Puneet Varma

Andalusian parliamentary election, 1982

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23 May 1982  1986 →
Turnout  2,874,121 (66.2%)
1980  1980
Registered  4,342,408
2 June 1979  1980
66  17
Andalusian parliamentary election, 1982

The 1982 Andalusian parliamentary election was held on Sunday, 23 May 1982, to elect the 1st Parliament of Andalusia, the regional legislature of the Spanish autonomous community of Andalusia. All 109 seats in the Parliament were up for election.


The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) under incumbent pre-autonomic President Rafael Escuredo won a comfortable absolute majority of 66 seats with 52.6% of the vote, to date the best result obtained by any party in an Andalusian regional election.

The Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD), then in the Spanish government, suffered from the effects of an ongoing economic crisis, internal party infighting and a decreasing popularity in opinion polls and won just 15 seats and 13.0% of the vote, finishing third. In contrast, the People's Alliance (AP) came second, polling a surprising 17.0% and 17 seats. The election result would unleash a massive party crisis within the UCD during the summer of 1982, leading to the party being nearly wiped out in the 1982 general election.


The Parliament of Andalusia was the unicameral legislature of Andalusia at the time of the 1982 election. Legislative initiative for those areas of responsibility attributed to the regional government belonged to this chamber, which also had the attribution of granting or revoking confidence from the President of Andalusia.

The President had the ability to dissolve the chamber at any given time and call a snap election. In the event that investiture attempts failed to elect a regional President within a two month-period from the first ballot, the candidate for the party with the most seats was automatically elected.

Electoral system

No electoral law was in force at the time of the 1982 election, with election rules for the Parliament regulated under the electoral system for the Congress of Deputies. This system provided for voting on the basis of universal suffrage, with all residents over eighteen and in the full enjoyment of all political rights entitled to vote. Concurrently, residents meeting the previous criteria and not involved in any cause of ineligibility were eligible for the Parliament. Groups of electors were required to obtain the signatures of at least 1% of registered electors in a particular district in order to be able to field candidates.

All 109 Parliament seats were allocated to eight multi-member district—each constituency corresponding to a province—using the D'Hondt method and a closed list proportional representation. Each district was entitled to an initial minimum of eight seats, with the remaining 45 seats allocated among the eight provinces in proportion to their populations on the condition that the number of seats in each district did not exceed two times those of any other. A threshold of 3% of valid votes—which included blank ballots—was applied, with parties not reaching the threshold not entitled to enter the seat distribution.


Poll results are listed in the table below in reverse chronological order, showing the most recent first. The highest percentage figure in each polling survey is displayed in bold, and the background shaded in the leading party's colour. In the instance that there is a tie, then no figure is shaded. The lead column on the right shows the percentage-point difference between the two parties with the highest figures. Poll results use the date the survey's fieldwork was done, as opposed to the date of publication. However, if such date is unknown, the date of publication will be given instead.

Seat projections

Opinion polls showing seat projections are displayed in the table below. The highest seat figures in each polling survey have their background shaded in the leading party's colour. In the instance that there is a tie, then no figure is shaded. 55 seats were required for an absolute majority in the Parliament of Andalusia.


As in the Galician election held seven months previously, the results of the election came as a shock for the Union of the Democratic Centre, as it had expected to finish above the People's Alliance. The UCD had seen its popularity fall in the region after its perceived attempts to delay the autonomic process by actively supporting abstention rather than an affirmative vote in the Andalusian autonomy referendum of 1980; more so after the 'Yes' vote won nonetheless. This, coupled with the continued party's internal struggles and weak leadership, undermined the party's credibility as a government force, contributing to its electoral debacle.

In contrast, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party became the big winner by obtaining an absolute majority of seats — the first obtained in an election of any kind since the Spanish transition to democracy — which allowed PSOE candidate Rafael Escuredo to govern alone.

The election results were a deathblow for UCD, which found itself electorally surpassed by AP both on its stronghold of Galicia and in the most-populated region of Spain and with a strengthening PSOE poised to achieve a landslide victory in the general election scheduled for 1983, fresh from the Andalusia ballot. MP defections within the party's parliamentary group in the Congress of Deputies increased after the Andalusian election: of the 168 seats it had won in 1979, it only retained 150 by the summer of 1982. By late August 1982, two party splits, Adolfo Suárez's Democratic and Social Centre (CDS) and the christian democrat People's Democratic Party (PDP), had reduced UCD grouping to 124 out of 350 MPs., Unable to command a majority of Parliament to pass on legislation and amidst a climate of UCD's disintegration, Prime Minister Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo announced that the next general election would be held on 28 October 1982, five months ahead of schedule.


Andalusian parliamentary election, 1982 Wikipedia

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