Asturian regional election, 2012

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

All 45 seats in the General Junta of the Principality 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
Leader's seat Central Central Central
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
Leader's seat Central Central
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 the Principality of Asturias

President before election

Francisco Álvarez-Cascos

Elected President

Javier Fernández

The 2012 Asturian regional election was held on Sunday, 25 March 2012, to elect the 9th General Junta 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 the devolved, unicameral legislature of the autonomous community of Asturias, having legislative power in regional matters as defined by the Spanish Constitution and the Asturian Statute of Autonomy, as well as the ability to vote confidence in or withdraw it from a President of the Principality.[3] Voting for the General Junta was on the basis of universal suffrage, with all nationals over eighteen, registered in Asturias and in full enjoyment of all political rights entitled to vote. Additionally, Asturians abroad were required to apply for voting before being permitted to vote, a system known as "begged" or expat vote (Spanish: Voto rogado).[4]

The 45 members of the General Junta of the Principality of Asturias were elected using the D'Hondt method and a closed list proportional representation, with a threshold of 3 per 100 of valid votes—which included blank ballots—being applied in each constituency. Parties not reaching the threshold were not taken into consideration for seat distribution. Additionally, the use of the D'Hondt method might result in an effective threshold over three percent, dependant on the district magnitude.[5] Seats were allocated to constituencies, which were established by law as follows:

Each constituency was entitled to an initial minimum of two seats, with the remaining 39 allocated among the constituencies in proportion to their populations.[6]

The electoral law provided that parties, federations, coalitions and groupings of electors were allowed to present lists of candidates. However, groupings of electors were required to secure at least the signature of 1 per 100 of the electors entered in electoral register of the constituency for which they were seeking election. Electors were barred from signing for more than one list of candidates. Concurrently, parties and federations intending to enter in coalition to take part jointly at an election were required to inform the relevant Electoral Commission within ten days of the election being called.[6][7][8]

Election date[edit]

The term of the General Junta of the Principality of Asturias expired four years after the date of its previous election. Elections to the General Junta were fixed for the fourth Sunday of May every four years.[3][6][7][8]

The President of the Principality had the prerogative to dissolve the General Junta and call a snap election, provided that no motion of no confidence was in process, no nationwide election was due and some time requirements were met: namely, that dissolution did not occur either during the first legislative session or within the legislature's last year ahead of its scheduled expiry, nor before one year had elapsed since a previous dissolution under this procedure. In the event of an investiture process failing to elect a regional President within a two-month period from the first ballot, the General Junta was to be automatically dissolved and a fresh election called. Any snap election held as a result of these circumstances would not alter the period to the next ordinary election, with elected deputies merely serving out what remained of their four-year terms.[3]

Opinion polls[edit]

Individual poll results are listed in the table 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 that date is unknown, the date of publication is given instead. The highest percentage figure in each polling survey is displayed with its background shaded in the leading party's colour. In the instance of a tie, the figures with the highest percentages are shaded. When available, seat projections are displayed below the percentages in a smaller font. The lead column on the right shows the percentage-point difference between the two parties with the highest figures. 23 seats were required for an absolute majority in the General Junta of the Principality of Asturias.



Summary of the 25 March 2012 General Junta of the Principality of Asturias election results
Parties and coalitions 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
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.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14]

Opinion poll sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Barómetro electoral autonómico". Celeste-Tel (in Spanish). 19 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "El PP superaría a Cascos". La Razón (in Spanish). 19 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "El PP supera a Cascos y podrían formar Gobierno juntos (La Razón)". Electómetro (in Spanish). 19 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Cascos se desploma en Asturias y el PP podría gobernar si el apoyara el FAC". ABC (in Spanish). 19 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Cascos mantiene el pulso y puede gobernar con el PP". El Mundo (in Spanish). 18 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "Comunidad Autónoma de Asturias. Resultados Encuesta. Marzo 2012" (PDF). Instituto Opinión 2000 (in Spanish). 16 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "El PSOE ganaría, pero el PP y Foro tendrían mayoría absoluta y gobernarían si pactasen". La Nueva España (in Spanish). 18 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "Los sondeos dan al PSOE la victoria en votos y el gobierno a un pacto Foro-PP". RTPA (in Spanish). 18 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Una mayoría con pacto y por decimales". La Voz de Asturias (in Spanish). 6 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Preelectoral elecciones autonómicas 2012. Principado de Asturias (Estudio nº 2934. Febrero 2012)" (PDF). CIS (in Spanish). 8 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "El sondeo del CIS no garantiza al PP la conquista de Andalucía". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 9 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "El PP alcanza a Cascos en Asturias". La Razón (in Spanish). 5 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "El PP lidera las encuestas en Asturias y el partido de Cascos se desploma". La Gaceta (in Spanish). 26 February 2012. 


  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. ^ a b c 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. ^ Reig Pellicer, Naiara (16 December 2015). "Spanish elections: Begging for the right to vote". Retrieved 17 July 2017. 
  5. ^ "Effective threshold in electoral systems". Trinity College, Dublin. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c General Junta of the Principality of Asturias Elections System Law of 1986, Law No. 14 of December 26, 1986 Official Gazette of the Principality of Asturias (in Spanish). Retrieved on 14 March 2017.
  7. ^ a b General Electoral System Organic Law of 1985, Organic Law No. 5 of June 19, 1985 Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved on 28 December 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Representation of the people Institutional Act". Central Electoral Commission. Retrieved 16 June 2017. 
  9. ^ "Electoral Results. General Junta of the Principality of Asturias. IX Legislature (2012-2015)". (in Spanish). General Junta of the Principality of Asturias. Retrieved 27 September 2017. 
  10. ^ "Electoral Results. 2012". (in Spanish). SADEI. Retrieved 27 September 2017. 
  11. ^ "General Junta of the Principality of Asturias elections since 1983". (in Spanish). Electoral History. Retrieved 27 September 2017. 
  12. ^ "One month and 21 days of thrill" (in Spanish). El País. 2012-05-16. 
  13. ^ "The PSOE will govern in Asturias after reaching an agreement with UPyD" (in Spanish). El País. 2012-05-16. 
  14. ^ "Javier Fernández, President of Asturias with the support of IU and UPyD" (in Spanish). El País. 2012-05-23. 

External links[edit]