1979 Spanish local elections

The 1979 Spanish local elections were held on Tuesday, 3 April 1979, to elect all 67,505 councillors in the 7,870 municipalities of Spain and all 1,152 seats in 43 provincial deputations.[1][2][3] The elections were held simultaneously with local elections in the four foral deputations of the Basque Country and Navarre and the ten island councils in the Balearic and Canary Islands.

1979 Spanish local elections

← 1976 3 April 1979 1983 →

67,505 councillors in 7,870 municipal councils
1,152 seats in 43 provincial deputations
Registered26,591,013
Turnout16,621,868 (62.5%)
  First party Second party Third party
  Adolfo Suárez 1980 (cropped).jpg Felipe González 1976 (cropped).jpg Santiago Carrillo 1978 (cropped).jpg
Leader Adolfo Suárez Felipe González Santiago Carrillo
Party UCD PSOE PCE
Seats won 29,288 12,069 3,725
Popular vote 5,067,634 4,621,672 2,142,049
Percentage 30.9% 28.2% 13.0%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Jordi Pujol 1980s (cropped).jpg Manuel Fraga 1982 (cropped).jpg Carlos Garaikoetxea 1979 (cropped).jpg
Leader Jordi Pujol Manuel Fraga Carlos Garaikoetxea
Party CiU CD EAJ/PNV
Seats won 1,782 2,383 1,093
Popular vote 509,128 504,780 361,160
Percentage 3.1% 3.1% 2.2%

SpainProvinceMapMunicipal1979.png
Provincial results map for municipal elections

While the national ruling Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD) emerged as the largest party overall, an alliance between the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) saw municipal control over the main urban areas switching to left-wing parties.[4][5]

Electoral systemEdit

Municipal elections

Municipalities in Spain were local corporations with independent legal personality. They had a governing body, the municipal council or corporation, composed of a mayor, deputy mayors and a plenary assembly of councillors. Voting for the local assemblies was on the basis of universal suffrage, with all nationals over eighteen, registered in the corresponding municipality and in full enjoyment of all political rights entitled to vote. The mayor was in turn elected by the plenary assembly, with a legal clause providing for the candidate of the most-voted party to be automatically elected to the post in the event no other candidate was to gather an absolute majority of votes.

Local councillors were elected using the D'Hondt method and a closed list proportional representation, with an electoral threshold of five percent of valid votes—which included blank ballots—being applied in each local council. Councillors were allocated to municipal councils based on the following scale:

Population Councillors
<250 5
251–1,000 7
1,001–2,000 9
2,001–5,000 11
5,001–10,000 13
10,001–20,000 17
20,001–50,000 21
50,001–100,000 25
>100,001 +1 per each 100,000 inhabitants or fraction
+1 if total is an even number

Additionally, municipalities below 25 inhabitants, as well as those having traditionally adopted it, were to be organized through the open council system (Spanish: régimen de concejo abierto), in which electors would directly vote for the local major.[6]

The electoral law provided that parties, federations, coalitions and groupings of electors were allowed to present lists of candidates. However, groupings of electors were required to secure the signature of at least 0.1 percent of the electors registered in the municipality for which they sought election—needing to secure, in any case, the signature of 500 electors—. Electors were barred from signing for more than one list of candidates.[7] Concurrently, parties and federations intending to enter in coalition to take part jointly at an election were required to inform the relevant Electoral Commission within ten days of the election being called.[6]

Deputations and island councils

Provincial deputations were the governing bodies of provinces in Spain, having an administration role of municipal activities and composed of a provincial president, an administrative body, and a plenary. Basque provinces and Navarre had foral deputations instead—called Juntas Generales in the Basque Country—. For insular provinces, such as the Balearic and Canary Islands, deputations were replaced by island councils in each of the islands or group of islands. For Majorca, Menorca and IbizaFormentera this figure was referred to in Spanish as consejo insular (Catalan: consell insular), whereas for Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, La Gomera, El Hierro, Lanzarote and La Palma its name was cabildo insular.

Most deputations were indirectly elected by local councillors from municipalities in each judicial district. Seats were allocated to provincial deputations based on the following scale:

Population Seats
<500,000 24
500,001–1,000,000 27
>1,000,001 30
Madrid and Barcelona 51

Island councils and the foral deputations of Biscay, Gipuzkoa and Navarre were elected directly by electors under their own, specific electoral regulations.[6]

Municipal electionsEdit

OverallEdit

Councillor share for different parties in the elections.

