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Zaragoza (Spanish Congress Electoral District)


Zaragoza (Spanish Congress Electoral District)

Location of Zaragoza electoral district in Spain

Zaragoza 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 is one of the three electoral districts which correspond to the provinces of Aragon. Zaragoza is by far the largest municipality with over 500,000 voters (70% of the total electorate.) There are no other municipalities with electorates over 15,000.[1] Like its Aragonese neighbour Teruel, Zaragoza has been a political Bellwether as the party that has won most seats in the district has gone on to form the government.


  • Boundaries and electoral system 1
  • Electoral procedures 2
  • Eligibility 3
  • Number of members 4
  • Summary of seats won 1977–2008 5
  • Vote share summary 1977-2008 6
  • Results 7
    • 2008 General Election 7.1
    • 2004 General Election 7.2
    • 2000 General Election 7.3
  • External links 8
  • References 9

Boundaries and electoral system

Under Article 68 of the Spanish constitution [2] the boundaries must be the same as the province of Zaragoza 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.

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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 Zaragoza, 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]


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]

Number of members

From the 1977 General Election onwards Zaragoza returned eight members. At the 1989 General Election it lost a seat and has returned seven members since then.

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. Zaragoza had a ratio of 103,831 voters per deputy in 2004,[8] a figure slightly above the Spanish average of 98,777 voters per deputy but far ahead of the ratio of 38,714 voters per deputy in Teruel [9]

Summary of seats won 1977–2008

1977 1979 1982 1986 1989 1993 1996 2000 2004 2008
Democratic Centre Union (UCD) 3 4
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 3 3 5 4 3 3 3 2 3 4
Popular Socialist Party (PSP) 1
People's Party (PP) 3 2 2 2 4 4 3 3
Independent / Aragonese Party (PAR) 1 1 1 1 1
Democratic and Social Centre (CDS) 1
United Left (IU) 1 1
Chunta Aragonesista (CHA) 1 1

Note: Seats shown for the PP include seats won by their predecessors, the Popular Alliance and Popular Coalition before 1989. They ran in an electoral alliance with the Aragonese Party (Partido Aragonés) in 1982 and 1996. The Aragonese party did not exist in 1977 and the candidate who was elected for them in 1979 was elected as an Independent Aragonese Centre Candidate {Candidatura Aragonesa Independiente de centro (CAIC) } in 1977.

Vote share summary 1977-2008

1977 1979 1982 1986 1989 1993 1996 2000 2004 2008
Democratic Centre Union (UCD) 31.8 36.1 6.8
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 25.5 26.8 51.3 43.6 38.0 32.4 31.9 29.2 40.3 46.4
Popular Socialist Party (PSP) 10.7
Aragonese Party (PAR) 8.5 9.0 31.5 11.6 10.6 20.2 48.3 4.4 4.1 4.7
People's Party (PP) 8.0 5.4 25.2 27.5 32.2 47.6 35.6 36.5
United Left (IU) 5.2 8.0 3.3 3.8 11.3 11.2 10.1 3.7 2.8 2.9
Party of Labour of Spain (PTE) 4.7
Coalition for Aragon (PSAR-PSDA) 4.1
Democratic and Social Centre (CDS) 4.0 10.9 7.2 1.1 0.0 0.1
Chunta Aragonesista (CHA) 0.5 0.9 8.0 12.8 14.5 5.9


The 2008 election saw the tenth largest increase overall in the PSOE vote share and they gained the seat previously held by Chunta Aragonesista, whose MP had retired.

2008 General Election

 Summary of the 11 March 2008 Congress of Deputies election results in Zaragoza.
Parties and alliances Votes % Seats Members elected
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) 254,479 46.40 4 Jesús Membrado Giner, María Alegria Continente, Alfredo Arola Blanquet, Concepción Sanz Carrillo
People's Party (Partido Popular) 199,934 36.46 3 Luisa Fernanda Rudi Ubeda, Baudilio Tomé Muguruza, Ramón Moreno Bustos
Aragonese Council (Chunta Aragonesista) 32,281 5.89 0
Aragonese Party (Partido Aragonés) 25,949 4.73 0
United Left-Greens 15,731 2.87 0
Union, Progress and Democracy (Unión Progreso y Democracia) 6,621 1.21 0
Others 6,527 1.20 0

The 2004 election saw the PP vote drop by 12.1%, this was the third biggest drop overall in the PP vote in any district. The PSOE vote grew by 11.1%. Consequently the swing from PP to PSOE was 11.6% - the largest swing of the election between the two main parties.

2004 General Election

 Summary of the 14 March 2004 Congress of Deputies election results in Zaragoza.
Parties and alliances Votes % Seats Members elected
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) 224,776 40.26 3 Jesús Membrado Giner, Alfredo Arola Blanquet, Eva Sáenz Royo
People's Party (Partido Popular) 198,480 35.55 3 Luisa Fernanda Rudi Ubeda#, Gabriel Cisneros Laborda*, Ramón Moreno Bustos
Aragonese Council (Chunta Aragonesista) 81,160 14.54 1 José Antonio Labordeta
Aragonese Party (Partido Aragonés) 22,758 4.08 0
United Left-Greens 15,672 2.81 0
Others 3,693 0.70 0

# On 6 July 2004, Rudi was replaced by Verónica Lope Fontagne * On 27 July 2007, Cisneros died[10] and was replaced by Rafael Lapeña Gil

2000 General Election

 Summary of the 12 March 2000 Congress of Deputies election results in Teruel.
Parties and alliances Votes % Seats Members elected
People's Party (Partido Popular) 244,403 47.63 4 Luisa Fernanda Rudi Ubeda, Gabriel Cisneros Laborda
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) 149,672 29.17 2
Aragonese Council (Chunta Aragonesista) 65,599 12.78 1 José Antonio Labordeta
Aragonese Party (Partido Aragonés) 22,382 4.36 0
United Left 19,059 3.71 0
Others 4,906 1.00 0

Source: [11]

External links

  • List of members by year
  • Party lists for the 2004 election


  1. ^ "Number of voters by municipality 2008". Spanish census office. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  2. ^ a b Spanish Constitution
  3. ^ a b "Law governing electoral procedures". Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  4. ^ a b "OSCE observers task force report on 2008 Spanish election" (PDF). Organisation for security and cooperation in Europe OSCE. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  5. ^ "OSCE observers task force report on 2004 Spanish election" (PDF). Organisation for security and cooperation in Europe, OSCE. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  6. ^ "Law regarding registration of political parties". Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  7. ^ General features of Spanish electoral system
  8. ^ Zaragoza election result 2004
  9. ^ Teruel election result 2004
  10. ^ El Mundo 27 July 2007 accessed 16 Aug 2009
  11. ^ Interior ministry link to election results

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