Euzko Alderdi Jeltzalea - Partido Nacionalista Vasco

Spanish general election, 2004

Legislative elections were held in Spain on March 14, 2004. At stake were all 350 seats in the lower house of the Cortes Generales, the Congress of Deputies, and 208 seats in upper house, the Senate. The governing People's Party (PP) was led into the campaign by Mariano Rajoy, successor to outgoing Prime Minister José María Aznar. In a result which defied most predictions, the opposition Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, won a plurality of seats in Congress of Deputies, and was able to form a government with the support of minor parties. The socialists received more votes than expected as a result of the government's handling of the 11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings. In the early moments following the attacks, the national government maintained the theory of the ETA responsibility; when evidence pointed to the possibility that an Islamic extremist group was behind the massacre, the ETA theory lost weight. If Islamic extremists were responsible, the attack could have been perceived by the electorate to be a consequence of the Spanish government's support of the invasion of Iraq. One of the explanations for the PSOE votes was that a certain number of voters, known as the original non voters (who did not intend to vote in the elections like in prior elections), went to the polls for PSOE. Also many members of IU switched sides and enlarged the PSOE votes and decreased those of IU.

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 and United Left, immediately announced their intention to support Zapatero's government.

Results

In the Congress of Deputies, the PP vote fell by 6.9 percent, and the party lost 39 seats. The PSOE vote rose by 8.5 percent, bringing a gain of 35 seats. On the left, the United Left (a coalition led by the Communist Party of Spain), lost four of its nine seats, but the leftwing Catalan party Republican Left of Catalonia gained seven seats. The conservative Catalan nationalist party, Convergence and Unity, which in the recent past has been allied with the PP, lost five of its 15 seats.

The PSOE's victory was celebrated in the street outside the party's headquarters in Calle Ferraz with shouts of "No war!" and "How happy we are, to live without Aznar", but also "Zapatero, don't fail us!". Consistent with the PSOE's long-standing opposition to the Iraq war, Rodríguez Zapatero had promised during the election campaign to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq by June. Zapatero withdrew the troops shortly after taking office, a decision he justified on his belief that the United Nations was not likely to assume responsibility for Iraq after the U.S.-led occupation formally ended at the end of June, which was his criterion for allowing troops to stay. Subsequent events, indeed, bore out his prediction.

A feature of the result was the increased representation for the Republican Left of Catalonia, a minor left-wing party which has formed a coalition government with the PSOE in Catalonia. The Republican Left's leader, Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira, had recently held meetings with the Basque separatist group ETA in France, a revelation which had forced his exit from the recently formed Catalan regional government and had become a campaign issue in the general election.

More detailed table of share of votes:

