Spanish general election, 2000

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Spanish general election, 2000
Spain
← 1996 12 March 2000 2004 →

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
Opinion polls
Registered 33,969,640 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg4.4%
Turnout 23,339,490 (68.7%)
Red Arrow Down.svg8.7 pp
  First party Second party Third party
  José María Aznar 2002c (cropped).jpg Joaquin Almunia 2002 (cropped).jpg Xavier Trias 2014b (cropped).jpg
Leader José María Aznar Joaquín Almunia Xavier Trias
Party PP PSOEp CiU
Leader since 4 September 1989 21 June 1997 20 August 1999
Leader's seat Madrid Madrid Barcelona
Last election 156 seats, 38.8% 141 seats, 37.6% 16 seats, 4.6%
Seats won 183 125 15
Seat change Green Arrow Up Darker.svg27 Red Arrow Down.svg16 Red Arrow Down.svg1
Popular vote 10,321,178 7,918,752 970,421
Percentage 44.5% 34.2% 4.2%
Swing Green Arrow Up Darker.svg5.7 pp Red Arrow Down.svg3.4 pp Red Arrow Down.svg0.4 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Francisco Frutos 2005 (cropped).jpg 2007 02 Inaki Anasagasti-2.jpg Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg
Leader Francisco Frutos Iñaki Anasagasti José Carlos Mauricio
Party IU EAJ/PNV CC
Leader since 7 December 1998 1986 1996
Leader's seat Madrid Biscay Las Palmas
Last election 19 seats, 9.4% 5 seats, 1.3% 4 seats, 0.9%
Seats won 8 7 4
Seat change Red Arrow Down.svg11 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg2 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0
Popular vote 1,263,043 353,953 248,261
Percentage 5.4% 1.5% 1.1%
Swing Red Arrow Down.svg3.9 pp Green Arrow Up Darker.svg0.2 pp Green Arrow Up Darker.svg0.2 pp

SpainProvinceMapCongress2000.png
Constituency results map for the Congress of Deputies

Prime Minister before election

José María Aznar
PP

Elected Prime Minister

José María Aznar
PP

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.

Electoral system[edit]

The Spanish Cortes Generales were regarded as an imperfect bicameral system. The Congress of Deputies had greater legislative power than the Senate, having the ability to grant or revoke confidence 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.[1]

For the Congress of Deputies, 348 seats were allocated to 50 multi-member districts—each corresponding to a province—, elected using the D'Hondt method and a closed list proportional representation. Ceuta and Melilla elected one member each using plurality voting, for a total of 350 seats. Each district was entitled to an initial minimum of two seats, with the remaining 248 allocated among the 50 provinces in proportion to their populations. A threshold of 3% of valid votes—which included blank ballots—was applied in each constituency, with parties not reaching the threshold not taken into consideration for seat distribution.

For the Senate, each of the 47 peninsular constituencies was allocated four seats. For insular provinces, such as the Balearic and the 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, for a total of 208 directly elected seats, using an open list partial block voting. Instead of voting for parties, electors would vote for individual candidates. In districts 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 constituencies. Additionally, autonomous communities could appoint at least one senator each and were entitled to one additional seat per each million inhabitants.

Voting was 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 were eligible for both the Congress and the Senate. Groups of electors were required to obtain the signatures of at least 1% of registered electors in a particular district in order to be able to field candidates.

The Prime Minister had the ability to dissolve the chambers at any given time—either jointly or separately—and call a snap election; otherwise, elected deputies and senators served for four year terms, starting from election day. Additionally, both chambers were to be automatically dissolved in the event of unsuccessful investiture attempts failing to elect a Prime Minister within a two month-period from the first ballot, triggering a snap election likewise.[2][3]

Opinion polls[edit]

OpinionPollingSpainGeneralElection2000.png

Results[edit]

Congress of Deputies[edit]

