Next Spanish general election
|Provincial results map for the Congress of Deputies|
The next Spanish general election will be held no later than Sunday, 26 July 2020, as provided by the Spanish constitution and the Organic Law of the General Election Regime of 1985. It will open the 13th Legislature of Spain, to elect the 13th Cortes Generales of the Kingdom of Spain. All 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies will be up for election, as well as 208 of 266 seats in the Senate.
The 2016 election proved inconclusive, with the People's Party (PP) coming out strengthened but with neither the PP–C's nor the PSOE–Unidos Podemos blocs being able to command a large enough majority to ensure governance alone. In the end, after a 10-month political deadlock, Mariano Rajoy was able to become Prime Minister thanks to PSOE's abstention, after the party suffered an internal crisis which resulted in the ousting of its leader, Pedro Sánchez.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Electoral system
- 3 Background
- 4 Candidates
- 5 Date of the election
- 6 Opinion polling
- 7 References
This bicameral system is regarded as asymmetric. Legislative initiative belonges to both chambers—as well as to the Government—but the Congress has greater legislative power than the Senate. Only the Congress has the ability to grant or revoke confidence from a Prime Minister, and it can override Senate vetoes to an initiative by an absolute majority of votes. Nonetheless, the Senate possesses a few exclusive, yet limited in number functions—such as its role in constitutional amendment—which are not subject to the Congress' override.
This system, enshrined by the Spanish Constitution of 1978, was envisaged to grant political stability to governments as well as to reinforce the Prime Minister's position, providing for a constructive vote of no confidence that can only be exercised by the Congress. It also implements an enhanced protection against constitutional amendment, which requires the involvement of both chambers, as well as a special process with higher approval thresholds and stricter requirements for overall constitutional reforms or amendments on the so-called "protected provisions".
Settled customary practice has been to dissolve and re-elect both chambers at the same time, thus triggering a "general" election. Though the law allows for each chamber to be elected separately, this has not occurred since the Constitution's approval in 1978.
Voting is on the basis of universal suffrage, with all nationals over eighteen and in the full enjoyment of all political rights entitled to vote. Concurrently, nationals meeting the previous criteria and not involved in any cause of ineligibility are eligible for both the Congress and the Senate. Groups of electors are required to obtain the signatures of at least 1% of registered electors in a particular district in order to be able to field candidates, whereas parties and coalitions left out from both chambers in the previous election are required to obtain the signatures of at least 0.1% of registered electors in the districts they intend to contest. The electoral law was amended in 2016 in order to introduce a special, simplified process for election re-runs resulting from political deadlocks—such as the 2016 election—, including a shortening of deadlines, the lifting of signature requirements if these were already met for the immediately previous election and the possibility of maintaining lists and coalitions.
For the Congress of Deputies, 348 seats are allocated to 50 multi-member districts—each constituency corresponding to a province—using the D'Hondt method and a closed list proportional representation, with Ceuta and Melilla electing one member each using plurality voting for a total of 350 seats. Each district is entitled to an initial minimum of two seats, with the remaining 248 seats allocated among the 50 provinces in proportion to their populations. A threshold of 3% of valid votes—which includes blank ballots—is applied in each constituency, with parties not reaching the threshold not entitled to enter the seat distribution.
For the Senate, each of the 47 peninsular constituencies is allocated four seats. For insular provinces, such as the Balearic and the Canary Islands, districts are the islands themselves, with the larger—Majorca, Gran Canaria and Tenerife—being allocated three seats each, and the smaller—Menorca, Ibiza-Formentera, Fuerteventura, La Gomera, El Hierro, Lanzarote and La Palma—one each. Ceuta and Melilla elect two seats each, for a total of 208 directly elected seats, using an open list partial block voting. Instead of voting for parties, electors vote for individual candidates. In districts electing four seats, electors may vote for up to three candidates; in those with two or three seats, for up to two candidates; and for one candidate in single-member constituencies. Additionally, autonomous communities can appoint at least one senator each and are entitled to one additional seat per each million inhabitants.
Immediately after the election, as ECOFIN ministers activated the sanction procedure to Spain on 12 July as a result of the country not meeting its deficit targets—which could result in a fine worth €2 billion fine and a freezing of Structural Funding—the PP caretaker government announced a future rise of the corporate tax with which it expected to collect an additional €6 billion, so as to tackle public deficit and trying to avoid the fine. This move was criticized internally, as Rajoy's caretaker government could not implement the measure until the completion of the ongoing government formation process, as well as because it clashed with one of PP's recent election pledges to lower taxes.
Criticism of Pedro Sánchez for his electoral results and his hardline stance on Rajoy's investiture, said to be a contributing factor to the country's political deadlock, reached a boiling point after poor PSOE showings in the Basque and Galician elections. Amid calls for his resignation, Sánchez responded by announcing a party primary and congress for October–December 2016, enraging dissenters and prompting half the members of the party executive committee—the party's day-to-day ruling body—to resign on 28 September, in order to prompt Sánchez's sacking and take command themselves.