Partido Socialista Obrero Español PSOE 11026163 43.27 164
Partido Popular PP 9763144 38.31 148
Izquierda Unida-Los Verdes IU-LV 1359190 5.33 5
Convergència i Unió CiU 835471 3.28 10
Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya ERC 652196 2.56 8
Euzko Alderdi Jeltzalea-Partido Nacionalista Vasco EAJ-PNV 420980 1.65 7
Coalición Canaria CC 235221 0.92 3
Bloque Nacionalista Galego BNG 208688 0.82 2
Partido Andalucista PA 181868 0.71
Chunta Aragonesista CHA 94252 0.37 1
Eusko Alkartasuna EA 80905 0.32 1
Nafarroa Bai Na-Bai 61045 0.24 1
Bloc Nacionalista Valencià-Esquerra Verda BLOC-EV 40759 0.16
Ciudadanos en Blanco CENB 40208 0.16
Aralar-Zutik ARALAR-ZUTIK 38560 0.15
Los Verdes-Ecopacifistas LV-E 37499 0.15
Partido Aragonés PAR 36540 0.14
Centro Democrático y Social CDS 34101 0.13
Els Verds-L'Alternativa Ecologista EV-AE 30528 0.12
Partido Socialista de Andalucía PSA 24127 0.09
Partido Humanista PH 21758 0.09
Izquierda Republicana IR 16993 0.07
Partido Cannabis por la Legalización y Normalización PCANNABIS 16918 0.07
Partido Familia y Vida PFyV 16699 0.07
Democracia Nacional DN 15180 0.06
Unión del Pueblo Leonés UPL 14160 0.06
Partido Comunista de los Pueblos de España PCPE 12979 0.05
Los Verdes-Grupo Verde LV-GV 12749 0.05
Falange Española de las JONS FE de las JONS 12266 0.05
Unió Mallorquina UM 10558 0.04
La Falange FE 10311 0.04
Tierra Comunera-Partido Nacionalista Castellano TC-PNC 8866 0.03
Partido Obrero Socialista Internacionalista POSI 8003 0.03
Movimiento Social Republicano MSR 6768 0.03
Partido Demócrata Español PADE 5677 0.02
Convergencia de Demócratas de Navarra CDN 5573 0.02
Falange Auténtica FA 4589 0.02
Partiu Asturianista PAS 4292 0.02
España 2000 ESPAÑA 2000 4231 0.02
Partido Nacionalista Canario PNC 4092 0.02
Extremadura Unida EU 3916 0.02
Partido de los Autónomos y Profesionales AUTONOMO 3124 0.01
Iniciativa por el Desarrollo de Soria IDES 2934 0.01
Asamblea de Andalucía A 2930 0.01
Alternativa Popular Canaria APCa 2715 0.01
Grupo Verde Europeo GVE 2662 0.01
Candidatura Independiente-El Partido de Castilla y León CI 2421 0.01
Escons Insubmisos-Alternativa dels Demòcrates Descontents Ei-ADD 2332 0.01
Partido del Karma Democrático PKD 2300 0.01
Frente Popular Galega FPG 2257 0.01
Coalición Galega CG 2235 0.01
Alianza para el Desarrollo y la Naturaleza ADN 2215 0.01
Partido de los Trabajadores en Precario PTPRE 2115 0.01
Identidad Reino de Valencia IRV 2111 0.01
Partido de los Autónomos Jubilados y Viudas PAE 2082 0.01
Andecha Astur AA 1970 0.01
Unión del Pueblo Salmantino UPSa 1871 0.01
Els Verds-Alternativa Verda EV-AV 1836 0.01
Partido Carlista PC 1813 0.01
Partido del Mutuo Apoyo Romántico PMAR 1561 0.01
Conceju Nacionaliegu Cántabru CNC 1431 0.01
Salamaca. Zamora. León PREPAL PREPAL 1322 0.01
Otra Democracia es Posible ODEP 1302 0.01
Agrupación Social Independiente ASI 1237 0.00
Partit Socialdemocrata Independent de la Comunitat Valenciana PSICV 1096 0.00
Partido Republicano Federal PRF 1051 0.00
Alternativa por Gran Canaria AxGC 957 0.00
Alianza por la Unidad Nacional AUN 923 0.00
Asamblea de Izquierdas-Iniciativa por Andalucía A-IZ 901 0.00
Partido Positivista Cristiano PPCr 892 0.00
Izquierda Asturiana IAS 854 0.00
Partido Socialista del Pueblo de Ceuta PSPC 807 0.00
Unión Centrista Liberal UCL 798 0.00
Partido Nacionalista Caló PNCA 757 0.00
Zamora Unida ZU 754 0.00
Unió Centristes de Menorca UCM 751 0.00
Lucha Internacionalista LI-LIT-CI 668 0.00
Frente Democrático Español FDE 619 0.00
Unidad Castellana Ud Ca 601 0.00
Partido Social-demócrata Andaluz PSDA 583 0.00
Alternativa Maga Nacionalista AMAGA 468 0.00
Unión del Pueblo Balear UPB 411 0.00
Estado Nacional Europeo N 410 0.00
Coalició Treballadors per la Democràcia TD 407 0.00
Partido Nacional de los Trabajadores PNT 379 0.00
Partido de la Gente LG 378 0.00
Partido Regionalista de Guadalajara PRGU 330 0.00
Unión Nacional UN 318 0.00
Convergencia Ciudadana del Sureste CCSE 308 0.00
Partido Demócrata Nacional de España PDN 232 0.00
Grupo Político Honradez Absoluta Española GPHAE 52 0.00

