2005 Spanish European Constitution referendum

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2005 Spanish European Constitution referendum
"Do you approve of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe?"
LocationSpain
Date20 February 2005
Results
Votes %
☑Y Yes 11,057,563 81.84%
☒N No 2,453,002 18.16%
Valid votes 13,510,565 93.23%
Invalid or blank votes 981,187 6.77%
Total votes 14,491,752 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 34,692,491 41.77%
National referendums on the
European Constitutional Treaty
Superseded by the Treaty of Lisbon (2007)
Front cover of an edition of the constitutional treaty published and distributed for free by the Spanish government

A consultative referendum on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe was held in Spain on Sunday, 20 February 2005.[1] The question asked was "Do you approve of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe?" (Spanish: ¿Aprueba usted el Tratado por el que se establece una Constitución para Europa?). The consultative referendum on ratification of the proposed Constitution for the European Union was approved by 81.8% of valid votes, although turnout was just 41.8%,[2][3][4] the lowest since the end of the Franco era.[5]

The referendum was not legally binding on the government, but paved the way for parliamentary ratification of the constitutional treaty, which happened in the Congress of Deputies on 28 April 2005, with a 319–19 result in favour of approval, and in the Spanish Senate on 18 May 2005 with a 225–6 result.

Campaign[edit]

Both the governing Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and the main opposition People's Party (PP) campaigned for a "Yes" vote. They were joined by the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ–PNV) and the Catalan nationalist Convergence and Union (CiU). Among the parties campaigning for a "No" vote were United Left (IU), the Bloque Nacionalista Galego (BNG, Galician National Block), Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), Initiative for Catalonia Greens (ICV), the social democratic Aragonese Council (CHA), the Basque nationalist social democratic Eusko Alkartasuna, and the Trade Unions Confederación Intersindical Galega (CIG) and CGT.

Amidst widespread apathy surrounding the constitutional treaty, and ignorance of its contents (in a government poll, 90% of voters admitted to having little or no knowledge of its provisions), the government hired celebrities to read excerpts from the text in daily television broadcasts, and five million copies (without annexes) were sent out with Sunday papers. While many felt that the result of the referendum was a foregone conclusion, it was feared that turnout could be as low as 40 to 50% of the electorate. This turned out to be the case.

In late January 2005, several bodies campaigning for a "No" vote complained to Spain's independent National Electoral Commission about the government's planned information campaign:

  • On 14 January, ERC demanded that the National Electoral Commission should block what it saw as unfair promotion of the treaty by the government.
  • On 19 January, the Tomás Moro Centre for Juridical Studies (CJSTM) and Another Democracy is Possible complained to the National Electoral Commission about what they saw as the unfair nature of the government’s campaign.

In response to these complaints, the Commission ruled that the government's campaign must be purely informative, and banned several of its campaign slogans:

The campaign to be carried out by the Government as part of the present referendum process must inform objectively on the contents of the Treaty… All value judgements and slogans previously used in TV, on websites and other media, e.g. 'We are first with Europe', and statements that could, direct or indirectly, influence the position or attitude of the citizens, must be removed.

Results[edit]

Overall[edit]

Question
Choice Votes %
Referendum passed Yes 11,057,563 81.84
No 2,453,002 18.16
Valid votes 13,510,565 93.23
Invalid or blank votes 981,187 6.77
Total votes 14,491,752 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 34,692,491 41.77
Source: Ministry of the Interior[6]

Results by region[edit]

Distribution of "Yes" votes by province.
Distribution of the turnout by province.
Region Electorate Turnout Yes No
Votes % Votes %
Andalusia 6,100,011 40.30 2,032,605 87.78 282,916 12.22
Aragon 1,018,912 44.67 365,452 86.39 57,583 13.61
Asturias 986,215 38.40 287,567 81.47 65,390 18.53
Balearic Islands 690,026 33.14 175,635 82.94 36,135 17.06
Basque Country 1,798,502 38.45 431,424 65.31 229,108 34.69
Canary Islands 1,473,346 36.53 461,153 89.82 52,266 10.18
Cantabria 481,183 44.55 168,613 84.65 30,573 15.35
Castile and León 2,177,491 48.62 851,707 86.69 130,813 13.31
Castilla–La Mancha 1,471,525 45.77 548,725 87.46 78,682 12.54
Catalonia 5,314,358 40.60 1,386,794 69.90 597,198 30.10
Ceuta 56,681 27.91 12,772 85.86 2,103 14.14
Extremadura 885,944 49.30 368,671 90.13 40,362 9.87
Galicia 2,617,092 41.14 876,289 87.54 124,745 12.46
La Rioja 235,859 48.83 94,443 87.34 13,695 12.66
Madrid 4,463,272 41.89 1,377,657 79.37 358,184 20.63
Melilla 13,005 26.36 10,940 87.61 1,547 12.39
Murcia 947,599 41.24 317,207 86.41 49,887 13.59
Navarre 467,355 41.23 125,191 69.39 55,233 30.61
Valencian Community 3,457,789 44.14 1,164,718 82.53 246,582 17.47
Total 34,692,491 41.77 11,057,563 81.84 2,453,002 18.16

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1817 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p1824
  3. ^ "Spain, 20 February 2005: Constitution of the European Union". sudd.ch (in German). Direct Democracy. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Referéndum consultivo en relación con la Constitución Europea". congreso.es (in Spanish). Congress of Deputies. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Spain's mixed EU signals". BBC News. 21 February 2005. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Electoral Results Consultation. Referendum. February 2005. National totals". infoelectoral.mir.es (in Spanish). Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved 1 September 2019.

External links[edit]