Spanish local elections, 2015

Spanish local elections, 2015
24 May 2015

67,515 seats in 8,122 local councils
1,040 seats in 38 provincial deputations
153 seats in 3 Juntas Generales in the Basque Country
155 seats in 7 cabildos in the Canary Islands
Opinion polls
Registered 35,099,122 Increase1.1%
Turnout 22,781,766 (64.9%)
Decrease1.3 pp
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Mariano Rajoy Pedro Sánchez Artur Mas
Leader since 2 September 2003 26 July 2014 7 January 2002
Last election 26,507 seats, 37.5% 21,766 seats, 27.8% 3,867 seats, 3.5%
Seats won 22,744 20,858 3,336
Seat change Decrease3,763 Decrease908 Decrease531
Popular vote 6,070,176 5,613,733 669,781
Percentage 27.1% 25.0% 3.0%
Swing Decrease10.4 pp Decrease2.8 pp Decrease0.5 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Oriol Junqueras Cayo Lara Albert Rivera
Party ERC IU C's
Leader since 17 September 2011 14 December 2008 9 July 2006
Last election 1,392 seats, 1.2% 2,249 seats, 6.4% 7 seats, 0.2%
Seats won 2,387 2,022 1,516
Seat change Increase995 Decrease227 Increase1,509
Popular vote 513,529 1,089,300 1,469,875
Percentage 2.3% 4.9% 6.6%
Swing Increase1.1 pp Decrease1.5 pp Increase6.4 pp

The 2015 Spanish local elections were held on Sunday, 24 May 2015, throughout all 8,122 Spain municipalities, simultaneously with regional elections in 13 of the 17 autonomous communities—all except for Andalusia, the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Galicia. All 67,515 councillors were up for election, as well as 153 seats of the 3 Basque Juntas Generales, 153 seats of the 7 Canarian cabildos and the indirectly-elected 1,040 seats of the 38 provincial deputations.

Electoral system

Local councils

The number of seats in each city council was determined by the population count. According to the municipal electoral law, the population-seat relationship on each municipality was to be established on the following scale:

Population Seats
<100 3
101–250 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

Additionally, for populations greater than 100,000, 1 seat was to be added per each 100,000 inhabitants or fraction, according to the most updated census data, and adding 1 more seat if the resulting seat count gives an even number.

All city council members were elected in single multi-member districts, consisting of the municipality's territory, using the D'Hondt method and a closed-list proportional representation system. Voting was on the basis of universal suffrage in a secret ballot. Only lists polling above 5% of valid votes in all of the municipality (which include blank ballots—for none of the above) were entitled to enter the seat distribution.

The Spanish municipal electoral law established a clause stating that, if no candidate was to gather an absolute majority of votes to be elected as mayor of a municipality, the candidate of the most-voted party would be automatically elected to the post.[1]

Provincial deputations

The provincial deputations were elected indirectly by a council which in turn was elected from the judicial districts. The apportionment of deputies per province depends on population and was given as follows:

Population Seats
<500,000 25
500,001–1,000,000 27
1,000,001–3,500,000 31
>3,500,000 51


After Podemos' success in the European Parliament election of 2014, the party decided not to directly contest the local elections scheduled for May 2015, but instead to focus on the regional and general elections to be held throughout 2015. Instead, they opted for the Guanyem Barcelona formula, popular unity municipal candidacies comprising different parties and social movements. The model was reproduced in many cities under the name Ganemos (Let's Win).[2]

United Left, the traditional left-wing third party of Spain, also started debating on joining these local coalitions.[3] However, this option was not well received by some party sectors, particularly their Madrid branch, who feared that the party would lose its identity if it joined these coalitions.[4] The first attempt at a joint candidacy that included Podemos and United Left, among others, succeeded in Barcelona with Guanyem Barcelona, later Barcelona en Comú, under activist Ada Colau's leadership.[5]

Another national party that decided to participate in most of these unitary candidacies was Equo,[6] as well as minoritary parties like PUM+J, Socialist Alternative, Republican Alternative, ANOVA, or Initiative for Catalonia Greens.[7][8][9] The unitary lists also included individuals from social movements like the anti-eviction PAH, 15M, o the so-called mareas (Spanish for "tides") made up of workers from different service sectors like teachers, Public Health System workers or young people forced to migrate as a consequence of the 2008–15 Spanish financial crisis.

Opinion polls


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