Development of voteshares and seats

(2000) « Spanish general election, 2004 » (2008)
Registered Voters 33,475,376 +430,058 +1.3% Turnout %
Votes Cast 25,846,620 +2,720,847 +11.8% 77.21 +8.50
Party Votes Change % ± Seats ±
Socialist Party (PSOE) 10,909,687 +3,080,477 42.64 +8.48 164 +39
People's Party (PP) 9,630,512 -599,833 37.64 -6.88 148 -35
United Left (IU) 1,269,532 +15,673 4.96 -1.00 5 -4
Convergence and Unity (CiU) 829,046 -135,944 3.22 -0.95 10 -5
Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) 649,999 +456,370 2.54 +1.70 8 +7
Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ/PNV) 417,154 +55,338 1.63 +0.10 7 0
Canary Islands Coalition (CC) 221,034 -22,455 0.86 -0.21 3 -1
Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) 205,613 -97,113 0.80 -0.52 2 -1
Andalusian Party (PA) 181,261 -24,472 0.71 -0.18 0 -1
Aragonese Council (CHA) 93,865 +18,631 0.37 +0.04 1 0
Eusko Alkartasuna (EA) 80,613 -19,957 0.32 -0.11 1 0
Nafarroa Bai (NB) 61,645 new 0.24 new 1 new
Other 628,280 2.43 350 total
Blank 406,789 1.57 0.00
Null 261,590 1.01 +0.33

Source: Spanish Interior Ministry

  • The Gallagher/Lijphart index of disproportionality for the election is 5.20
  • The effective number of elective parties is 3.04
  • The effective number of parliamentary parties is 2.49

Senate

In the Senate the PP won 102 seats to the PSOE's 81, a better result than in the lower house. Even so, this was a 28-seat gain for the PSOE and a 25-seat loss for the PP. In Catalonia, a combined Socialist-Republican left ticket won 12 Senate seats, and the Basque Nationalists won six.

Senate seats by Autonomous Community and Constituency

Andalusia Total (32) PP (8) PSOE (24)
Almería 1 3
Cádiz 1 3
Córdoba 1 3
Granada 1 3
Huelva 1 3
Jaén 1 3
Málaga 1 3
Seville 1 3
Aragon Total (12) PP (4) PSOE (8)
Huesca 1 3
Teruel 2 2
Zaragoza 1 3
Asturias Total (4) PP (3) PSOE (1)
Canary Islands Total (11) PP (3) PSOE (5) - - - CC (3)
Gran Canaria 2 1 - - - -
Lanzarote - 1 - - - -
Fuerteventura 1 - - - - -
Tenerife - 2 - - - 1
La Palma - - - - - 1
La Gomera - 1 - - - -
El Hierro - - - - - 1
Cantabria Total (4) PP (3) PSOE (1)
Castile-La Mancha Total (22) PP (12) PSOE (8)
Albacete 3 1
Ciudad Real 1 3
Cuenca 3 1
Guadalajara 3 1
Toledo 2 2
Castile-Leon Total (36) PP (25) PSOE (11)
Ávila 3 1
Burgos 3 1
León 1 3
Palencia 3 1
Salamanca 3 1
Segovia 3 1
Soria 3 1
Valladolid 3 1
Zamora 3 1
Catalunya Total (16) - - PSC-ERC-
ICV-EUA (12)
- CiU (4) -
Barcelona - - 3 - 1 -
Girona - - 3 - 1 -
Lleida - - 3 - 1 -
Tarragona - - 3 - 1 -
Ceuta Total (2) PP (2) -
Extremadura Total (8) PP (2) PSOE (6)
Badajoz 1 3
Cáceres 1 3
Galicia Total (16) PP (12) PSOE (4)
A Coruña 3 1
Lugo 3 1
Orense 3 1
Pontevedra 3 1
Illes Balears Total (5) PP (4) PSOE (1)
Majorca 2 1
Minorca 1 -
Ibiza-Formentera 1 -
La Rioja Total (3) PP (3) PSOE (1)
Madrid Total (4) PP (3) PSOE (1)
Murcia Total (4) PP (3) PSOE (1)
Melilla Total PP (2)
Navarre Total (4) PP (3) PSOE (1)
País Vasco Total (12) PP 1 PSOE 5 - EAJ-PNV 6
Alava 1 3 - -
Guipúzcoa - 1 - 3
Biscay - 1 - 3
Valencia Total PP 9 PSOE 3
Alicante 3 1
Castellón 3 1
Valencia 3 1
National Total (208) PP (102) PSOE (81) PSC-ERC (12) EAJ-PNV (6) CiU (4) CC (3)


