Spanish general election, 2000
All 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies and 208 (of 259) seats in the Senate
176 seats needed for a majority in the Congress of Deputies
Constituency results map for the Congress of Deputies
The 2000 Spanish general election was held on Sunday, 12 March 2000, to elect the 7th Cortes Generales of the Kingdom of Spain. All 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies were up for election, as well as 208 of 259 seats in the Senate.
While most opinion polls gave him a clear victory, the incumbent People's Party of Prime Minister José María Aznar was elected to a second term in office with a surprising absolute majority of 183: a 27-seat gain from the previous election: a rise from opinion polls which gave him a plurality victory only. The opposition Spanish Socialist Workers' Party saw their number of seats reduced to 125, one of its worst results ever. While neither one of its worst defeats since Spanish transition to democracy (it lost more seats in the 1986 election, losing 18; and a similar number of seats were lost in 1996, with 16) nor the party's worst electoral result ever since (winning 118 and 121 seats in 1977 and 1979, respectively) the party's result in these elections quickly became known as Almunia's defeat, a psychological barrier for the PSOE in future elections; a result which would be vastly exceeded 11 years later.
This election featured some notable aspects. This was the first absolute majority the PP obtained in a general election, and its best result in both popular vote share and seats won until 2011. In contrast, the PSOE got its worst election result in 21 years. This was also the second time a candidate received more than 10 million votes, the last time being in 1982, when 10.1 million voters elected Felipe González from the PSOE. The voters' turnout registered was one of the lowest in democratic Spain for Spanish election standards (which tend to be usually high), with only 68.71% of the voting-able population casting a vote.
The Spanish Cortes Generales were envisaged as an imperfect bicameral system. The Congress of Deputies had greater legislative power than the Senate, having the ability to vote confidence in or withdraw it from a Prime Minister and to override Senate vetoes by an absolute majority of votes. Nonetheless, the Senate possessed a few exclusive, yet limited in number functions—such as its role in constitutional amendment—which were not subject to the Congress' override. Voting for the Cortes Generales was on the basis of universal suffrage, which comprised all nationals over eighteen and in full enjoyment of their political rights.
For the Congress of Deputies, 348 seats were elected using the D'Hondt method and a closed list proportional representation, with a threshold of 3 percent 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, depending on the district magnitude. Seats were allocated to constituencies, corresponding to the provinces of Spain. Each constituency was entitled to an initial minimum of two seats, with the remaining 248 allocated among the constituencies in proportion to their populations. Ceuta and Melilla were allocated the two remaining seats, which were elected using plurality voting.
For the Senate, 208 seats were elected using an open list partial block voting, with electors voting for individual candidates instead of parties. In constituencies electing four seats, electors could 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 districts. Each of the 47 peninsular provinces was allocated four seats, whereas for insular provinces, such as the Balearic and Canary Islands, districts were 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 elected two seats each. Additionally, autonomous communities could appoint at least one senator each and were entitled to one additional senator per each million inhabitants.
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 the signature of at least 1 percent of the electors registered in the constituency for which they sought 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.
The term of each House of the Cortes Generales—the Congress and the Senate—expired four years from the date of their previous election, unless they were dissolved earlier. The election Decree was required to be issued no later than the twenty-fifth day prior to the date of expiry of the Cortes in the event that the Prime Minister did not make use of his prerogative of early dissolution. The Decree was to be published on the following day in the Official State Gazette, with election day taking place on the fifty-fourth day from publication. The previous election was held on 3 March 1996, which meant that the legislature's term would expire on 3 March 2000. The election Decree was required to be published no later than 8 February 2000, with the election taking place on the fifty-fourth day from publication, setting the latest possible election date for the Cortes Generales on Sunday, 2 April 2000.
The Prime Minister had the prerogative to dissolve both Houses at any given time—either jointly or separately—and call a snap election, provided that no motion of no confidence was in process, no state of emergency was in force and that dissolution did not occur before one year had elapsed since the previous one. Additionally, both Houses were to be dissolved and a new election called if an investiture process failed to elect a Prime Minister within a two-month period from the first ballot. Barred this exception, there was no constitutional requirement for simultaneous elections for the Congress and the Senate, there being no precedent of separate elections and with governments having long preferred that elections for the two Houses take place simultaneously.
