1931 Spanish local elections

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The 1931 Spanish local elections were held on 12 April throughout all Spain municipalities to elect 80,472 councillors. These elections were perceived as a plebiscite on the monarchy of Alfonso XIII. The Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed after this election.

Background[edit]

Since 1923, Spain had been a dictatorship with the approval of the king Alfonso XIII. After the end of the Primo de Rivera dictatorship in 1930 and the failure of his successor to establish another dictatorship, in 1931 the new cabinet appointed by the king decided to hold new local elections for first time in nine years. Although they were local elections, they were perceived as a plebiscite on the Spanish monarchy.

Electoral system[edit]

The number of seats of each council was determined by the population count. According to the 1877 municipal law, the population-seat relationship on each municipality was to be established on the following scale:[1]

Population Seats Population Seats Population Seats
<500 6 16,001–18,000 21 55,001–60,000 36
501–800 7 18,001–20,000 22 60,001–65,000 37
801–1,000 8 20,001–22,000 23 65,001–70,000 38
1,001–2,000 9 22,001–24,000 24 70,001–75,000 39
2,001–3,000 10 24,001–26,000 25 75,001–80,000 40
3,001–4,000 11 26,001–28,000 26 80,001–85,000 41
4,001–5,000 12 28,001–30,000 27 85,001–90,000 42
5,001–6,000 13 30,001–32,000 28 90,001–95,000 43
6,001–7,000 14 32,001–34,000 29 95,001–100,000 44
7,001–8,000 15 34,001–36,000 30 100,001–120,000 45
8,001–9,000 16 36,001–38,000 31 120,001–140,000 46
9,001–10,000 17 38,001–40,000 32 140,001–160,000 47
10,001–12,000 18 40,001–45,000 33 160,001–180,000 48
12,001–14,000 19 45,001–50,000 34 180,001–200,000 49
14,001–16,000 20 50,001–55,000 35 >200,001 50

The 1907 election law established that councillors should be elected in districts consisting of 4 members, although 3 to 7 member districts were also allowed. Voters had to choose multiple candidates using limited voting, which allows a voter to vote for fewer candidates than members have to be elected. Candidates winning a plurality of votes in each district were elected. If the number of candidates was equal or fewer than the number of seats to be filled, candidates were automatically proclaimed without an election. Voting was compulsory and on the basis of universal manhood suffrage, with males over twenty-five and at least a two-year residency in a municipality required to vote. Mayors were elected indirectly by the city or town council on the first session after the election.[1][2]

Results[edit]

Overall results[edit]

Winners in number of seats by province and province capital. Republicans + Socialists + Communists:
  <50%
  >50%
Monarchists:
  <50%
  >50%
Other:
  <50%
  >50%

The results shown were extracted from the 1931 Spanish Statistical Annuary.[3]

Candidates Seats
Total seats Automatically
proclaimed
Elected
# % # % # %
Republicans 34,368 42.71 13,940 46.77 20,428 40.32
Socialists 4,813 5.98 887 2.98 3,926 7.75
Communists 67 0.08 10 0.03 57 0.11
Monarchists 19,035 23.65 6,065 20.35 12,970 25.60
Other 15,198 18.89 6,043 20.28 9,155 18.07
Unknown 6,991 8.69 2,859 9.59 4,132 8.16
Total 80,472 100.00 29,804 100.00 50,668 100.00

Results show a win of the Republicans by a large margin in Asturias, Aragon and Catalonia. Monarchists got their best results in the Balearic Islands, Andalusia and Extremadura.

The republicans had a majority in more than 4/5 of the provincial capitals. In the city of Barcelona, the largest city by that time, they achieved more than the 75% of the seats.

These were the results in the province capitals plus Ceuta and Melilla:[4][5]

Municipality Seats Republicans Monarchists
Rep Soc Com Other Total Mon Other Total
A Coruña 39 33 1 34 5 5
Albacete 32 14 4 18 14 14
Alicante 39 15 14 29 10 10
Almería 35 24 4 28 7 7
Ávila 19 8 8 11 11
Badajoz 33 11 10 21 12 12
Barcelona 50 34 4 38 12 12
Bilbao 46 12 12 11 35 3 8 11
Burgos 30 10 4 14 16 16
Cáceres 24 14 14 10 10
Cádiz 40 0 40 40
Castelló de la Plana 30 24 2 26 4 4
Ceuta 35 16 10 26 9 9
Ciudad Real 24 4 12 16 8 8
Cuenca 21 6 5 11 10 10
Córdoba 44 19 8 27 17 17
Girona 23 12 3 15 3 5 8
Granada 45 17 18 35 6 4 10
Guadalajara 20 6 8 14 5 1 6
Huelva 33 13 10 23 2 8 10
Huesca 20 14 14 4 2 6
Jaén 32 11 11 22 10 10
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 39 8 8 16 20 3 23
León 26 11 7 18 7 1 8
Lleida 30 23 23 7 7
Logroño 28 17 3 20 8 8
Lugo 28 3 4 7 21 21
Madrid 50 16 15 31 18 1 19
Málaga 47 31 5 1 37 10 10
Melilla 32 19 9 28 4 4
Murcia 46 18 4 2 24 19 3 22
Ourense 23 6 4 3 13 10 10
Oviedo 40 27 27 13 13
Palencia 24 11 5 16 8 8
Palma 41 5 4 9 27 5 32
Pamplona 29 9 6 15 14 14
Pontevedra 27 7 2 2 5 16 9 2 11
Salamanca 31 14 5 19 12 12
San Sebastián 39 18 7 6 31 6 2 8
Santa Cruz de Tenerife 36 22 3 25 11 11
Santander 40 16 9 25 15 15
Segovia 21 8 3 11 10 10
Seville 50 25 8 33 17 17
Soria 17 7 1 8 7 2 9
Tarragona 28 17 2 19 4 5 9
Teruel 19 7 5 12 7 7
Toledo 25 12 5 17 3 5 8
Valencia 50 32 32 9 9 18
Valladolid 44 16 10 26 18 18
Vitoria 31 12 3 15 16 16
Zamora 22 7 7 1 15 5 2 7
Zaragoza 47 26 6 32 15 15
Total 1,724 767 290 20 11 1,088 468 168 636

