Leader of the Opposition (Spain)

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Leader of the Opposition of Spain
Líder de la oposición
Logo PSOE 2013.png
Logo of the largest opposition party
Pedro Sánchez 2015c (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Pedro Sánchez

since 26 July 2014
Residence No official residence
Appointer None
The title is automatically awarded to the leader of the largest parliamentary party in the Congress of Deputies not in government.
Term length No fixed term
General elections to the Congress of Deputies are held every four years at most. As it is not an official title, its hold is not subject to law. The holder usually remains as such for the duration of its tenure as party leader.
Formation 1977
First holder Felipe González

The Leader of the Opposition (Spanish: Líder de la oposición) is an unofficial title traditionally held by the leader of the largest parliamentary party not in government in the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of the Spanish parliament, the Cortes Generales. The Leader of the Opposition is invariably seen as an alternative to the incumbent Prime Minister of Spain at the time.

Despite its non-official character, the figure of Leader of Opposition has gained importance over the years because of its symbolism, usually receiving much more attention from the media in parliamentary sessions and activities, such as in the yearly-held State of the Nation Debate.

There is some ambiguity regarding the 'leader of the largest opposition party' definition. Usually, Leaders of the Opposition are both the official chairmen of the party as well as the candidate for Prime Minister, yet there has been one instance where both positions were held by different people. As such, in 1998–1999 Joaquín Almunia was the de facto party chairman, because of his position as Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (then-largest opposition party), but it was Josep Borrell who held the title of Leader of Opposition in parliament, as he had been elected as the party's Prime Ministerial candidate. For instance, the Leader of the Opposition is usually the person who is expected to lead the party in the next general election.

Leaders of the Opposition of Spain under the 1978 constitution[edit]

Names in bold indicate leaders that went on to become Prime Ministers. Acting leaders names are in italics, unless the acting leader subsequently became a full leader during a continuous period as leader.

Parties

  UCD   PSOE   AP   PP

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Political Party Date PM
(Term)
Start date End date Days
Felipe González 1986 (cropped).jpg Felipe González
(1942–)
PSOE
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
13 July
1977
2 December
1982
1968 Adolfo Suárez
(1976–1981)
Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo
(1981–1982)
Fraga later80s.png Manuel Fraga
(1922–2012)
AP
People's Alliance
2 December
1982
8 February
1987
1529 Felipe González
(1982–1996)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg Antonio Hernández Mancha
(1951–)
AP
People's Alliance
8 February
1987
20 January
1989
712
Fraga later80s.png Manuel Fraga
(1922–2012)
PP
People's Party
20 January
1989
4 September
1989
227
Aznar at the Azores, March 17, 2003-2.jpg José María Aznar
(1953–)
PP
People's Party
4 September
1989
4 May
1996
2434
Felipe González 1986 (cropped).jpg Felipe González
(1942–)
PSOE
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
4 May
1996
21 June
1997
413 José María Aznar
(1996–2004)
Joaquin Almunia Mercosul.jpg Joaquín Almunia
(1948–)
PSOE
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
21 June
1997
24 April
1998
307
Josep Borrell.jpg Josep Borrell
(1947–)
PSOE
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
24 April
1998
14 May
1999
385
Joaquin Almunia Mercosul.jpg Joaquín Almunia
(1948–)
PSOE
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
14 May
1999
12 March
2000
303
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg Luis Martínez Noval
(1948–2013)
PSOE
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
12 March
2000
22 July
2000
132
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero 2005 (cropped).jpg José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
(1960–)
PSOE
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
22 July
2000
16 April
2004
1364
Mariano Rajoy in 2008 (cropped).jpg Mariano Rajoy
(1955–)
PP
People's Party
16 April
2004
21 December
2011
2805 José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
(2004–2011)
Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba 2012 (cropped).jpg Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba
(1951–)
PSOE
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
21 December
2011
26 July
2014
948 Mariano Rajoy
(2011–)
Pedro Sánchez 2015c (cropped).jpg Pedro Sánchez
(1972–)
PSOE
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
26 July
2014
Incumbent 764
Pedro Sánchez (politician) Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba Mariano Rajoy José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero Luis Martínez Noval Joaquín Almunia Josep Borrell Joaquín Almunia Felipe González José María Aznar Manuel Fraga Antonio Hernández Mancha Manuel Fraga Felipe González

See also[edit]