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Balearic Islands (Spanish Congress Electoral District)

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Balearic Islands (Spanish Congress Electoral District)

Location of Islas Baleares electoral district in Spain

Balearic Islands (Catalan: Illes Balears ) is one of the 52 electoral districts (circunscripciones) used for the Spanish Congress of Deputies - the lower chamber of the Spanish Parliament, the Cortes Generales. It corresponds to the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. At the time of the 2011 election, Palma was by far the largest town with 266,000 voters - over 40% of the electorate. There were no other municipalities with more than 25,000 voters.[1]

Boundaries and electoral system

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
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Foreign relations

Under Article 68 of the Spanish constitution [2] the boundaries must be the same as the Balearic Islands province and under Article 140 this can only be altered with the approval of congress. 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% or more of all valid votes cast, including votes "en blanco" i.e. for "none of the above" can be considered for seats. Under article 12 of the constitution, the minimum voting age is 18.

Electoral procedures

The laws regulating the conduct and administration of elections are laid out in detail in the 1985 electoral law. (Ley Orgánica del Régimen Electoral General.[3]) Under this law, the elections in the Balearics, as in other districts, are supervised by the Electoral Commission (Junta Electoral), a permanent body composed of eight Supreme Court judges and five political scientists or sociologists appointed by the Congress of Deputies. The Electoral commission is supported in its work by the Interior Ministry. On election day, polling stations are run by electoral boards which consist of groups of citizens selected by lottery.[4]

The format of the ballot paper is designed by the Spanish state, however, the law allows political parties to produce and distribute their own ballot papers, either by mailing them to voters or by other means such as street distribution, provided that they comply with the official model. The government then covers the cost of all printed ballot papers. These must then be marked by voters, either in the polling station or outside the polling station and placed inside sealed envelopes which are then placed inside ballot boxes in the polling station. Following the close of polls, the ballots are then counted in each individual polling station in the presence of representatives of the political parties and candidates. The ballots are then immediately destroyed, with the exception of those considered invalid or challenged by the candidates' representatives, which are retained for further scrutiny. The result is that full recounts are impossible.[5]

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.[2] Additionally, under Article 11 of the Political Parties Law, June 2002 (Ley Orgánica 6/2002, de 27 de junio, de Partidos Políticos), parties and individual candidates may be prevented from standing by the [6] 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.[3] Lastly, following changes to the electoral law which took effect for the 2007 municipal elections, candidates' lists must be composed of at least 40% of candidates of either gender and each group of five candidates must contain at least two males and two females.[4]

Presenting candidates

Parties and coalitions of different parties which have registered with the Electoral Commission can present lists of candidates (Article 44, 1985 electoral law). Groups of electors which have not registered with the commission can also present lists, provided that they obtain the signatures of 1% of registered electors in a particular district (Article 169).[3]

Number of members

From the 1977 General Election onwards Islas Baleares returned six members. This was increased to seven members for the 1993 General Election and then to eight members for the 2004 election.

Under Spanish electoral law, all provinces are entitled to a minimum of 2 seats with a remaining 248 seats apportioned according to population.[7] These laws are laid out in detail in the 1985 electoral law. (Ley Orgánica del Régimen Electoral General) The practical effect of this has been to overrepresent smaller provinces at the expense of larger provinces. Islas Baleares had a ratio of 85,979 voters per deputy in 2004 [8] a figure below the Spanish average of 98,777 voters per deputy.[9]

Summary of seats won 1977–2011

1977 1979 1982 1986 1989 1993 1996 2000 2004 2008 2011
Democratic Centre Union (UCD) 4 4
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 2 4 4 3
Popular Alliance / People's Party (PP) 3 3 3 4 4 5 4 4 5

Vote share summary 1977-2011

1977 1979 1982 1986 1989 1993 1996 2000 2004 2008 2011
Democratic Centre Union (UCD) 51.9 48.9 10.4
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 23.3 29.4 40.5 40.3 34.5 34.0 36.0 29.3 39.5 44.2 28.9
People's Party (PP) 9.0 9.2 37.7 34.3 40.7 46.4 45.1 53.9 45.9 44.0 49.5
Popular Socialist Party (PSP) 5.2
United Left (IU) 4.5 4.9 1.7 2.3 5.1 6.0 7.7 4.0 8.6 2.8 4.9
Mallorcan Socialist Party (PSM) 3.3# 2.4 2.2 2.3 4.9 5.7 5.9 5.4* 7.2 #
Mallorcan Union (UM) 2.4 1.6 2.1 2.3
Balearic Autonomous Union (UAB) 3.8
Democratic and Social Centre (CDS) 5.3 11.3 9.2 1.9 0.1 0.1 0.2
Democratic Reform Party (PRD) 7.2

#The result corresponds to that for the Socialists of Mallorca and Menorca.

* The result corresponds to that for the Unity for the islands (Unitat per les Illes) electoral coalition which included the Mallorcan Socialist Party, the Mallorcan Union and various smaller parties.

#The Mallorcan Socialist Party contested the election in a joint list with other parties

Results

2011 General Election

 Summary of the 20 November 2011 Congress of Deputies election results in Islas Baleares.
Parties and alliances Votes % Seats Members elected
People's Party (Partido Popular) 216,808 49.53 5
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) 126,344 28.86 3
Mallorcan Socialist Party-Equo 31,378 7.16 0
United Left-Verds 21,626 4.94 0
Union, Progress and Democracy 18,489 4.22 0
Others 14,882 3.42 0

2008 General Election

The 2008 election saw the PSOE overtake the PP as the largest party for the first time since the 1986 election.

 Summary of the 11 March 2008 Congress of Deputies election results in Islas Baleares.
Parties and alliances Votes % Seats Members elected
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) 209,451 44.23 4
People's Party (Partido Popular) 208,246 43.97 4
Unity for the islands (Unitat) 25,454 5.37 0
United Left-Verds 13,447 2.84 0
Union, Progress and Democracy 3,107 0.66 0
Others 7,852 1.86 0

2004 General Election

 Summary of the 14 March 2004 Congress of Deputies election results in Islas Baleares.
Parties and alliances Votes % Seats Members elected
People's Party (Partido Popular) 215,737 45.89 4
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) 185,623 39.48 4
United Left-PSM-ERC-Verds 40,289 8.57 0
Others 19,397 4.10 0

2000 General Election

 Summary of the 12 March 2000 Congress of Deputies election results in Islas Baleares.
Parties and alliances Votes % Seats Members elected
People's Party (Partido Popular) 214,348 53.87 5
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) 116,515 29.28 2
PSM 23,482 5.90 0
United Left 15,928 4.00 0
Verds 9,556 2.40 0
Majorcan Union (UM) 8,372 2.10 0
Others 3,755 0.96 0

Source: [10]

External links

  • List of members by year

References

  1. ^ "2011 election results in the Balearic Islands". El Pais. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  2. ^ a b Spanish Constitution
  3. ^ a b c "Law governing electoral procedures". Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  4. ^ a b "OSCE observers task force report on 2008 Spanish election" (PDF). Organisation for security and cooperation in Europe OSCE. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  5. ^ "OSCE observers task force report on 2004 Spanish election" (PDF). Organisation for security and cooperation in Europe, OSCE. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  6. ^ "Law regarding registration of political parties". Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  7. ^ General features of Spanish electoral system
  8. ^ Islas Baleares election result 2004
  9. ^ 2004 Spanish election
  10. ^ Interior ministry link to election results

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