On the 29th May 2023, following the poor results for the PSOE in the previous day's local and regional elections, Pedro Sanchez called national elections for Sunday 23rd July 2023. All 350 seats in the Cortes of Deputies (lower house) and 208 of the 265 seas in the Senate (upper house) will decided.
Elections 2019 - November
The 10th Novemeber 2019 Spanish General election was held to decide on seats in both Cortes of Deputies and Senate. The election was held in line with the constitution as a result of the failure of the investiture voting by the Deputies of the Cortes (seated since the April General election) to vote Pedro Sanchez (PSOE) as leader of the government.
The result of the election was:
PSOE (lead by Pedro Sanchez) 120 seats (down 3), 28% of the vote
PP (lead by Pablo Casado) 89 seats (up 23), 17% of the vote
VOX (lead by Santiago Abascal) 52 seats (up 24) 10% of the vote
Unidos Podemos (lead by Pable Iglesias) 42 seat (down 7), 13% of the vote
ERC (lead by Gabriel Rufian) 13 seats (down 2), 4% of the vote
Cs (lead by Albert Rivera) 10 seats (down 47), 7% of the vote
PSOE and United Podemos, who together had more seats then PP, Vox and Cs put aside their differences to form the first coalition in Spain since the Second Republic of the 1930s. The new government with Pedro Sanchez as Premier and Pablo Iglesias as Vice Premier was formed on 13 January 2020.
Elections 2019 - April
The 28 April 2019 Spanish General election was held to decide on seats in both Cortes of Deputies and Senate.
The result of the election was:
PSOE (lead by Pedro Sanchez) 123 seats (up 36), 29% of the vote
PP (lead by Pablo Casado) 66 seats (down 69), 17% of the vote
Cs (lead by Albert Rivera) 57 seats (up 25), 16% of the vote
Unidos Podemos (lead by Pable Iglesias) 42 seat (down 29), 14% of the vote
VOX (lead by Santiago Abascal) 24 seats (up 24) 10% of the vote
ERC (lead by Gabriel Rufian) 15 seats (up 2), 4% of the vote
The 26 June 2016 Spanish General election was held to decide on seats in both Cortes of Deputies and Senate. The election was held following a constitutional crisis over the Catalan issue, the poor result of regional elections for the PP and coruption scandals. Pedro Sanchez, PSOE leader brought down Mariano Rayoy's PP government with a motion of no confidence. Rayoy resigned as PP party leader and was replaced by Pablo Casado.
The result of the election was:
PP (lead by Mariano Rayoy) 137 seats (up 14), 33% of the vote
PSOE (lead by Pedro Sanchez) 85 seats (down 5), 23% of the vote
Unidos Podemos (lead by Pable Iglesias) 71 seat (equal), 21% of the vote
Cs (lead by Albert Rivera) 32 seats (down 8), 13% of the vote
ERC (lead by Gabriel Rufian) 9 seats (equal), 3% of the vote
Following the election the PP formed a coalition with the support of the Cs and the Canarian Coalition (CC)
The 20 December 2015 Spanish General election was held to decide on seats in both Cortes of Deputies and Senate. No party secured a majority resulting in a fragmented parliament. Negotiation failed to produce a stable coalition resulting in a repeat of the election in June 2016.
November 20th 2011 Mariano Rajoy became the Prime Minister having led the Popular Party (PP) to a landslide victory. The former socialist party (PSOE) who had been in power polled less than 29% of the vote giving them only about 110 seats while the Popular Party took over 44.5% of the vote winning them 186 seats, giving them the necessary majority to take control.
Yet another terrorist attack marked Spanish national elections on March 9, 2008, only this time the victim was a former socialist town councilman from the Basque country who was shot by ETA terrorists the Friday before election Sunday. Political parties did agree to wait to honour the victim until after the elections in order to keep the impact on voting results to a minimum. Still, there was speculation that the loss of a party member did raise sympathy for Socialists in some sectors.
There are 350 seats in the Spanish national congress and socialists won the majority with 169 seats in their power this legislature. That’s five more than last term. The Popular Party, however, also won five more seats and now has 153 this time around. CiU, the Catalán Nationalist Party now has eleven seats after winning one more than last term, and clearly all these gains had to come from somewhere. United Left, was reduced to a mere two seats and will now be melded into the Mixed Party at this level.
