21.02.12 15 10 15 4 1
Regional Election 22.05.11 15 16 10 4 0



Summary of the 25 March 2012 General Junta of Asturias election results
General Junta of Asturias election, 2012 results.svg
Party Popular vote Seats
Votes  % ±pp Won +/−
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 161,159 32.10 +2.18 17 +2
Asturias Forum (FAC) 124,518 24.80 –4.86 12 –4
People's Party (PP) 108,091 21.53 +1.58 10 ±0
United Left of Asturias (IU–IX) 69,118 13.77 +3.49 5 +1
Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD) 18,801 3.74 +1.30 1 +1
Blank ballots 7,166 1.43 –1.17
Total 502,073 100.00 45 ±0
Valid votes 502,073 99.15 +0.59
Invalid votes 4,295 0.85 –0.59
Votes cast / turnout 506,368 51.15 –10.54
Abstentions 483,625 48.85 +10.54
Registered voters 989,993
Source(s): General Junta of the Principality of Asturias, SADEI, Historia Electoral
Popular vote
Blank ballots

Distribution by constituency[edit]

Constituency PSOE FAC PP IU–IX UPyD
 % S  % S  % S  % S  % S
Central 31.2 12 24.6 9 20.6 7 15.0 5 4.2 1
Eastern 35.9 2 28.3 2 24.3 1 6.5 1.8
Western 35.8 3 23.8 1 26.3 2 9.3 1.7
Total 32.1 17 24.8 12 21.5 10 13.8 5 3.7 1


After the election, the leader of the Asturian PSOE, Javier Fernández, and incumbent Asturian President, Francisco Álvarez Cascos, were tasked to form a coalition government. The election led to a political impasse as the center-left (PSOE and IU-IX) and center-right coalitions (FAC and PP) each gained 22 seats in the election (23 seats are required for a majority in the 45-seat Assembly). The remaining seat was held by the centrist UPyD, which became the kingmaker in the negotiation.

Coalition talks took almost two months to reach an agreement. One of the main events during the negotiation was the legal battle in the Spanish Constitutional Court over the 45th seat, the assignment of which was delayed by the counting of the ballots of those voting abroad. FAC disputed the seat's assignment to the PSOE and asked for a revote; however, the Constitutional Court rejected the appeal and upheld the seat for the PSOE.[5]

UPyD finally agreed to support a PSOE government, their main reason to do so being the threat by Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro to intervene in Asturian government accounts.[6] On 23 May 2012, PSOE leader Javier Fernández was elected as the new President of the Principality of Asturias with support from IU and UPyD.[7]


  1. ^ "Cascos calls snap election in Asturias by surprise for 25 March" (in Spanish). RTVE. 2012-01-30. 
  2. ^ "Cascos sets snap election and accuses both PP and PSOE of a 'plot'" (in Spanish). El Mundo. 2012-01-30. 
  3. ^ Statute of Autonomy for Asturias of 1981, Organic Law No. 7 of December 30, 1981 Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved on 14 March 2017.
  4. ^ Electoral Law of the Principality of Asturias of 1986, Law No. 14 of December 26, 1986 Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved on 14 March 2017.
  5. ^ "One month and 21 days of thrill" (in Spanish). El País. 2012-05-16. 
  6. ^ "The PSOE will govern in Asturias after reaching an agreement with UPyD" (in Spanish). El País. 2012-05-16. 
  7. ^ "Javier Fernández, President of Asturias with the support of IU and UPyD" (in Spanish). El País. 2012-05-23. 

External links[edit]