Parties and leaders
Below is a list of the main parties and coalitions which contested the election:
Congress of Deputies
|Parties and coalitions||Popular vote||Seats|
|People's Party (PP)||10,321,178||44.52||+5.73||183||+27|
|Spanish Socialist Workers' Party–Progressives (PSOE–p)||7,918,752||34.16||–3.47||125||–16|
|United Left (IU)1||1,263,043||5.45||–3.90||8||–11|
|Convergence and Union (CiU)||970,421||4.19||–0.41||15||–1|
|Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ/PNV)||353,953||1.53||+0.26||7||+2|
|Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG)||306,268||1.32||+0.44||3||+1|
|Canarian Coalition (CC)||248,261||1.07||+0.19||4||±0|
|Andalusian Party (PA)||206,255||0.89||+0.35||1||+1|
|Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC)||194,715||0.84||+0.17||1||±0|
|Initiative for Catalonia–Greens (IC–V)2||119,290||0.51||–0.68||1||–1|
|Basque Solidarity (EA)||100,742||0.43||–0.03||1||±0|
|Aragonese Union (CHA)||75,356||0.33||+0.13||1||+1|
|Liberal Independent Group (GIL)||72,162||0.31||New||0||±0|
|The Greens (LV)3||70,906||0.31||+0.15||0||±0|
|Valencian Nationalist Bloc–The Greens–Valencians for Change (BNV–EV)4||58,551||0.25||+0.06||0||±0|
|Valencian Union (UV)||57,830||0.25||–0.12||0||–1|
|Leonese People's Union (UPL)||41,690||0.18||+0.13||0||±0|
|Aragonese Party (PAR)||38,883||0.17||New||0||±0|
|Centrist Union–Democratic and Social Centre (UC–CDS)||23,576||0.10||–0.08||0||±0|
|PSM–Nationalist Agreement (PSM–EN)||23,482||0.10||±0.00||0||±0|
|The Eco-pacifist Greens (LVEP)||22,220||0.10||New||0||±0|
|Parties with less than 0.1% of the vote||326,917||1.41||—||0||–2|
|The Greens of the Community of Madrid (LVCM)||21,087||0.09||+0.06||0||±0|
|The Greens–Green Group (LV–GV)||20,618||0.09||+0.02||0||±0|
|Humanist Party (PH)||19,683||0.08||+0.03||0||±0|
|Commoners' Land–Castilian Nationalist Party (TC–PNC)||18,290||0.08||+0.06||0||±0|
|Natural Law Party (PLN)||17,372||0.07||New||0||±0|
|The Phalanx (FE)||14,431||0.06||New||0||±0|
|Asturian Renewal Union (URAS)||13,360||0.06||New||0||±0|
|Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE)||12,898||0.06||±0.00||0||±0|
|Internationalist Socialist Workers' Party (POSI)||12,208||0.05||+0.04||0||±0|
|The Greens–Green Alternative (EV–AV)||11,579||0.05||New||0||±0|
|Party of Independents from Lanzarote (PIL)||10,323||0.04||New||0||±0|
|Spain 2000 Platform (ES2000)||9,562||0.04||New||0||±0|
|Spanish Democratic Party (PADE)||9,136||0.04||New||0||±0|
|Convergence of Democrats of Navarre (CDN)||8,646||0.04||–0.03||0||±0|
|Majorcan Union–Independents of Menorca (UM–INME)||8,372||0.04||+0.01||0||±0|
|Andalusian Left (IA)||8,175||0.04||New||0||±0|
|Independent Spanish Phalanx–Phalanx 2000 (FEI–FE 2000)||6,621||0.03||+0.02||0||±0|
|Localist Bloc of Melilla (BLM)||6,514||0.03||New||0||±0|
|Riojan Party (PR)||6,155||0.03||+0.01||0||±0|
|Asturianist Party (PAS)||5,876||0.03||–0.02||0||±0|
|Regionalist Unity of Castile and León (URCL)||5,683||0.02||±0.00||0||±0|
|United Extremadura (EU)||4,771||0.02||New||0||±0|
|Party of Self-employed and Professionals (AUTONOMO)||4,218||0.02||New||0||±0|
|Independent Candidacy–The Party of Castile and León (CI–PCL)||4,184||0.02||New||0||±0|
|Catalan State (EC)||3,356||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Andalusian Nation (NA)||3,262||0.01||±0.00||0||±0|
|Galician Democracy (DG)||2,958||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Republican Action (AR)||2,858||0.01||+0.01||0||±0|
|Party of the Democratic Karma (PKD)||2,759||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Andalusia Assembly (A)||2,727||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Party of Self-employed, Retirees and Independents (EL–PAPI)||2,713||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Extremaduran Coalition (PREx–CREx)||2,371||0.01||–0.02||0||±0|
