Spanish general election, 1996

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Spanish general election, 1996
Spain
1993 ←
3 March 1996
→ 2000

All 350 seats of the Congress of Deputies and 208 (out of the 257) seats in the Senate
176 seats needed for a majority in the Congress of Deputies, 129 in the Senate
Opinion polls
Turnout 77.4%
Increase1.0 pp
  First party Second party Third party
  Aznar at the Azores, March 17, 2003.jpg Felipe González par Claude Truong-Ngoc juillet 2013.jpg Julio Anguita en el Ateneo de Córdoba en 2004.jpg
Leader José María Aznar Felipe González Julio Anguita
Party PP PSOE IU
Leader since 4 September 1989 13 October 1974 November 1989
Last election 141 C & 106 S
34.8%
159 C & 117 S
38.8%
18 C & 2 S
9.5%
Seats won
156 / 350
133 / 257
141 / 350
97 / 257
21 / 350
2 / 257
Seat change Increase15 C
Increase27 S
Decrease18 C
Decrease20 S
Increase3 C
Steady0 S
Popular vote 9,716,006 9,425,678 2,639,774
Percentage 38.8% 37.6% 10.5%
Swing Increase4.0 pp Decrease1.2 pp Increase1.0 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  CiU 2007 02 Inaki Anasagasti-2.jpg CC
Leader Joaquim Molins Iñaki Anasagasti José Carlos Mauricio
Party CiU EAJ-PNV CC
Leader since 1995 1986 1996
Last election 17 C & 15 S
4.9%
5 C & 5 S
1.2%
4 C & 6 S
0.9%
Seats won
16 / 350
11 / 257
5 / 350
6 / 257
4 / 350
2 / 257
Seat change Decrease1 C
Decrease4 S
Steady0 C
Increase1 S
Steady0 C
Decrease4 S
Popular vote 1,151,633 318,951 220,418
Percentage 4.6% 1.3% 0.9%
Swing Decrease0.3 pp Increase0.1 pp Steady0.0 pp

Elecciones generales españolas de 1996 - distribución del voto.svg

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

Prime Minister before election

Felipe González
PSOE

Elected Prime Minister

José María Aznar
PP

Legislative elections for the Spanish Cortes Generales were held on 3 March 1996. The elections were for 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies, and the 208 directly elected seats in the upper house, the Senate, determining the Prime Minister of Spain.

Incumbent Prime Minister Felipe González of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party lost the elections to the People's Party and their leader José María Aznar, thus ending almost 13 and a half years of Socialist rule: to date, the largest period of time a Spanish party has been in power. However, that of Aznar was a bitter victory. He won just 156 seats out of the 176 needed for a majority, thus short of 20 seats to form a majority government. Aznar had to make agreements with Catalan, Basque and Canarian nationalists to become Prime Minister. Similarly, González's one is known as the dulce derrota (sweet defeat).1 Despite suffering a net loss of 18 seats and being ousted from government, the popular vote margin between both main parties was of just 300,000 votes.

Despite pre-electoral opinion polls and predictions of a huge PSOE defeat and a PP lead of around 10 points, the close end result makes this election the closest in the Spanish democratic period to date.

Overview

The Congress of Deputies consists of 350 members, elected in 50 multi-member districts using the D'Hondt method, with Ceuta and Melilla electing one member each using plurality voting.2

Apportionment

Under Article 68 of the Spanish constitution, the boundaries of the electoral districts must be the same as the provinces of Spain and, under Article 141, this can only be altered with the approval of Congress.3

The apportionment of seats to provinces follows the largest remainder method over the resident population ("Padrón") with a minimum of two seats (cf. Art. 162 of the Electoral Law).4

Electoral system

Voting is on the basis of universal suffrage in a secret ballot. The electoral system used is closed list proportional representation with seats allocated using the D'Hondt method. Only lists which poll 3% of the total vote (which includes votes "en blanco", i.e., for none of the above) can be considered. Under articles 12 and 68 of the constitution, the minimum voting age is 18.3

Eligibility

Article 67.3 of the Spanish Constitution prohibits dual membership of both chambers of the Cortes or of the Cortes and regional assemblies, meaning that candidates must resign from regional assemblies if elected. Article 70 also makes active judges, magistrates, public defenders, serving military personnel, active police officers and members of constitutional and electoral tribunals ineligible.3 Article 55, Section 2 of the 1985 electoral law also disqualifies director generals or equivalent leaders of state monopolies and public bodies such as the Spanish state broadcaster RTVE.5