  UCD (43.39%)
  PSOE (17.88%)
  PCE (5.51%)
  CD (3.53%)
  CiU (2.64%)
  EAJ/PNV (1.62%)
  PAR (0.41%)
  HB (0.40%)
  PSA–PA (0.38%)
  BNPG (0.38%)
  PTE (0.34%)
  ERCFNC (0.31%)
  Other (23.21%)
Summary of the 3 April 1979 municipal election results in Spain
Parties and coalitions Popular vote Councillors
Votes % ±pp Total +/−
Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD) 5,067,634 30.87 n/a 29,288 n/a
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 4,621,672 28.15 n/a 12,069 n/a
Communist Party of Spain (PCE) 2,142,049 13.05 n/a 3,725 n/a
Convergence and Union (CiU) 509,128 3.10 n/a 1,782 n/a
Democratic Coalition (CD) 504,780 3.07 n/a 2,383 n/a
Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ/PNV) 361,160 2.20 n/a 1,093 n/a
Socialist Party of Andalusia–Andalusian Party (PSA–PA) 245,507 1.50 n/a 259 n/a
Popular Unity (HB) 164,516 1.00 n/a 267 n/a
Party of Labour of Spain (PTE) 148,083 0.90 n/a 229 n/a
Workers' Revolutionary Organization (ORT) 114,539 0.70 n/a 107 n/a
Republican Left of CataloniaNational Front of Catalonia (ERC–FNC) 103,547 0.63 n/a 210 n/a
Communist MovementOrganization of Communist Left (MC–OIC) 86,792 0.53 n/a 59 n/a
Galician National-Popular Bloc (BNPG) 78,216 0.48 n/a 258 n/a
Galician Unity (PGPOGPSG) 69,060 0.42 n/a 141 n/a
National Union (UN) 61,889 0.38 n/a 122 n/a
Basque Country Left (EE) 59,332 0.36 n/a 84 n/a
Regionalist Aragonese Party (PAR) 58,661 0.36 n/a 276 n/a
Canarian People's Union (UPC) 55,779 0.34 n/a 30 n/a
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (historical) (PSOEh) 26,585 0.16 n/a 45 n/a
Regionalist Party of Cantabria (PRC) 23,870 0.15 n/a 81 n/a
Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) 18,390 0.11 n/a 7 n/a
Valencian Regional Union (URV) 18,015 0.11 n/a 2 n/a
Cantonal Party (PCAN) 14,753 0.09 n/a 7 n/a
Communists of Catalonia (ComC) 14,529 0.09 n/a 0 n/a
Independent Councillors for La Rioja (CIR) 13,580 0.08 n/a 147 n/a
Navarrese People's Union (UPN) 12,305 0.07 n/a 10 n/a
Socialist Party of National Liberation (PSAN) 10,907 0.07 n/a 5 n/a
Nationalist Party of the Valencian Country (PNPV) 10,773 0.07 n/a 12 n/a
Communist Unification of Spain (UCE) 9,908 0.06 n/a 4 n/a
Candidates for Democracy (CPLD) 9,778 0.06 n/a 77 n/a
Carlist Party (PC) 9,548 0.06 n/a 9 n/a
Electoral Group of Ceuta–Democratic Local Council (AECAD) 8,855 0.05 n/a 12 n/a
Free Electoral Group of Tenerife (ALET) 8,815 0.05 n/a 4 n/a
Socialist Party of Majorca (PSM) 8,123 0.05 n/a 11 n/a
Republican Left (IR) 7,661 0.05 n/a 5 n/a
Leonese Peasants Electoral Group (AECL) 7,496 0.05 n/a 112 n/a
Spanish Communist Workers' Party (PCOE) 7,400 0.05 n/a 1 n/a
Others 1,702,022 10.37 n/a 14,572 n/a
Blank ballots 20,038 0.12 n/a
Total 16,415,695 100.00 67,505 n/a
Valid votes 16,415,695 98.76 n/a
Invalid votes 206,173 1.24 n/a
Votes cast / turnout 16,621,868 62.51 n/a
Abstentions 9,969,145 37.49 n/a
Registered voters 26,591,013
Sources[8][9]
Popular vote
UCD
30.87%
PSOE
28.15%
PCE
13.05%
CiU
3.10%
CD
3.07%
EAJ/PNV
2.20%
PSA–PA
1.50%
HB
1.00%
PTE
0.90%
ORT
0.70%
ERCFNC
0.63%
MCOIC
0.53%
Others
14.17%
Blank ballots
0.12%

City controlEdit

The following table lists party control in provincial capitals, as well as in municipalities above or around 75,000.[10]

