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Spanish legislative election, 2000

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Spanish legislative election, 2000

Spanish general election, 2000
width="" colspan=4 |
1996 ←
12 March 2000
→ 2004
width="" colspan=4 |

width="" colspan = 4 style="text-align: center" | All 350 seats of the Congress of Deputies and 208 of 259 seats in the Senate
176 seats needed for a majority in the Congress of Deputies
Opinion polls
Turnout 68.7%
  First party Second party Third party
Leader José María Aznar Joaquín Almunia Francisco Frutos
Leader since 4 September 1989 21 June 1997 7 December 1998
Leader's seat Madrid Madrid Madrid
Last election 156 seats, 38.8% 141 seats, 37.6% 21 seats, 10.5%
Seats won 183 125 8
Seat change Increase27 Decrease16 Decrease13
Popular vote 10,321,178 7,918,752 1,263,043
Percentage 44.5% 34.2% 5.4%
Swing Increase5.7% Decrease3.4% Decrease5.1%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Xavier Trias Iñaki Anasagasti Francisco Rodríguez
Leader since 2000 1986 1996
Leader's seat Barcelona Vizcaya A Coruña
Last election 16 seats, 4.6% 5 seats, 1.3% 2 seats, 0.9%
Seats won 15 7 3
Seat change Decrease1 Increase2 Increase1
Popular vote 970,421 353,953 306,268
Percentage 4.2% 1.5% 1.3%
Swing Decrease0.4% Increase0.2% Increase0.4%
width="" style="text-align: center" colspan=4 |

width="" colspan=4 style="text-align: center" | Most voted party in each province. Every province is a multi-member district for the Congress.
width="" colspan=4 |
Prime Minister before election

José María Aznar

Elected Prime Minister

José María Aznar

Legislative elections were held in Spain on 12 March 2000. 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. The elections were commonly referred to as 12-M in the Spanish media in the weeks previous and next to the election day.

While most opinion polls gave him a clear victory, the incumbent People's Party of Prime Minister José María Aznar was elected to a second term in office with a surprising absolute majority of 183: a 27 seat gain from the previous election: a rise from opinion polls which gave him a plurality victory only. The opposition Spanish Socialist Workers' Party saw their number of seats reduced to 125, one of its worst results ever. While neither one of its worst defeats since Spanish transition to democracy (it lost more seats in the 1986 election, losing 18; and a similar number of seats were lost in 1996, with 16) nor the party's worst electoral result ever since (winning 118 and 121 seats in 1977 and 1979, respectively) the party's result in these elections quickly became known as Almunia's defeat, a psychological barrier for the PSOE in future elections; a result which would be vastly exceeded 11 years later.

This election featured some notable aspects. This was the first absolute majority the PP obtained in a general election, and its best result in both popular vote share and seats won until 2011. In contrast, the PSOE got its worst election result in 21 years. This was also the second time a candidate received more than 10 million votes, the last time being in 1982, when 10.1 million voters elected Felipe González from the PSOE. The voters' turnout registered was one of the lowest in democratic Spain for Spanish election standards (which tend to be usually high), with only 68.71% of the voting-able population casting a vote.


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.[1]


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.[2]

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).[3]

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.[2]


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] 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.[4]

Opinion polls

Main article: Opinion polling for the Spanish general election, 2000


Investiture voting

On April 26, José María Aznar was invested Prime Minister for a second term by the Congress of Deputies, thanks to the absolute majority of his party. Also supporting Aznar were CiU and Canarian Coalition. To date, this is the only investiture voting in which all 350 deputies voted either Yes or No, without abstentions or absences.[5]

26 April 2000
Investiture voting for José María Aznar López (PP)

Absolute majority: 176/350

Vote Parties Votes
YesY Yes PP (183), CiU (15), CC (4) 202
No PSOE (125), IU (8), PNV (7), BNG (3)
CHA (1), ERC (1), PA (1), EA (1), ICV (1)
Abstentions 0

External links

  • People's Party
  • Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
  • Convergence and Unity
  • United Left


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