1979 Madrid City Council election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Madrid City Council election, 1979

3 April 1979 1983 →

All 59 seats in the City Council of Madrid
30 seats needed for a majority
Turnout1,569,610 (66.0%)
  First party Second party Third party
  (Álvarez) Adolfo Suárez junto al ministro de Transportes y Comunicaciones (cropped) (cropped).jpeg Enrique Tierno Galván 1979 (cropped).jpg Ramón Tamames 1979 (cropped).jpg
Leader José Luis Álvarez Enrique Tierno Galván Ramón Tamames
Leader since 1979 1979 1979
Seats won 25 25 9
Popular vote 632,329 619,772 230,651
Percentage 40.3% 39.5% 14.7%

Mayor before election

Luis María Huete y Morillo

Elected Mayor

Enrique Tierno Galván

The 1979 Madrid City Council election, also the 1979 Madrid municipal election, was held on Tuesday, 3 April 1979, to elect the 1st City Council of the municipality of Madrid. All 59 seats in the City Council were up for election. The election was held simultaneously with local elections all throughout Spain.

The Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD) emerged as the most voted party, but in a seat tie with the second force, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), at 25 seats. As neither had an absolute majority of seats, it was up to the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) 9 seats to decide which party was to govern in Madrid.

Finally, an agreement between the PSOE and PCE resulted in Enrique Tierno Galván being named as the first democratically elected Mayor of Madrid.

Electoral system[edit]

The City Council of Madrid (Spanish: Ayuntamiento de Madrid) was the top-tier administrative and governing body of the municipality of Madrid, composed of the mayor, the government council and the elected plenary assembly. Voting for the local assembly was on the basis of universal suffrage, which comprised all nationals over eighteen, registered in the municipality of Madrid and in full enjoyment of their civil and political rights.[1][2]

Local councillors were elected using the D'Hondt method and a closed list proportional representation, with a threshold of 5 percent of valid votes—which included blank ballots—being applied. Parties not reaching the threshold were not taken into consideration for seat distribution.[1][2] Councillors were allocated to municipal councils based on the following scale:

Population Councillors
<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
>100,001 +1 per each 100,000 inhabitants or fraction
+1 if total is an even number

The mayor was indirectly elected by the plenary assembly. A legal clause required that mayoral candidates earned the vote of an absolute majority of councillors, or else the candidate of the most-voted party in the assembly was to be automatically appointed to the post. In case of a tie, the eldest would be elected.[2]

The electoral law provided that parties, federations, coalitions and groupings of electors were allowed to present lists of candidates. However, groupings of electors were required to secure the signature of at least 0.1 percent of the electors registered in the municipality for which they sought election—needing to secure, in any case, the signature of 500 electors—. Electors were barred from signing for more than one list of candidates. Concurrently, parties and federations intending to enter in coalition to take part jointly at an election were required to inform the relevant Electoral Commission within ten days of the election being called.[1]


Summary of the 3 April 1979 City Council of Madrid election results
Parties and coalitions Popular vote Seats
Votes % ±pp Total +/−
Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD) 632,329 40.29 n/a 25 n/a
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 619,772 39.49 n/a 25 n/a
Communist Party of Spain (PCE) 230,651 14.69 n/a 9 n/a
Workers' Revolutionary Organization (ORT) 37,396 2.38 n/a 0 n/a
Spanish Phalanx of the CNSO (FE–JONS) 25,038 1.60 n/a 0 n/a
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (historical) (PSOEh) 5,317 0.34 n/a 0 n/a
Communist Unification of Spain (UCE) 5,251 0.33 n/a 0 n/a
Spanish Communist Workers' Party (PCOE) 5,241 0.33 n/a 0 n/a
Communist MovementOrganization of Communist Left (MC–OIC) 2,401 0.15 n/a 0 n/a
Socialist Party (PS) 2,298 0.15 n/a 0 n/a
Liberal Party (PL) 2,132 0.14 n/a 0 n/a
Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) 1,784 0.11 n/a 0 n/a
Blank ballots 0 0.00 n/a
Total 1,569,610 59 n/a
Valid votes 1,569,610 100.00 n/a
Invalid votes 0 0.00 n/a
Votes cast / turnout 1,569,610 65.98 n/a
Abstentions 809,331 34.02 n/a
Registered voters 2,378,941
Popular vote
Blank ballots


  1. ^ a b c "Electoral Rules Decree of 1977". Royal Decree-Law No. 20 of 18 March 1977. Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Local Elections Law of 1978". Law of 17 July 1978. Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Electoral Results Consultation. Municipal. April 1979. Madrid Municipality". infoelectoral.mir.es (in Spanish). Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Municipal elections in Madrid since 1979". historiaelectoral.com (in Spanish). Electoral History. Retrieved 30 September 2017.