Municipality Population New control
A Coruña 224,289 Galician Unity (PG–POG–PSG) (UCD in 1979)
Albacete 105,408 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Alcalá de Henares 110,102 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Alcorcón 119,300 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Algeciras 92,273 Communist Party of Spain (PCE)
Alicante 232,019 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Almería 133,844 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Ávila 37,302 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Avilés 89,285 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Badajoz 110,290 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Badalona 229,780 Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSUC)
Barakaldo 122,540 Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ/PNV)
Barcelona 1,754,579 Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC–PSOE)
Bilbao 450,661 Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ/PNV)
Burgos 145,473 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Cáceres 63,181 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Cádiz 153,327 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Cartagena 162,630 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Castellón de la Plana 115,522 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Ciudad Real 48,075 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Córdoba 269,998 Communist Party of Spain (PCE)
Cornellà de Llobregat 91,563 Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSUC)
Cuenca 38,601 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Elche 160,071 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Ferrol 88,161 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Getafe 124,601 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Gijón 253,294 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Girona 83,929 Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC–PSOE)
Granada 225,034 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Guadalajara 47,758 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Huelva 122,494 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Huesca 38,095 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Jaén 88,968 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Jerez de la Frontera 180,098 Socialist Party of Andalusia–Andalusian Party (PSA–PA)
L'Hospitalet de Llobregat 289,747 Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC–PSOE)
Las Palmas 345,925 Canarian People's Union (UPC) (PSOE in 1980; UCD in 1982)
Leganés 151,235 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
León 120,761 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) (UCD in 1979)
Lleida 106,190 Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC–PSOE)
Logroño 103,097 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Lugo 71,574 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Madrid 3,355,720 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Málaga 454,882 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Mataró 96,942 Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC–PSOE)
Móstoles 101,266 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Murcia 283,552 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Ourense 88,029 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Oviedo 179,866 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Palencia 65,896 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Palma 283,113 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Pamplona 173,255 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Pontevedra 63,863 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Reus 82,407 Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC–PSOE)
Sabadell 187,247 Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSUC)
Salamanca 141,474 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
San Cristóbal de La Laguna 112,472 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
San Sebastián 174,818 Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ/PNV)
Santa Coloma de Gramenet 140,613 Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSUC)
Santa Cruz de Tenerife 183,583 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Santander 174,809 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Santiago de Compostela 81,536 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD) (PDL in 1982)
Segovia 48,623 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Seville 622,532 Socialist Party of Andalusia–Andalusian Party (PSA–PA)
Soria 28,845 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Tarragona 108,131 Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC–PSOE)
Terrassa 157,442 Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC–PSOE)
Teruel 24,590 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Toledo 54,999 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Valencia 737,129 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Valladolid 308,523 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Vigo 254,051 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Vitoria-Gasteiz 181,216 Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ/PNV)
Zamora 54,819 Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Zaragoza 555,424 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)

Provincial deputationsEdit

SummaryEdit

Provincial deputy share for different parties in the elections.

  UCD (62.24%)
  PSOE (24.22%)
  PCE (5.38%)
  CiU (3.91%)
  CD (2.52%)
  PAR (0.35%)
  BNPG (0.26%)
  PSA–PA (0.17%)
  PG–POG–PSG (0.17%)
  PTE (0.09%)
  PRC (0.09%)
  PRE (0.09%)
  Other (0.51%)
Summary of the 3 April 1979 provincial deputations election results
Parties and coalitions Seats
Total +/−
Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD) 717 n/a
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 279 n/a
Communist Party of Spain (PCE) 62 n/a
Convergence and Union (CiU) 45 n/a
Democratic Coalition (CD) 29 n/a
Regionalist Aragonese Party (PAR) 4 n/a
Galician National-Popular Bloc (BNPG) 3 n/a
Socialist Party of Andalusia–Andalusian Party (PSA–PA) 2 n/a
Galician Unity (PGPOGPSG) 2 n/a
Party of Labour of Spain (PTE) 1 n/a
Regionalist Party of Cantabria (PRC) 1 n/a
Spanish Ruralist Party (PRE) 1 n/a
Others 6 n/a
Total 1,152 n/a
Sources[3]

Deputation controlEdit

The following table lists party control in provincial deputations.[3]

Province New control
A Coruña Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Albacete Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Alicante Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Almería Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Ávila Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Badajoz Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Barcelona Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) (PSC–PSOE in 1980)
Burgos Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Cáceres Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Cádiz Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Castellón Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Ciudad Real Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Córdoba Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Cuenca Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Girona Convergence and Union (CiU)
Granada Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Guadalajara Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Huelva Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Huesca Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Jaén Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
León Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Lleida Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Logroño Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Lugo Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Málaga Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Madrid Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Murcia Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Ourense Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Oviedo Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Palencia Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Pontevedra Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Salamanca Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Santander Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Segovia Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Seville Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Soria Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Tarragona Convergence and Union (CiU)
Teruel Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Toledo Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Valencia Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Valladolid Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Zamora Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)
Zaragoza Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Municipal elections in Spain 1979-2011". interior.gob.es (in Spanish). Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Provincial deputation elections since 1979" (in Spanish). historiaelectoral.com. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Provincial deputation elections 1979" (in Spanish). historiaelectoral.com. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Pacto PSOE-PCE para lograr ayuntamientos con mayoría de la izquierda". El País (in Spanish). 5 April 1979. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Primeras elecciones municipales". Canal Historia (in Spanish). 3 April 1979. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  6. ^ a b c "Local Elections Law of 1978". Law of 17 July 1978. Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Electoral Rules Decree of 1977". Royal Decree-Law No. 20 of 18 March 1977. Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Electoral Results Consultation. Municipal. April 1979. National totals". infoelectoral.mir.es (in Spanish). Ministry of the Interior. Archived from the original on 1 August 2020. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Municipal elections (overall results 1979-2011)" (in Spanish). historiaelectoral.com. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Municipal elections (city majors by party)". historiaelectoral.com (in Spanish). Historia Electoral. Retrieved 24 February 2018.