Catalonia[edit]

Majority of seats in the judicial districts capitals:
  Monarchists
  Republicans
  No data
Largest party by judicial district capital:
  ERC
  PCR
  PRR
  PRDF
  Other republican
  LR
  Other monarchists
Candidates Seats
Total seats Automatically
proclaimed
Elected
# % # % # %
Republicans 6,001 68.42 2,782 71.65 3,219 65.86
Socialists 133 1.52 19 0.49 114 2.33
Communists 10 0.11 2 0.05 8 0.16
Regionalist League 1,773 20.21 759 19.55 1,014 20.74
Monarchists 399 4.55 120 3.09 279 5.71
Unknown 455 5.19 201 5.18 254 5.20
8,771 100.00 3,883 100.00 4,888 100.00

The results showed very favourable results for the republicans in Catalonia. They won every major city (cities over 10,000 and capitals of juditials districts) except for Igualada. In Berga, where they got tied with the monarchists in number of seats.[3]

In the most important cities, the results were as follows:[6]

Municipality Seats Republicans Monarchists
ERC PCR PRR PRDF Other Total LR Other Total
Arenys de Mar 13 13 13 0
Badalona 32 9 8 17 15 15
Balaguer 13 9 9 4 4
Barcelona 50 25 12 1 38 12 12
Berga 14 7 7 7 7
Cervera 10 4 2 6 2 2 4
El Vendrell 12 7 7 5 5
Falset 11 7 7 1 3 4
Figueres 20 12 6 1 19 1 1
Gandesa 11 7 7 4 4
Girona 23 11 4 15 5 3 8
Granollers 18 13 13 5 5
Igualada 18 8 8 10 10
La Bisbal d'Empordà 12 2 1 5 8 4 4
La Seu d'Urgell 11 7 7 4 4
Les Borges Blanques 12 8 8 4 4
L'Hospitalet de Llobregat 26 8 1 2 4 15 11 11
Lleida 30 16 5 1 22 8 8
Manresa 27 9 1 7 17 7 3 10
Mataró 26 6 6 5 17 9 9
Montblanc 12 8 8 4 4
Olot 18 11 11 1 6 7
Puigcerdà 10 7 7 3 3
Reus 29 11 5 5 21 8 8
Sabadell 33 3 1 5 13 22 11 11
Sant Feliu de Llobregat 13 9 4 13 0
Santa Coloma de Farners 12 8 8 3 1 4
Solsona 11 7 7 4 4
Tarragona 28 7 10 2 19 2 7 9
Terrassa 31 8 5 8 21 1 9 10
Tortosa 30 20 20 2 8 10
Tremp 10 7 1 8 2 2
Valls 12 8 2 10 2 2
Vic 19 9 2 11 7 1 8
Vilafranca del Penedès 21 3 4 12 1 20 1 1
Vilanova i la Geltrú 21 15 15 6 6

Aftermath[edit]

On 14 April, two days after the election, in the cities where the republicans won the election, large crowds of people celebrated the victory on the streets. In Eibar, Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid and other cities the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed. Eibar was the first city to fly the Spanish tricolor.

Alfonso XIII left Spain and exiled to Rome, without abdicating. A provisional government was formed and two months later general elections were called.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ley municipal" (PDF). Gaceta de Madrid. 1877.
  2. ^ "Ley electoral" (PDF). Gaceta de Madrid. 1907.
  3. ^ a b Anuario Estadístico de España (PDF). 1931. p. 482.
  4. ^ Anuario Estadístico de España (PDF). 1931. p. 483.
  5. ^ Hoyos y Vinent, José María de. Mi testimonio. Madrid: Afrodisio Aguado, 1962.
  6. ^ Soler Becerro, Raimon. Les eleccions municipals de 1934 a Catalunya. Apèndix 1: Les eleccions municipals de 1931.