Spanish constitutional referendum, 1978

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A constitutional referendum was held in Spain on 6 December 1978 to decide on the adoption of a new constitution. The result was overwhelming support for the new constitution, with 91.8% voting in favour.[1] Voter turnout was 67.1%.


The new constitution was intended to replace the many constitutional laws of the Franco era, the Fundamental Laws of the Realm, and turn Spain into a constitutional monarchy by removing many of the King's powers. The feat of creating a democratic system without breaking the structures of power of the state was made possible by the approval of the Political Reform Act of 1977, passed by the Francoist Cortes as the last Fundamental Law. It had been drafted by Torcuato Fernández Miranda, then President of the Cortes, and supported by Prime Minister Adolfo Suárez and King Juan Carlos. The law provided for the legalization of political parties and a democratic election to Constituent Cortes, a committee of which then drafted the Constitution.[2]


Spanish Constitution Bill of 1978
Do you approve of the Constitution Bill?
Choice Votes  %
Referendum passed Yes 15,706,078 91.81
No 1,400,505 8.19
Valid votes 17,106,583 95.71
Invalid or blank votes 766,688 4.29
Total votes 17,873,271 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 26,632,180 67.11
Source: Ministerio del Interior de España


  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1824 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ 1978: Spain set to vote for democracy BBC News