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Spanish general election, 2004

 

Spanish general election, 2004

Spanish general election, 2004

14 March 2004

All 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies and 208 (of the 259) seats in the Senate
176 seats needed for a majority in the Congress of Deputies
Opinion polls
Registered 34,571,831 1.8%
Turnout 26,155,436 (75.7%)
7.0 pp
  First party Second party Third party
 
Leader José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero Mariano Rajoy Gaspar Llamazares
Party PSOE PP IU
Leader since 22 July 2000 2 September 2003 29 October 2000
Leader's seat Madrid Madrid Madrid
Last election 125 seats, 34.2% 183 seats, 44.5% 9 seats, 6.0%[1]
Seats won 164 148 5
Seat change 39 35 4
Popular vote 11,026,163 9,763,144 1,284,081
Percentage 42.6% 37.7% 5.0%
Swing 8.4 pp 6.8 pp 1.0 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
 
Leader Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira Josu Erkoreka
Party CiU ERC EAJ-PNV
Leader since 2004 2004 2004
Leader's seat Barcelona Barcelona Biscay
Last election 15 seats, 4.2% 1 seat, 0.8% 7 seats, 1.5%
Seats won 10 8 7
Seat change 5 7 ±0
Popular vote 835,471 652,196 420,980
Percentage 3.2% 2.5% 1.6%
Swing 1.0 pp 1.7 pp 0.1 pp

Most voted party in each autonomous community and province. Every province is a multi-member district for the Congress.

Prime Minister before election

José María Aznar
PP

Elected Prime Minister

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
PSOE

The 2004 Spanish general election was held on Sunday, 14 March 2004, to elect the 8th Cortes Generales of the Kingdom of Spain. At stake were all 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies and 208 of 259 seats in the Senate.

For the first time since the Spanish transition to democracy, none of the three main party leaders had previously led a general election campaign. The governing People's Party (PP) was led into the campaign by Mariano Rajoy, after outgoing Prime Minister José María Aznar had announced his intention not to seek a third term in office. The opposition Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) was led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, while Gaspar Llamazares stood as United Left (IU) candidate.

The electoral outcome was heavily influenced by the aftermath of the ETA was responsible for the bombings. However, it soon became evident that the bombings had not been authored according to ETA's modus operandi, and new evidence pointed out to an Islamist attack with possible links to al-Qaeda. The government was accused of hiding information so as to prevent linking the attack to Islamist groups, as it would have been seen by the Spanish public as a consequence of the PP government taking Spain into the unpopular Iraq War, weakening its chances to being re-elected in the incoming election. Large demonstrations were held across Spain and protests were organized in front of several PP party headquarters the day previous to the election.

In the event, the election result took many by surprise. The PP had been shown to lead all opinion polls conducted before March 11, although its lead over the PSOE had started to narrow as the campaign advanced. The PP government's handling of the 11-M bombings is thought to have accelerated this trend and to have caused a last-minute voter mobilization in favour of the PSOE as a form of protest against the PP. The Socialists ended up leading with an unexpected 5-point margin and a record 11 million votes, the most votes garnered by any party in a Spanish political election up until that date (and only surpassed by PSOE's result of 2008).

The day after the election, Zapatero announced his intention to form a minority PSOE government, without a coalition, saying in a radio interview: "the implicit mandate of the people is for us to form a minority government negotiating accords on each issue with other parliamentary groups". Two minor left-wing parties, Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and IU, immediately announced their intention to support Zapatero's government. On April 16, 2004, Zapatero got the approval of the outright majority of the new Congress, with 183 out of 350 members voting for him, and became the Prime Minister of Spain the next day.[1]

Contents

  • Overview 1
    • Electoral system 1.1
    • Eligibility 1.2
  • Opinion polls 2
  • Results 3
    • Congress of Deputies 3.1
      • Overall 3.1.1
      • Results by district 3.1.2
    • Senate 3.2
  • Post-election 4
    • Investiture voting 4.1
  • References 5
  • Notes 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8

Overview

Electoral system

Congress of Deputies

The 350 members of the Congress of Deputies were elected in 50 multi-member districts using the D'Hondt method and a closed-list proportional representation. Ceuta and Melilla elected 1 member each using plurality voting. Each district was entitled to an initial minimum of 2 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 includes blank ballots—for none of the above) were entitled to enter the seat distribution.

Senate

For the Senate, each of the 47 peninsular provinces was assigned 4 seats. For insular provinces, such as Baleares and Canarias, districts are the islands themselves, with the larger — Mallorca, Gran Canaria, and Tenerife — being assigned 3 seats each, and the smaller — Menorca, Ibiza-Formentera, Fuerteventura, Gomera, Hierro, Lanzarote and La Palma — 1 each. Ceuta and Melilla were assigned 2 seats each, for a total of 208 directly elected seats. In districts electing 4 seats, electors could vote for up to 3 candidates; in those with 2 or 3 seats, for up to 2 candidates; and for 1 candidate in single member constituencies. Electors would vote for individual candidates: those attaining the largest number of votes in each district would be elected for a 4-year term of office.

In addition, the legislative assemblies of the autonomous communities are entitled to appoint at least 1 senator each, as well as 1 senator for every million inhabitants, adding up a variable number of appointed seats to the directly-elected 208 senators.[2] This appointment usually did not take place at the same time that the general election, but when the autonomous communities held their elections.

Eligibility

Dual membership of both chambers of the Cortes or of the Cortes and regional assemblies was prohibited. Active [5]

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.[4]

Opinion polls

15-day average trend line of poll results from March 2000 to March 2004, with each line corresponding to a political party.

