Parliamentary Chamber: Congreso de los Diputados


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  Congreso de los Diputados

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  6 June 1993

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the elective seats in Parliament following premature dissolution of this body on 12 April 1993. General elections had previously been held in October 1989.

Background and outcome of elections:

  On 12 April 1993, Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party – PSOE) announced the dissolution of the Cortes and the date of the general elections, which were not normally due until November 1993. In doing so, he cited the prevailing tense political climate and the need to have a government with a new popular mandate to carry out the required economic reforms.

As was the case at the previous elections in 1989, the main challenge to the ruling PSOE came from the centre-right People’s Party (PP), whose candidate for Prime Minister was Mr. Josť Maria Aznar. The official two-week election campaign opened on 21 May and was dominated by the holding, for the first time in Spain’s history, of two television debates between the two main contenders, Prime Minister Gonzalez and Mr. Aznar. The main campaign issues were the economic crisis characterised by slower growth of the gross domestic product, rising unemployment and the weakness of the Spanish peseta currency, as well as corruption scandals surrounding the PSOE. The Socialists, for their part, stressed their experience in government; Mr. Gonzalez’s charisma and personal popularity after 11 years of office were also seen as major assets. The campaign, which moreover focused on the need to strengthen democratic institutions and the treat to the construction of Europe, was the most heated and intensive in the past 10 years. There were altogether some 1,600 candidates.

Voter turnout was high, reaching 77.13%, up to the 69.9% recorded during the previous general elections in 1989. While exit polls indicated a closer contest, polling results left the PSOE with a relative majority in the Congress of Deputies. Although its share of the popular vote increased, it lost 16 seats in the Lower House while its main challenger, the PP, increased its strength by 34 seats. Other highlights of the polling were the disappearance from Spain’s parliamentary landscape of the centrist Democratic and Social Centre (CDS), which in the previous elections had won 14 seats, the decline of the Basque nationalist Herri Batasuna and the rise of a new coalition of regional parties from the Canary Island, which won four seats.

The newly elected Parliament convened on 29 June. On 9 July, the Congress of Deputies confirmed Mr. Gonzalez by vote to a fourth consecutive term as Prime Minister. Four days later, he named the Cabinet. The Socialists will rule for the first time with a minority Government, after failed attempts to form a coalition with CiU and PNV.

Round no 1 (6 June 1993): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 30,748,763
Voters 23,718,051 (77.13%)
Invalid ballot papers 126,952
Blank ballot papers* 188,679
Valid votes 23,590,801
  * Blank ballot papers are considered valid.

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) 9,149,926 38.68
People’s Party (PP) 8,201,365 34.82
United Left (IU) 2,253,648 9.57
Convergence and Union (CiU) 1,165,783 4.95
National Basque Party (PNV) 291,448 1.24
Canaries Coalition 206,718 0.88
Herri Batasuna 206,876 0.88
Catalan Republican Party 189,632 0.80
Aragonese Regional Party 144,544 0.61
Basque Solidarity 129,293 0.55
Valencian Union 112,341 0.48

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) 159 -16
People’s Party (PP) 141 +34
United Left (IU) 18 +1
Convergence and Union (CiU) 17 -1
National Basque Party (PNV) 5 =
Canaries Coalition 4 +4
Herri Batasuna 2 -2
Catalan Republican Party 1 +1
Aragonese Regional Party 1 =
Basque Solidarity 1 -1
Valencian Union 1 -1

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 294
Women: 56

Distribution of seats according to age:  
18 – 30 years 4
31 – 45 years 152
46 – 60 years 178
Over 60 years 16

Distribution of seats according to profession:

Teachers 84
Lawyers 77
Civil servants 59
Administrators 34
Businessmen 24
Medical Practitioners/Pharmacists 17
Architects/Engineers 10
Industrial technicians 11
Farmers 8
Journalists 4
Miners 2
Judges 2
Others 18

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Copyright © 1993 Inter-Parliamentary Union