Puneet Varma

Asturian parliamentary election, 2011

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22 May 2011  → 2012
21 seats, 42.0%  Did not contest
6  16
23 October 2010  18 January 2011
15  16
179,619  178,031
Asturian parliamentary election, 2011

The 2011 Asturian parliamentary election was held on Sunday, 22 May 2011, to elect the 8th General Junta of the Principality of Asturias, the regional legislature of the Spanish autonomous community of Asturias. At stake were all 45 seats in the General Junta, determining the President of the Principality of Asturias.

Contents

Except for the 1995-1999 legislature, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) had governed the autonomous community since the first election in 1983. However, in the 2011 election, the Asturias Forum (FAC), a split from the People's Party (PP), won the most seats despite PSOE obtaining more votes. The FAC was established on 19 January 2011 by Francisco Álvarez Cascos, former Deputy Prime Minister of Spain, after failing to be selected as PP's candidate. FAC gains came at the expense of the PP and the PSOE, but while PSOE's collapse had been predicted in early opinion polls, the PP had been widely expected to make strong gains before Cascos' split, instead scoring the worst result of its history. The Asturian Bloc (BA) had terminated its coalition with United Left (IU) and the Asturian Greens (LVA) in August 2010 and run separately, failing to win any seats. IU and the Greens maintained their coalition and retained their existing four seats.

Vicente Álvarez Areces, incumbent since 1999, did not seek re-election. As in Asturias it is not allowed for parties to vote against a proposed presidential candidate (instead being forced to either abstain or vote a candidate of their own), on July 2011, the PSOE and PP announced that they would abstain in the investiture voting of Álvarez Cascos, who thus became the new President at the head of a minority administration.

The resulting government, however, was not able to gather legislative support to approve its 2012 regional budget, with both PP and PSOE blocking the vote, resulting in a fresh election being held in March 2012.

Electoral system

The 45 members of the General Junta of the Principality of Asturias were elected in 3 multi-member districts using the D'Hondt method and a closed-list proportional representation system. Unlike other regions, districts did not coincide with provincial limits, being determined by law as such:

  • Central District, comprising the municipalities of: Aller, Avilés, Bimenes, Carreño, Caso, Castrillón, Corvera de Asturias, Gijón, Gozón, Illas, Las Regueras, Langreo, Laviana, Lena, Llanera, Mieres, Morcín, Noreña, Oviedo, Proaza, Quirós, Ribera de Arriba, Riosa, San Martín del Rey Aurelio, Santo Adriano, Sariego, Siero, Sobrescobio and Soto del Barco.
  • Eastern District, comprising the municipalities of: Amieva, Cabrales, Cabranes, Cangas de Onís, Caravia, Colunga, Llanes, Nava, Onís, Parres, Peñamellera Alta, Peñamellera Baja, Piloña, Ponga, Ribadedeva, Ribadesella and Villaviciosa.
  • Western District, comprising the municipalities of: Allande, Belmonte de Miranda, Boal, Candamo, Cangas del Narcea, Castropol, Coaña, Cudillero, Degaña, El Franco, Grado, Grandas de Salime, Ibias, Illano, Muros del Nalón, Navia, Pesoz, Pravia, Salas, San Martín de Oscos, Santa Eulalia de Oscos, San Tirso de Abres, Somiedo, Tapia de Casariego, Taramundi, Teverga, Tineo, Valdés, Vegadeo, Villanueva de Oscos, Villayón and Yernes y Tameza.
  • Each district was entitled to an initial minimum of 2 seats, with the remaining 39 seats allocated among the three districts in proportion to their populations. For the 2007 election, seats were distributed as follows: Central District (34), Eastern District (5) and Western District (6).

    Voting was on the basis of universal suffrage in a secret ballot. Only lists polling above 3% of the total vote in each district (which include blank ballots—for none of the above) were entitled to enter the seat distribution.

    Background

    On 7 July 2010, the President of Asturias, Vicente Álvarez Areces, announced that he would not seek re-election. Following the announcement, the General Secretary of the Asturian Socialist Federation (FSA), PSOE's regional branch, declared that he would seek the nomination to become the presidential candidate. His candidacy, supported by the FSA Executive Committee, was ratified by the PSOE Federal Committee on 23 October 2010.

    United Left, coalition partner of the PSOE, decided that their regional General Coordinator, Jesús Sánchez Iglesias, would be its presidential candidate for a second consecutive time. His candidacy was supported by the IU Asturian Presidency in November 2010 and ratified by IU's political council in Asturias on 27 November 2010.

    The Asturian Bloc ended its coalition with United Left and the Greens in October 2010 and contested the election in a joint electoral list with the Asturian Nationalist Unity (UNA) under the label Bloc for Asturias-UNA: Commitment for Asturias. BA's sole sitting deputy, Rafael Palacios, was their presidential candidate.

    Oviedo city councillor Isabel Pérez-Espinosa was selected by the People's Party as its presidential candidate on 29 December 2010. This led to a split within the Asturian PP as former Deputy Prime Minister Francisco Álvarez-Cascos had been seeking the nomination. He resigned from the PP and formed the Asturias Forum, running to the election on his own.

    Vote

    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. 23 seats were required for an absolute majority in the General Junta of the Principality of Asturias.

    References

    Asturian parliamentary election, 2011 Wikipedia


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