Results

Congress of Deputies

Overall

Summary of the 14 March 2004 Spanish Congress of Deputies election results
Party Vote Seats
Votes % ±pp Won +/−
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 11,026,163 42.59 8.43 164 39
People's Party (PP) 9,763,144 37.71 6.81 148 35
United Left (IU)[1] 1,284,081 4.96 1.00 5 4
Convergence and Union (CiU) 835,471 3.23 0.96 10 5
Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) 652,196 2.52 1.68 8 7
Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV) 420,980 1.63 0.10 7 ±0
Canarian Coalition (CC) 235,221 0.91 0.16 3 1
Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) 208,688 0.81 0.51 2 1
Andalusian Party (PA) 181,868 0.70 0.19 0 1
Aragonese Union (CHA) 94,252 0.36 0.03 1 ±0
Basque Solidarity (EA) 80,905 0.31 0.12 1 ±0
Yes to Navarre (NaBai) 61,045 0.24 New 1 1
Valencian Nationalist Bloc-Green Left (BNV-EV) 40,759 0.16 0.09 0 ±0
Nationalist Agreement (PSM-EN,EU,EV,ER) 40,289 0.16 0.06 0 ±0
Citizens for Blank Votes (CenB) 40,208 0.16 New 0 ±0
Aralar-Standing (Aralar-Zutik) 38,560 0.15 New 0 ±0
The Greens Ecopacifists (LVE) 37,499 0.14 0.04 0 ±0
Aragonese Party (PAR) 36,540 0.14 0.03 0 ±0
Democratic and Social Centre (CDS) 34,101 0.13 0.03 0 ±0
The Greens-The Ecologist Alternative (EV-AE) 30,528 0.12 New 0 ±0
Blank ballots 407,795 1.58 ±0.00
Total 25,891,299 100.00 350 ±0
Valid votes 25,891,299 98.99 0.33
Invalid votes 264,137 1.01 0.33
Votes cast / turnout 26,155,436 75.66 6.95
Abstentions 8,416,395 24.34 6.95
Registered voters 34,571,831
Source: Ministry of the Interior
Vote share
PSOE
  
42.59%
PP
  
37.71%
IU
  
4.96%
CiU
  
3.23%
ERC
  
2.52%
EAJ-PNV
  
1.63%
CC
  
0.91%
BNG
  
0.81%
CHA
  
0.36%
EA
  
0.31%
NaBai
  
0.24%
Others
  
3.17%
Blank ballots
  
1.58%
Parliamentary seats
PSOE
  
46.86%
PP
  
42.29%
CiU
  
2.86%
ERC
  
2.29%
EAJ-PNV
  
2.00%
IU
  
1.43%
CC
  
0.89%
BNG
  
0.57%
CHA
  
0.29%
EA
  
0.29%
NaBai
  
0.29%

Results by district

Senate

Summary of the 14 March 2004 Spanish Senate election results
Party Vote Seats
Votes % +/− Won +/− Total +/−
People's Party (PP) 102 25 126 24
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 81 28 96 29
Catalan Agreement of Progress (PSC-ERC-ICV) 12 4 16 4
Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV) 6 ±0 7 ±0
Convergence and Union (CiU) 4 4 6 4
Canarian Coalition (CC) 3 2 4 2
United Left (IU) 0 ±0 2 1
Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) 0 ±0 1 ±0
Aragonese Party (PAR) 0 ±0 1 ±0
Others 0 1 0 2
Blank ballots 679,816 2.67 0.15
Total 25,426,107 100.00 208 ±0 259 ±0
Valid votes 25,426,107 97.09 0.42
Invalid votes 761,055 2.91 0.42
Votes cast / turnout 26,187,162 75.75 6.92
Abstentions 8,384,669 24.25 6.92
Registered voters 34,571,831
Source(s):
  • Ministry of the Interior
  • Historia Electoral
Parliamentary seats
PP
  
48.65%
PSOE
  
37.07%
PSC-ERC-ICV
  
6.18%
EAJ-PNV
  
2.70%
CiU
  
2.32%
CC
  
1.54%
IU
  
0.77%
BNG
  
0.39%
PAR
  
0.39%

The Spanish Senate at the time of the 2004 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

Investiture voting

Date Candidate Vote Total Notes
16 April 2004
Majority required:
Absolute (176/350)
José Luis Rodríguez
Zapatero
(PSOE)
YYes
183 / 350
PSOE (164), ERC (8), IU (5), CC (3), BNG (2), CHA (1)
No
148 / 350
PP (148)
Abstentions
19 / 350
CiU (10), PNV (7), EA (1), NaBai (1)
Other
0 / 350
Source: Historia Electoral - Spanish General Election 14 March 2004

References

  1. ^ Zapatero, inaugurated as Prime Minister with absolute majority - ABC (Spanish)
  2. ^ "General Aspects of the Electoral System". 
  3. ^ "The Spanish Constitution of 1978". 
  4. ^ a b "Law governing electoral procedures". Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  5. ^ "Law regarding registration of political parties". Retrieved 2011-03-06. 

Notes

  1. ^ a b Compared to the United Left+Initiative for Catalonia-Greens results in the 2000 election.

Further reading

  • Chari, Raj (November 2004). "The 2004 Spanish Election: Terrorism as a Catalyst for Change?".  

External links

  • Spanish Interior Ministry elections website
  • People's Party
  • Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
  • Convergence and Unity
  • Republican Left of Catalonia
  • United Left
  • Basque Nationalist Party
  • Canarian Coalition
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