Sánchez refused to step down and entrenched himself within the party's headquarters, generating the largest crisis in the party's history, as neither side acknowledged the other's legitimacy to act in the party's name. This situation ended when Sánchez resigned after losing a key ballot to Susana Díaz's-led rebels in the party's federal committee on 1 October, being replaced by a caretaker committee and leaving behind a shattered PSOE. Subsequently, the new party's leadership chose to allow a PP minority government in order to end the 10-month political deadlock.
People's Party (PP)
- Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister since 2011; President of the PP since 2004; Member of the Congress of Deputies 1986 and since 1989; Leader of the Opposition 2004–2011; Secretary General of the PP 2003–2004; Minister for the Presidency 2000–2001 and 2002–2003; Government Spokesperson 2002–2003; Minister for Home Affairs 2001–2002; First Deputy Prime Minister 2000–2003; Minister for Education and Culture 1999–2000; Minister for the Public Administration Services 1996–1999; Vice-President of Galicia 1986–1987; President of the Provincial Deputation of Pontevedra 1983–1986; City Councillor of Pontevedra 1983–1986; Member of the Parliament of Galicia 1981–1985
|Portrait||Name||Party||Born||Most recent position|
|Mariano Rajoy||27 March 1955
|Congress of Deputies MP (1989–present)
President of the PP (2004–present)
Prime Minister (2011–present)
- Pablo Casado, Vice-Secretary General for Communication of the PP since 2015; Member of the Congress of Deputies since 2011; Member of the Assembly of Madrid 2007–2009
- Cristina Cifuentes, President of the Community of Madrid since 2015; Government Delegate in Madrid 2012–2015; Member of the Assembly of Madrid 1991–2012 and since 2015; First Vice-President of the Assembly of Madrid 2005–2012
- María Dolores de Cospedal, Minister for Defence since 2016; Member of the Congress of Deputies since 2016; Secretary General of the PP since 2008; President of the PP of Castile-La Mancha since 2006; Cortes of Castilla-La Mancha 2007–2016; President of Castilla-La Mancha 2011–2015; Senator from Castile-La Mancha 2006–2011; Regional Minister for Transport and Infrastructures of the Community of Madrid 2004–2006; Under Secretary of State for Home Affairs 2002–2004; Under Secretary of State for Public Administration Services 2000–2002
- Íñigo de la Serna, Minister for Public Works since 2016; Member of the Parliament of Cantabria 2015–2016; Mayor of Santander 2007–2016; City Councillor of Santander 2003–2016
- Alberto Núñez Feijóo, President of Galicia since 2009; President of the PPdeG since 2006; Member of the Parliament of Galicia since 2005; Vice-President of Galicia 2004–2005; Regional Minister for Regional Policy, Public Works and Housing 2003–2005
- Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, Ministry for the Regional Administrations since 2016; Deputy Prime Minister since 2011; Minister for the Presidency since 2011; Member of the Congress of Deputies since 2004; Government Spokesperson 2011–2016; People's Group Spokesperson in Congress 2008–2011; Secretary for Autonomic and Local Policy of the PP 2004–2008
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
- Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona since 2015; City Councillor of Barcelona since 2015
- Íñigo Errejón, Member of the Congress of Deputies since 2016; Political Secretary of Podemos since 2014
- Alberto Garzón, Federal Coordinator of IU since 2016; Secretary for Constituent Process of IU 2014–2016; Secretary for Global Economic Policy of IU 2012–2014; Member of the Congress of Deputies since 2011
- Pablo Iglesias, disputed as Leader of the Opposition since 2016; Member of the Congress of Deputies since 2016; Secretary General of Podemos since 2014
- Mònica Oltra, Vice President of the Generalitat Valenciana since 2015; Regional Minister for Equality and Inclusive Policies of the Generalitat Valenciana since 2015; Spokesperson of the Generalitat Valenciana since 2015; Co-Spokesperson of Coalició Compromís since 2012; Spokesperson of the Compromís Group in the Corts Valencianes 2007–2010 and 2015; Member of the Corts Valencianes since 2007; Co-Spokesperson of Valencian People's Initiative 2007–2014
- Opinion polling
|Polling firm/Link||Fieldwork date||Sample
|Polling firm/Link||Fieldwork date||Sample
- Inés Arrimadas, Leader of the Opposition of Catalonia since 2015; Member of the Parliament of Catalonia since 2012
- Carolina Punset, Member of the European Parliament since 2016; Member of the Corts Valencianes 2015–2016; City Councillor of Altea 2007–2015
- Albert Rivera, Member of the Congress of Deputies since 2016; President of C's since 2006; Member of the Parliament of Catalonia 2006–2015
Date of the election
Latest possible date
The next general election cannot be held later than Sunday 26 July 2020. This date is determined as follows:
|Constitution: Article 68.4||The General Courts have a maximum term of four years, starting on election day.||The 2016 election was held on 26 June 2016. Four years after 26 June 2016 is 26 June 2020.|
|LOREG: Article 42.2||The decree calling for new elections will be automatically issued 25 days before the expiry date of the General Courts' term, and will be published the following day.||25 days before 26 June 2020 is 1 June 2020. The day after 1 June 2020 is 2 June 2020.|
|LOREG: Article 42.2||The election must take place within 54 days of the publication of the election call decree.||54 days after 2 June 2020 is 26 July 2020.|
- Article 68 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978
- Article 42.2 of the Organic Law of the General Election Regime of 1985
- "Constitución española, Sinopsis artículo 66" (in Spanish). congreso.es. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
- "Constitución de 1978" (in Spanish). boe.es. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "Ley Orgánica 5/1985, de 19 de junio, del Régimen Electoral General" (in Spanish). boe.es. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
- "ECOFIN ministers active the sanction procedure to Spain" (in Spanish). El País. 2016-07-12.