Opinion polls

Results

Party Votes % Seats +/–
People's Party 9,716,006 38.79 156 +15
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party 9,425,678 37.63 141 –18
United Left 2,639,774 10.54 21 +3
Convergence and Union 1,151,633 4.60 16 –1
Basque Nationalist Party 318,951 1.27 5 0
Canarian Coalition 220,418 0.88 4 0
Galician Nationalist Bloc 220,147 0.88 2 +2
Herri Batasuna 181,304 0.72 2 0
Republican Left of Catalonia 167,641 0.67 1 0
Andalusian Party 134,800 0.54 0 0
Eusko Alkartasuna 115,861 0.46 1 0
Valencian Union 91,575 0.37 1 0
Green Europeans 61,689 0.25 0 New
Chunta Aragonesista 49,739 0.20 0 0
Centrist Union 44,771 0.18 0 New
Unitat Del Poble Valencia–Nationalist Bloc 26,777 0.11 0 0
PSM–ENE Electoral Coalition 24,644 0.10 0 0
The Greens–Green Group 17,177 0.07 0 0
Democrats Convergence of Navarre 17,020 0.07 0 New
Revolutionary Workers' Party 14,854 0.06 0 0
Communist Party of the People of Spain 14,513 0.06 0 0
Humanist Party 13,482 0.05 0 0
Partíu Asturianista 12,213 0.05 0 0
Authentic Spanish Falange 12,114 0.05 0 0
Leonese People's Union 12,049 0.05 0 0
Euskal Huritarren Egitekoak 11,833 0.05 0 New
Greens of Madrid 8,483 0.03 0 New
Extremaduran Coalition 7,312 0.03 0 0
Majorcan Union 6,943 0.03 0 New
Castillian Nationalist Party–Common Ground 6,206 0.02 0 0
Riojan Party 6,065 0.02 0 0
Ecologist Party of Catalonia 4,305 0.02 0 0
Unidad Regionalista de Castilla y León 4,061 0.02 0 0
Andalusian Nation 3,505 0.01 0 New
Alliance for National Unity 3,397 0.01 0 New
Salamanca, Zamora, León 2,762 0.01 0 New
SOS Nature 2,753 0.01 0 New
Republican Coalition 2,744 0.01 0 New
Popular Front of the Canary Islands 2,567 0.01 0 New
Socialist Party of the People of Ceuta 2,365 0.01 0 0
Regionalist Party of Castile-La Mancha 2,279 0.01 0 New
Galician People's Front 2,065 0.01 0 New
Independent Socialists of Extremadura 1,678 0.01 0 New
Madrid Independent Regional Party 1,671 0.01 0 0
Roji-Verde Party 1,656 0.01 0 New
Independent Spanish Falange 1,550 0.01 0 0
New Region 1,452 0.01 0 New
Republican Action 1,237 0.00 0 New
Catalonian Independent Civic Platform 1,229 0.00 0 New
Valencian Nationalist Left 1,023 0.00 0 0
Birthplace Party 1,000 0.00 0 0
Canarian Nationalist Party 722 0.00 0 New
Alicantan Provincial Union 651 0.00 0 New
Andaluscian Democratic Unity 627 0.00 0 New
Civic Democratic Action 598 0.00 0 New
Voice of the Andalusian People 529 0.00 0 New
European National State 495 0.00 0 New
Social, Autonomist and Liberal Group 402 0.00 0 New
Balearic Alliance 379 0.00 0 New
Regionalist Party of Guadalajara 338 0.00 0 0
Spanish Autonomist League 296 0.00 0 New
Aragonese Social Dynamic 265 0.00 0 New
The People 243 0.00 0 New
Interzamorano Party 215 0.00 0 New
Nationalist Party of Melilla 200 0.00 0 New
Invalid/blank votes 369,127
Total 25,172,058 100 350 0
Registered voters/turnout 32,531,833 77.38
Source: Ministry of the Interior


Vote share
PP
  
38.79%
PSOE
  
37.63%
IU
  
10.54%
CiU
  
4.60%
PNV
  
1.27%
Others
  
7.63%
Parliamentary seats
PP
  
44.57%
PSOE
  
40.29%
IU
  
6.00%
CiU
  
4.57%
PNV
  
1.43%
Others
  
3.14%

Investiture voting

4 May 1996
Investiture voting for José María Aznar López (PP)

Absolute majority: 176/350
Vote Parties Votes
YesY Yes PP (156), CiU (16), PNV (5), CC (4)
181 / 350
No PSOE (141), IU (21), BNG (2), ERC (1), EA (1)
166 / 350
Abstentions UV (1)
1 / 350
Both HB deputies missed the voting.
Source: Historia Electoral

References








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