The PSOE and its Catalan affiliate the PSC-ERC thus has 93 seats to the PP's 102. The rest of the nationalist parties, Catalan CiU, Basque EAJ-PNV, and Canary Islands CC are all conservative parties. Even if the six Basque Nationalists (EAJ-PNV), which are strongly at odds with the PP, vote with the left, the PP will still outvote them. The PSOE will thus need to gain the support of the Catalan and Canary Islands regionalists, the CiU and CC, to carry legislation in the Senate. Both parties have supported PSOE and PP governments in 1990-2000, when the largest party did not enjoy an absolute majority in the Congress.

It is possible that voters swung to the PSOE in the vote for the Congress of Deputies, which determines the government, but stuck with the PP in the voting for the Senate, thus placing a brake on a future socialist government. However, a swing in votes that fails to change who leads in a district has a larger effect in the Congress, with large numbers of seats per constituency allocated proportionally, that in the Senate, where constituencies elect up to four representatives and voters cast votes for up to three people (usually all from the same party).

Electoral system

This was the eighth general election since the restoration of democratic government in 1978, or the ninth if the elections to a constitutional assembly in 1977 are included. Each of Spain's autonomous communities elects a number of deputies and senators in rough proportion to its population. The smaller autonomous communities (such as La Rioja) form a single electoral district (a circumscription). The larger autonomous communities (such as Catalonia) are divided into several circumscriptions.

All 350 deputies are elected on party lists, by roughly proportional representation in each electoral district. The method used to allocate the seats is the D'Hondt method, which favours larger parties over smaller ones, and concentrated minorities over scattered ones.

In the Senate, each of Spain's 50 provinces (except in the Canary and Balearic Islands) elects four Senators regardless of population. This results in under-representation for the large urban circumscriptions of Madrid and Barcelona, and over-representation for the conservative provinces of Castile and Galicia. Further, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands elect additional senators (since circumscriptions consist of the island governnments rather than the provinces), and the small autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish enclaves on the coast of Morocco) elect two Senators each. The islands and the enclaves are PP strongholds. The net effect of this system is to advantage the PP at the expense of the PSOE in the Senate. In the senate elections, voters can cast votes for up to three different people. Voters tend to cast all their votes for members of the same party, with the result that most provinces allocate 3 senators to the party with the strongest support, and 1 senator to the second party.

The Congress of Deputies must appoint the prime minister within two months of convening on April 2. Although constitutionally the King, as head of state, submits a proposed prime minister to the approval of the Congress, in practice the King exercises no discretion. Each of the candidates, starting with the candidate of the largest party, comes before the Congress for two investiture votes, the first by majority and the second by plurality. Typically, the leader of the largest bloc becomes Prime Minister of Spain, unless a coalition of different parties has a majority of seats.

At the 2000 general election, the People's Party won a majority of seats in Congress with 183 seats, the Socialists won 125, the Catalan nationalist party Convergence and Unity won 15 and the United Left (a coalition around the Communist Party) won 8. Minor parties won the remaining 19 seats.

Elections to Andalusia's regional parliament were held on the same day. The PSOE retained office in these elections with an increased majority. (El Mundo - results)

Further reading

  • Chari, Raj (2004). "The 2004 Spanish Election: Terrorism as a Catalyst for Change?". West European Politics 27 (5): 954–963.

External links

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