- "Spain moves to attack in Brussels and hardens corporate tax" (in Spanish). El País. 2016-07-12.
- "De Guindos promises Brussels a rise in corporate tax that he cannot apply" (in Spanish). 20 Minutos. 2016-07-12.
- "Rajoy pledged in his manifesto to lower the corporate tax that he will now raise to meet with deficit targets" (in Spanish). laSexta. 2016-07-13.
- "The electoral debacle leaves Sanchez against the ropes to his critics" (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. 2016-09-26.
- "PSOE plunges into its largest crisis after Sánchez refused to step down following the resignation of half the executive committee" (in Spanish). La Voz de Galicia. 2016-09-29.
- "Pedro Sánchez: Spanish Socialist leader resigns". BBC News. 2016-10-01.
- "Sánchez resigns, PSOE implodes" (in Spanish). El Periódico. 2016-10-01.
- "Spain's Socialists vote to allow Rajoy minority government". BBC News. 2016-10-23.
- "Rajoy podrá convocar elecciones a partir del 3 de mayo si ve inviable gobernar en minoría". Expansión (in Spanish). 2016-10-23.
- "Mariano Rajoy se presentará como candidato para liderar de nuevo el PP". lainformacion.com (in Spanish). 2016-11-21.
- "El nombre de Pablo Casado cobra fuerza ante el incierto futuro del PP". El Huffington Post (in Spanish). 2016-03-23.
- "Nueve aspirantes en la carrera por la sucesión de Mariano Rajoy". El Español (in Spanish). 2016-02-01.
- "Rajoy pedirá a Cospedal que deje la secretaría general del PP si aspira a ser la próxima presidenta". El Confidencial Digital (in Spanish). 2016-11-14.
- "De la Serna, ¿el nuevo delfín de Mariano?: Feijóo, el gran desplazado". vozpópuli (in Spanish). 2016-11-04.
- "Rajoy prevé asistir este sábado a la toma de posesión de Feijóo en Santiago". Europa Press (in Spanish). 2016-10-11.
- "Feijóo es investido como presidente de la Xunta de Galicia por tercera vez". El Español (in Spanish). 2016-11-10.
- "Sáenz de Santamaría, vicepresidenta y enlace con Catalunya". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 2016-11-03.
- "El Plan 2019 de Colau: se da tres años para desbancar a Pablo Iglesias". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 2016-11-07.
- "Íñigo Errejón no se rinde e insiste en dar batalla a Pablo Iglesias". El Mundo (in Spanish). 2016-11-13.
- "Alberto Garzón quiere "superar IU en un nuevo espacio político lo antes posible"". El País (in Spanish). 2016-11-21.
- "Iglesias se proclama líder de la oposición y defiende un Podemos "militante"". infoLibre (in Spanish). 2016-10-07.
- "Pablo Iglesias presentará su candidatura en 2017 para seguir liderando Podemos". 20minutos (in Spanish). 2016-10-09.
- "Inés Arrimadas, la alumna aventajada de Ciudadanos: "Es un bendito problema que me comparen con Rivera"". ABC (in Spanish). 2016-05-23.
- "Punset baraja ya presentar una candidatura alternativa a Rivera". El Mundo (in Spanish). 2016-11-17.
- "Carolina Punset condiciona su candidatura alternativa a Albert Rivera a que haya "juego limpio"". ABC (in Spanish). 2016-11-17.
- "Rivera se presentará a la reelección como líder de Ciudadanos". El Español (in Spanish). 2016-11-07.
- "Ciudadanos se enfrenta a su congreso de madurez". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 2016-11-16.
- "Spanish Constitution of 1978; Title III. Of the General Courts, Chapter I. Of the Chambers.". congreso.es. Retrieved 2013-02-09.
- "Organic Law 5/1985, of June 19, of the General Electoral System; Title I. Chapter V. General requirements of the calling of elections.". noticias.juridicas.com. Retrieved 2013-08-11.