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 Increase4.4%
Turnout 23,339,490 (68.7%)
Decrease8.7 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 PSOE CiU
Leader since 4 September 1989 21 June 1997 2000
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 Increase27 Decrease16 Decrease1
Popular vote 10,321,178 7,918,752 970,421
Percentage 44.5% 34.2% 4.2%
Swing Increase5.7 pp Decrease3.4 pp Decrease0.4 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%[a] 5 seats, 1.3% 4 seats, 0.9%
Seats won 8 7 4
Seat change Decrease11 Increase2 ±0
Popular vote 1,263,043 353,953 248,261
Percentage 5.4% 1.5% 1.1%
Swing Decrease3.9 pp Increase0.2 pp Increase0.2 pp

SpainElectionMapG2000.PNG

Most voted party by autonomous community and province.

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.

Overview[edit]

Electoral system[edit]

The Spanish legislature, the Cortes Generales (Spanish for General Courts), was composed of two chambers at the time of the 2000 election:

This bicameral system was regarded as asymmetric, as while legislative initiative belonged to both chambers—as well as to the Government—the Congress had greater legislative power than the Senate, and it could override most of the Senate initiatives by an absolute majority of votes. Furthermore, only Congress had the ability to grant or revoke confidence from a Prime Minister. Nonetheless, the Senate possessed a few exclusive, yet limited in number functions which were not subject to the Congress' override.[1]

Settled customary practice had been to dissolve and hold elections for both chambers at the same time, thus triggering a "general" election. Article 115 of the Spanish Constitution allowed, however, for each chamber to be elected separately. The electoral system in Spain was on the basis of universal suffrage in a secret ballot.

Congress of Deputies

For the Congress of Deputies, 348 members were elected in 50 multi-member districts using the D'Hondt method and closed-list proportional representation for four-year terms. In addition, Ceuta and Melilla elected one member each using plurality voting. Each district was entitled to an initial minimum of two seats, with the remaining 248 seats being allocated among the 50 provinces in proportion to their populations. Only lists polling above 3% of the total vote in each district (which included blank ballots—for none of the above) were entitled to enter the seat distribution. However, in most districts there was a higher effective threshold at the constituency level, depending on the district magnitude.[2]

For the 2000 election, seats were distributed as follows:

Seat distribution for the 2000 election[3]
Seats Districts
34 × 1 = 34 Madrid
31 × 1 = 31 Barcelona
16 × 1 = 16 Valencia
13 × 1 = 13 Seville
11 × 1 = 11 Alicante
10 × 1 = 10 Málaga
9 × 5 = 45 A Coruña, Asturias, Biscay, Cádiz and Murcia
8 × 1 = 8 Pontevedra
7 × 6 = 42 Balearic Islands, Córdoba, Granada, Las Palmas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Zaragoza
6 × 4 = 24 Badajoz, Gipuzkoa, Jaén, Tarragona
5 × 11 = 55 Almería, Cáceres, Cantabria, Castellón, Ciudad Real, Girona, Huelva, León, Navarre,
Toledo and Valladolid
4 × 8 = 32 Álava, Albacete, Burgos, Lleida, Lugo, Ourense, La Rioja and Salamanca
3 × 9 = 27 Ávila, Cuenca, Guadalajara, Huesca, Palencia, Segovia, Soria, Teruel and Zamora
1 × 2 = 2 Ceuta and Melilla
= 350 Total seats
Senate

For the Senate, each of the 47 peninsular districts (the provinces) was assigned four seats. For the insular provinces, the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, districts were the islands themselves, with the larger—Mallorca, Gran Canaria, and Tenerife—being assigned three seats each, and the smaller—Menorca, Ibiza-Formentera, Fuerteventura, Gomera, Hierro, Lanzarote and La Palma—one each. Ceuta and Melilla were assigned two seats each, for a total of 208 directly elected seats. The system used was that of limited voting. 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. Electors voted for individual candidates; those attaining the largest number of votes in each district were elected for four-year terms.

In addition, the legislative assemblies of the autonomous communities were entitled to appoint at least one senator each, and one senator for every million inhabitants, adding a variable number of appointed seats to the 208 directly elected senators.[4] This appointment usually did not take place at the same time as the general election, but after the autonomous communities held their respective elections.