Socialists won 89 of the 208 seats in the national senate and this represented a smashing victory as they have eight new seats. The Popular Party, meanwhile, lost a seat in the parliament which means they now have 101 seats. The Catalán Progress Group, representing a number of parties, won 12 seats.
The March 14 2004 Spanish parliamentary elections took place only three days after a devastating terrorist attack on Madrid commuter rail lines that killed 191 and wounded over 1,400. In the early moments following the attacks, the national government maintained the theory of the ETA responsibility. However, when evidence pointed to the possibility that an Islamic extremist group was behind the massacre the ETA theory lost weight and mass demonstrations took place in the capital as voters registered their anger at the PP government’s apparent dissembling to gain electoral advantage. Many also felt that Spain’s official support for the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 – to which the vast majority of Spaniards were opposed – had provoked the attack. With large voter turnout, PSOE subsequently won the election and its leader, José Rodriguez Zapatero took office on April 17, 2004. 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, the Republican Left of Catalonia and United Left, immediately announced their intention to support Zapatero’s government.
The Political Parties
Partido Popular (PP)
The People’s Party (PP) was founded as the Alianza Popular in 1978 by Manuel Fraga, former minister in the Franco regime from a federation of right wing groups which was established two years previously. However it lost badly to the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) in 1982, remaining in opposition during the following 13 years of PSOE government. Fraga resigned as head of the party in 1986, handing over power to Antonio Hernández Mancha. He was subsequently replaced by José María Aznar, who steered the party towards the centre and beat Felipe González in the General Elections of 1996 when he continued as leader until the 2004 elections when he was beaten by PSOE Zapatero in the 2004). Mariano Rayoy took over the party and brough the PP back to power in a landslide victory in the 2011 election. the 2015 election was not so victorious and a loss of outright majority forced Rayoy to from a coalition. Thing went from bad to worse with a constitutional crisis over the Catalan issue, the poor result of regional elections and corruption scandals. Mariano Rayoy's PP government was brought down with a motion of no confidence. MAriano Rayoy resigned as PP party leader and was replaced by Pablo Casado who failed to win both 2019 elections and was replaced as PP party leader in 2022 by Alberto Nuñez Fejido who was the President of Galicia.
Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE)
The Socialist Party (PSOE) was founded in 1879. Initially a Marxist organization, it remained a small political party before the First World War. Its main support came from Madrid, the mining districts of Asturias and the industrial areas of Bilbao. The leaders of the Socialist Party were forced to flee from Spain when General Franco took control of the country in March 1939. During the 1980s and the early-1990s, domestic politics were dominated by the PSOE under the leadership of Felipe Gonzalez, an archetype of the new generation of Spanish socialists who favored pragmatism and technocratic development in favor of ideology. The Socialists won four consecutive elections from 1982 onwards. Their main achievement in office was to establish Spain as a valuable and enthusiastic member of the European Union, which it joined in 1986 and from which it has benefited considerably. Spanish ratification of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union was completed in November 1992 and the single European currency was adopted upon its inception in January 1999. Gonzalez also took Spain into NATO in 1982 and continued membership was confirmed in a referendum held in 1986.
Corruption scandals fuelled growing popular disillusionment with the PSOE, and during the early 1990s, it was able to govern only in coalition with Basque and Catalan regional parties. The withdrawal of the Catalan from the Government precipitated an early general election in March 1996. At this point, the Spanish nation overcame its distrust of the right and the PSOE was replaced the PP under Jose Maria Aznar until he was, in turn, replaced by PP Zapatero in April 2004.
The Zapatero government supported coalition efforts in Afghanistan, including maintaining troop support for 2004 and 2005 elections, approved gay marriages, supported reconstruction efforts in Haiti, and cooperated on counterterrorism issues. Carrying out campaign promises, it immediately withdrew Spanish forces from Iraq but has continued to support Iraq reconstruction efforts.
The Senate is Spain's upper house and also called the Cortes Generales, together with the lower house, Cortes of Deputies from the Parliament of the Kigdom of Spain. Senators are represented by 4 seats from each of the 50 Spanish mainland provinces regardless of population. The island provinces are represented by 3 seats or 1 seat (depending on size), Cueta and Melilla elect two senators each. The 19 regional parliament each elect one senator plus one per million population resulting in another 58 senators. The total number of seated senators is 350.