Elections in Spain

Elections in Spain

Elections in Spain gives information on election and election results in Spain.

On the national level, Spain directly elects a legislature, the Cortes Generales ("literally": General Courts), which consist of two chambers, the Congress of Deputies ("Congreso de los Diputados") and the Senate ("Senado"). The Congress and Senate serve concurrent terms that run for a maximum of four years.

Electoral system

Congress of Deputies

The Congress has 350 members, elected from each province for a maximum four-year term following the d'Hondt method of proportional representation. While the constitution allows limited flexibility in determining this system, it has not changed since the return of democracy.

Seats are allocated as follows: Two seats are given to each of the 50 provinces and one each to Ceuta and Melilla, and the remaining 248 are then allocated proportionally to population. In practice, this system overrepresents smaller provinces, and results in very low proportionality in all but the most populous such as Madrid and Barcelona. Additionally, since there are so many constituencies (52), most are relatively small. This effectively increases the legal 3% threshold to obtain seats in a constituency, radically decreases proportionality, and favors the two large parties and parties with concentrated regional strength, at the expense of national third parties.


The system for electing the Senate was first used in 1979, though with regard to the provinces the system is unchanged since 1977. Senators are elected directly from the provinces and indirectly from the autonomous communities; currently, there are 259 senators, 208 directly elected and 51 indirectly elected.

In the provinces, a majoritarian partial block voting system is used. All peninsular provinces elect four senators each; the insular provinces (Balearic and Canary Islands) elect two or three senators per island, and Ceuta and Melilla elect two senators each. Parties nominate three candidates; each voter has three votes (less in those constituencies electing fewer senators), and votes for candidates by name, the only instance of personal voting in Spanish national elections. The usual outcome is three senators for the party with the most votes, and one senator for the runner-up, except in very close races.

The autonomous communities receive one senator, plus one for each million inhabitants. They are entitled to determine how they choose their senators, but generally they are elected by the legislature of the respective community in proportion to its party composition.

Latest election

2008 Congress election

2008 Senate election

Past elections and Referendums

ee also

* Electoral calendar
* Electoral system

External links

* [http://elecciones.mir.es/ General Directorate of Domestic Politics, archived results back to 1976] (in Spanish)
* [http://psephos.adam-carr.net/countries/s/spain/ Adam Carr's Election Archive]
* [http://www.parties-and-elections.de/spain.html Parties and elections]

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