Most voted party by autonomous communities and provinces.
Summary of the 12 March 2000 Congress of Deputies election results
SpainCongressDiagram2000.svg
Party Popular vote Seats
Votes  % ±pp Won +/−
People's Party (PP) 10,321,178 44.52 +5.73 183 +27
Spanish Socialist Workers' PartyProgressives (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
Independent Liberal Group (GIL) 72,162 0.31 New 0 ±0
The Greens (LV)3 70,906 0.31 +0.15 0 ±0
Valencian Nationalist BlocThe 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
Blank ballots 366,823 1.58 +0.61
Total 23,181,290 100.00 350 ±0
Valid votes 23,181,290 99.32 –0.18
Invalid votes 158,200 0.68 +0.18
Votes cast / turnout 23,339,490 68.71 –8.67
Abstentions 10,630,150 31.29 +8.67
Registered voters 33,969,640
Source(s): Ministry of the Interior, Historia Electoral
Popular vote
PP
  
44.52%
PSOEp
  
34.16%
IU
  
5.45%
CiU
  
4.19%
EAJ/PNV
  
1.53%
BNG
  
1.32%
CC
  
1.07%
PA
  
0.89%
ERC
  
0.84%
IC–V
  
0.51%
EA
  
0.43%
CHA
  
0.33%
Others
  
3.18%
Blank ballots
  
1.58%
Seats
PP
  
52.29%
PSOEp
  
35.71%
CiU
  
4.29%
IU
  
2.29%
EAJ/PNV
  
2.00%
CC
  
1.14%
BNG
  
0.89%
PA
  
0.29%
ERC
  
0.29%
IC–V
  
0.29%
EA
  
0.29%
CHA
  
0.29%

Senate[edit]

Summary of the 12 March 2000 Senate of Spain election results
SpainSenateDiagram2000.svg
Party Seats
Won +/− Not up Total seats
People's Party (PP) 127 +15 23 150
Spanish Socialist Workers' PartyProgressives (PSOE–p)[a] 53 –20 16 69
United Left (IU) 0 ±0 2 2
Catalan Agreement of Progress (PSCERCICV)[b][c] 8 ±0 3 11
Convergence and Union (CiU) 8 ±0 3 11
Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ/PNV) 6 +2 2 8
Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) 0 ±0 1 1
Canarian Coalition (CC) 5 +4 1 6
Party of Independents from Lanzarote (PIL) 1 ±0 1
Ibiza and Formentera in the Senate (PSOEEUPSMENERCEVIB) 0 –1 0
Total 208 ±0 51 259
Source(s): Ministry of the Interior, Historia Electoral
  1. ^ Spanish Socialist Workers' Party–Progressives results are compared to PSOE totals in the 1996 election, excluding PSC results.
  2. ^ Alliance of PSC (7 elected seats), ERC (1 elected seat) and ICV.
  3. ^ Catalan Agreement of Progress results are compared to PSC totals in the 1996 election (8 elected seats).
Seats
PP
  
57.92%
PSOEp
  
26.64%
PSC–ERC–ICV
  
4.25%
CiU
  
4.25%
EAJ/PNV
  
3.09%
CC
  
2.32%
IU
  
0.77%
BNG
  
0.39%
PIL
  
0.39%

Aftermath[edit]

Investiture[edit]

First round: 26 April 2000
Absolute majority (176/350) required
Candidate: José María Aznar
Choice Vote
Parties Votes
YesYYes PP (183), CiU (15), CC (4)
202 / 350
No PSOE (125), IU (8), PNV (7), BNG (3), PA (1), ERC (1), ICV (1), EA (1),
CHA (1)
148 / 350
Abstentions
0 / 350
Source: Historia Electoral

On April 26, José María Aznar was invested Prime Minister for a second term by the Congress of Deputies, thanks to the absolute majority of his party. Also supporting Aznar were CiU and Canarian Coalition. To date, this is the only investiture voting in which all 350 deputies voted either Yes or No, without abstentions or absences.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Constitución española, Sinopsis artículo 66" (in Spanish). congreso.es. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  2. ^ Spanish Constitution of 1978, December 29, 1978 Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved on 27 December 2016.
  3. ^ General Electoral System Organic Law of 1985, Organic Law No. 5 of June 19, 1985 Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved on 28 December 2016.
  4. ^ Votaciones de investidura, mociones de confianza, mociones de censura desde 1979 - Historia Electoral