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Spanish general election, 1977

Spanish general election, 1977

15 June 1977

All 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies and 207 (of the 248) seats in the Senate
176 seats needed for a majority in the Congress of Deputies
Registered 23,583,762
Turnout 18,590,130 (78.8%)
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Adolfo Suárez Felipe González Santiago Carrillo
Leader since 3 May 1977 13 October 1974 3 July 1960
Leader's seat Madrid Madrid Madrid
Seats won 165 118 20
Popular vote 6,310,391 5,371,866 1,709,890
Percentage 34.4% 29.3% 9.3%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Manuel Fraga Enrique Tierno Galván Jordi Pujol
Leader since 9 October 1976 1974 17 November 1974
Leader's seat Madrid Madrid Barcelona
Seats won 16 6 11
Popular vote 1,504,771 816,582 514,647
Percentage 8.2% 4.5% 2.8%

Most voted party in each province. Every province is a multi-member district for the Congress.

Prime Minister before election

Adolfo Suárez

Elected Prime Minister

Adolfo Suárez

The Spanish general election of 1977 took place on 15 June 1977. It was the first election since the death of Francisco Franco. The previous general election was held in 1936, prior to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.

Voting was on the basis of universal suffrage in a secret ballot. The elections were held using closed list proportional representation in 52 electoral districts corresponding to the 50 provinces of Spain and the African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. The largest districts Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia elected 32, 31 and 15 members respectively. Other districts elected from 3 to 12 members. The exceptions were Ceuta and Melilla, which were single member districts. Seats were allocated using the D'Hondt method and only lists that polled 3% of the total vote (which included votes "en blanco" i.e., for none of the above) were eligible for seats. With the exception of the Communist Party of Spain, none of the parties that had supported the Second Republic or those descended from them were legalised until after the elections, and were therefore rendered ineligible to take part.[1]

The elections took place against the backdrop of a poor economic situation in Spain.[2] They were marred by demonstrations against alleged irregularities and bombings in many areas. In Barcelona, 2,000 demonstrators gathered outside the building housing the local election board. They claimed they had not been included in the census, which would have given them the right to vote. Two policemen were also hurt when a Molotov cocktail was thrown at their vehicle. In Seville, three people, including two policemen, suffered minor injuries when a bomb exploded at the magistrates' court. Additionally four explosions occurred in Pamplona and two in Cordoba.[3]

The election results were a disappointment for the Communist Party, which fell short of its goal of 30 to 40 deputies.[4]

Post election the Union of the Democratic Centre governed in a minority, working with other opposition parties from both sides of the political spectrum including the rightist People’s Alliance and the parties of the left, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and Communists (PCE).


  • Overview 1
    • Electoral system 1.1
    • Eligibility 1.2
  • Results 2
    • Congress of Deputies 2.1
      • Overall 2.1.1
  • References 3


Electoral system

Congress of Deputies

The 350 members of the Congress of Deputies were elected in 50 multi-member districts using the D'Hondt method and a closed-list proportional representation. Ceuta and Melilla elected 1 member each using plurality voting. Each district was entitled to an initial minimum of 2 seats, with the remaining 248 seats being allocated among the 50 provinces in proportion to their populations. Only lists polling above 3% of the total vote in each district (which includes blank ballots—for none of the above) were entitled to enter the seat distribution.


For the Senate, each of the 47 peninsular provinces was assigned 4 seats. For insular provinces, such as Baleares and Canarias, districts are the islands themselves, with the larger — Mallorca, Gran Canaria, and Tenerife — being assigned 3 seats each, and the smaller — Menorca, Ibiza-Formentera, Fuerteventura, Gomera, Hierro, Lanzarote and La Palma — 1 each. Ceuta and Melilla were assigned 2 seats each, for a total of 208 directly elected seats. In districts electing 4 seats, electors could vote for up to 3 candidates; in those with 2 or 3 seats, for up to 2 candidates; and for 1 candidate in single member constituencies. Electors would vote for individual candidates: those attaining the largest number of votes in each district would be elected for a 4-year term of office.