|Galician Coalition (CG)||2,361||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Zamoran People's Union (UPZ)||2,347||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Galician People's Front (FPG)||2,252||0.01||±0.00||0||±0|
|Carlist Party (PC)||2,131||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Regionalist Party of the Leonese Country (PREPAL)||2,118||0.01||±0.00||0||±0|
|Cantabrian Nationalist Council (CNC)||2,103||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Andecha Astur (AA)||2,036||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Self-employed Spanish Party (PEDA)||1,904||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Internationalist Struggle (LI (LIT–CI))||1,716||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Party Association of Widows and Legal Wives (PAVIEL)||1,690||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Republican Left–Left Republican Party (IR–PRE)||1,541||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Party of Self-employed, Retirees and Widows (PAE)||1,462||0.01||+0.01||0||±0|
|Independent Salamancan Union (USI)||1,416||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Independent Socialists of Extremadura (SIEx)||1,412||0.01||±0.00||0||±0|
|Madrilenian Independent Regional Party (PRIM)||1,363||0.01||±0.00||0||±0|
|Caló Nationalist Party (PNCA)||1,331||0.01||New||0||±0|
|Party of El Bierzo (PB)||1,191||0.01||+0.01||0||±0|
|Asturian Left Bloc (BIA)||1,085||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Aragonese Initiative (INAR)||1,057||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Progressives of Canaries Unity (UP–CAN)||980||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Valencian Nationalist Left (ENV)||920||0.00||±0.00||0||±0|
|Almerian Regionalist Union (URAL)||838||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Socialist Party of the People of Ceuta (PSPC)||788||0.00||–0.01||0||±0|
|European Nation State (N)||710||0.00||±0.00||0||±0|
|Liberal and Social Democratic Coalition (CSD–L)||650||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Citizens Convergence of the South-East (CCSE)||645||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Federal Progressives (PF)||609||0.00||New||0||±0|
|New Region (NR)||598||0.00||–0.01||0||±0|
|Christian Positivist Party (PPCr)||546||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Balearic People's Union (UPB)||524||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Voice of the Andalusian People (VDPA)||493||0.00||±0.00||0||±0|
|Independent Initiative (II)||425||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Regionalist Party of Guadalajara (PRGU)||400||0.00||±0.00||0||±0|
|Iberian Union (UNIB)||388||0.00||New||0||±0|
|New Force (FN)||343||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Social and Autonomist Liberal Group (ALAS)||339||0.00||±0.00||0||±0|
|Balearic Islands Renewal Party (PRIB)||334||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Pensionist Assembly of the Canaries (TPC)||319||0.00||New||0||±0|
|National Union (UN)||314||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Movement for Humanist Socialism (MASH)||121||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Democratic Party of the People (PDEP)||85||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Nationalist Aprome (Aprome)||60||0.00||New||0||±0|
|Basque Citizens (EH)5||0||0.00||–0.72||0||–2|
|Votes cast / turnout||23,339,490||68.71||–8.67|
José María Aznar (PP)
|Ballot →||26 April 2000|
|Required majority →||176 out of 350|
202 / 350
148 / 350
0 / 350
0 / 350
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- Spanish Constitution of 1978, 29 December 1978 Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved on 27 December 2016.
- "Constitución española, Sinopsis artículo 66". congreso.es (in Spanish). Congress of Deputies. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- Carreras et al. 1989, pp. 1077.
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