Eligibility[edit]

Dual membership of both chambers of the Cortes or of the Cortes and regional assemblies was prohibited, meaning that candidates had to resign from regional assemblies if elected. Active judges, magistrates, ombudsmen, serving military personnel, active police officers and members of constitutional and electoral tribunals were also ineligible,[5] as well as CEOs or equivalent leaders of state monopolies and public bodies, such as the Spanish state broadcaster RTVE.[6]

Parties and coalitions of different parties which had registered with the Electoral Commission could present lists of candidates. Groups of electors which had not registered with the Commission could also present lists, provided that they obtained the signatures of 1% of registered electors in a particular district.[6]

Opinion polls[edit]

Results[edit]

Congress of Deputies[edit]

Overall[edit]

Summary of the 12 March 2000 Spanish Congress of Deputies election results
Spanish Congress of Deputies election, 2000 results.svg
Party Popular vote Seats
Votes  % ±pp Won +/−
People's Party (PP) 10,321,178 44.52 +5.73 183 +27
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party–Progressives (PSOE) 7,918,752 34.16 –3.47 125 –16
United Left (IU)[a] 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)[b] 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) 70,906 0.31 +0.06 0 ±0
Valencian Nationalist Bloc–The Greens–Valencians for Change (BNV–EV)[c] 58,551 0.25 +0.14 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
Socialist Party of Majorca–Nationalist Agreement (PSM–EN) 23,482 0.10 ±0.00 0 ±0
The Greens Ecopacifists (LVE) 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: Ministry of the Interior
  1. ^ a b United Left results are compared to IU totals in the 1996 election, excluding Catalonia results.
  2. ^ IC–V results are compared to Initiative for Catalonia–The Greens totals in Catalonia in the 1996 election.
  3. ^ BNV–EV results are compared to Valencian People's Union totals in the 1996 election.
  4. ^ Euskal Herritarrok results are compared to Herri Batasuna totals in the 1996 election.
Vote share
PP
  
44.52%
PSOE
  
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%
Parliamentary seats
PP
  
52.29%
PSOE
  
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%

Results by district[edit]

Senate[edit]

Summary of the 12 March 2000 Spanish Senate election results
Spanish Senate election, 2000 results.svg
Party Vote Seats
Votes  % +/− Won +/− Total +/−
People's Party (PP) 127 +15 150 +18
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party-Progressives (PSOE) 53 –20 69 –21
United Left (IU) 0 ±0 2 ±0
Catalan Agreement of Progress (PSC-ERC-ICV) 8 ±0 11 ±0
Convergence and Union (CiU) 8 ±0 11 ±0
Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ/PNV) 6 +2 8 +2
Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) 0 ±0 1 +1
Canarian Coalition-Independent Herrenian Group (CC-AHI) 5 +4 6 +4
Ibiza and Formentera (PSOE-EU-PSMEN-ERC-EVIB) 0 –1 0 –1
Independent Party of Lanzarote (PIL) 1 ±0 1 ±0
Others 0 ±0 0 –3
Blank ballots 642,682 2.82 +0.85
Total 22,799,475 100.00 208 ±0 259 ±0
Valid votes 22,799,475 97.51 +0.10
Invalid votes 583,192 2.49 –0.10
Votes cast / turnout 23,382,667 68.83 –8.50
Abstentions 10,586,973 31.17 +8.50
Registered voters 33,969,640
Source(s):
Parliamentary seats
PP
  
57.92%
PSOE
  
26.64%
PSC-ERC-ICV
  
4.25%
CiU
  
4.25%
EAJ/PNV
  
3.09%
CC-AHI
  
2.32%
IU
  
0.77%
PIL
  
0.39%
BNG
  
0.39%

The Spanish Senate at the time of the 2000 election was composed by 208 directly-elected seats and 51 seats appointed by the regional parliaments of the autonomous communities when a new Parliament resulting from a regional election convenes. The appointment process of these seats depended on the political composition of those regional assemblies, and as such, it could change each time regional elections were held.

Post-election[edit]

Investiture vote[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.[7]

References[edit]