In addition, the legislative assemblies of the autonomous communities are entitled to appoint at least 1 senator each, as well as 1 senator for every million inhabitants, adding up a variable number of appointed seats to the directly-elected 208 senators.[5] This appointment usually did not take place at the same time that the general election, but when the autonomous communities held their elections.


Dual membership of both chambers of the Cortes or of the Cortes and regional assemblies was prohibited. Active judges, magistrates, public defenders, serving military personnel, active police officers and members of constitutional and electoral tribunals were also ineligible.[6][7]

Parties and coalitions of different parties which had registered with the Electoral Commission could present lists of candidates.[7]


Congress of Deputies


Summary of the 15 June 1977 Spanish Congress of Deputies election results
Party Vote Seats
Votes % ±pp Won +/−
Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD) 6,310,391 34.44 165
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 5,371,866 29.32 118
Communist Party of Spain (PCE) 1,709,890 9.33 20
People's Alliance (AP) 1,504,771 8.21 16
People's Socialist Party-Socialist Unity (PSP-US) 816,582 4.46 6
Democratic Agreement for Catalonia (PDC) 514,647 2.81 11
Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV) 296,193 1.62 8
Christian Democracy Federation-Christian Democracy Team (FDC-EDC) 215,841 1.18 0
Christian Democracy and Centre Union of Catalonia (UDC-IDCC) 172,791 0.94 2
Left of Catalonia-Democratic Electoral Front (EC-FED) 143,954 0.79 1
Left Democratic Front (FDI) 122,608 0.67 0
Democratic Socialist Alliance (ASDCI) 101,916 0.56 0
Workers' Electoral Group (AET) 77,575 0.42 0
National Alliance July 18 (AN18) 67,336 0.37 0
Spanish Social Reform (RSE) 64,241 0.35 0
Basque Country Left (EE) 61,417 0.34 1
Authentic Spanish Falange of the JONS (FE-JONS(A)) 46,548 0.25 0
Workers' Unity Front (FUT) 41,208 0.22 0
Centre Independent Aragonese Candidature (CAIC) 37,183 0.20 1
Basque Socialist Party (ESB-PSV) 36,002 0.20 0
Socialist Party of the Valencian Country (PSPV) 31,138 0.17 0
Centre Independent Candidature (INDEP) 29,834 0.16 1
Galician Socialist Party (PSG) 27,197 0.15 0
Basque Christian Democracy (DCV) 26,100 0.14 0
Spanish Falange of the JONS (FE-JONS) 25,017 0.14 0
Basque Country Left-Navarrese Left Union (EE-UNAI) 24,489 0.13 0
Galician National-Popular Bloc (BNPG) 22,771 0.12 0
Navarrese Foral Alliance (AFN) 21,900 0.12 0
Andalusian Regional Unity (URA) 21,350 0.12 0
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (historical) (PSOE(h)) 21,242 0.12 0
League of Catalonia-Catalan Liberal Party (LC-PLC) 20,109 0.11 0
National Association for the Study of Actual Problems (ANEPA-CP) 18,113 0.10 0
Navarrese Autonomist Union (UAN) 18,079 0.10 0
United Canarian People (PCU) 17,717 0.10 0
Blank ballots 46,248 0.25
Total 18,324,333 100.00 350
Valid votes 18,324,333 98.57
Invalid votes 265,797 1.43
Votes cast / turnout 18,590,130 78.83
Abstentions 4,993,632 21.17
Registered voters 23,583,762
Source: Ministry of the Interior
Vote share
Blank ballots
Parliamentary seats


  1. ^ Torres Gallego, Emilio (9 February 1979). "Los republicanos y las elecciones". El País. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Cómo empezar a salir de la crisis económica antes de fin de año". La Vanguardia, 14 June 1977, p54. Retrieved 8 August 2009
  3. ^ "Left ahead in Spanish cities". The Guardian. 16 June 1977. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  4. ^ "Santiago Carillo confident of obtaining 40 seats". La Vanguardia. 14 June 1977. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  5. ^ "General Aspects of the Electoral System". 
  6. ^ "The Spanish Constitution of 1978". 
  7. ^ a b "Law-Decree governing electoral procedures". Retrieved 2014-12-30. 
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