2015 Madrid City Council election

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Madrid City Council election, 2015

← 2011 24 May 2015 2019 →

All 57 seats in the City Council of Madrid
29 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Registered2,386,120 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3.4%
Turnout1,644,093 (68.9%)
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1.7 pp
  First party Second party Third party
  Esperanza Aguirre 2015d (cropped).jpg Manuela Carmena 2015d (cropped).jpg Antonio Miguel Carmona - Orgullo2015@FelixMoreno-51 (19054763448) (cropped).jpg
Leader Esperanza Aguirre Manuela Carmena Antonio Miguel Carmona
Party PP Ahora Madrid PSOE
Leader since 6 March 2015 30 March 2015 6 October 2014
Last election 31 seats, 49.7% Did not contest 15 seats, 23.9%
Seats won 21 20 9
Seat change Red Arrow Down.svg10 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg20 Red Arrow Down.svg6
Popular vote 564,154 519,721 249,286
Percentage 34.6% 31.8% 15.3%
Swing Red Arrow Down.svg15.1 pp New party Red Arrow Down.svg8.6 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Begoña Villacís 2015 (cropped).jpg David Ortega 2010 (cropped).JPG Raquel López 2015b (cropped).jpg
Leader Begoña Villacís David Ortega Raquel López
Leader since 2 March 2015 9 October 2010 26 March 2015
Last election 0 seats, 0.2% 5 seats, 7.9% 6 seats, 10.7%
Seats won 7 0 0
Seat change Green Arrow Up Darker.svg7 Red Arrow Down.svg5 Red Arrow Down.svg6
Popular vote 186,487 29,812 27,651
Percentage 11.4% 1.8% 1.7%
Swing Green Arrow Up Darker.svg11.2 pp Red Arrow Down.svg6.1 pp Red Arrow Down.svg9.0 pp

Mayor before election

Ana Botella

Elected Mayor

Manuela Carmena
Ahora Madrid

The 2015 Madrid City Council election, also the 2015 Madrid municipal election, was held on Sunday, 24 May 2015, to elect the 10th City Council of the municipality of Madrid. All 57 seats in the City Council were up for election. The election was held simultaneously with regional elections in thirteen autonomous communities and local elections all throughout Spain.

Leading the People's Party (PP) local list was Esperanza Aguirre, former President of Madrid (2003–2012), President of the Spanish Senate (1999–2002) and Minister of Education and Culture (1996–1999), as well as the leader of the regional PP branch since 2004. Mayor Ana Botella, who succeeded Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón early into his term in December 2011, had declined re-election in September 2014. The election was an unexpectedly close race between Aguirre's PP and former judge Manuela Carmena's Podemos-supported Ahora Madrid (English: Madrid Now) platform. The collapse in the PP vote and the loss of its absolute majority allowed Carmena to gain power through an alliance with the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), resulting in the first left-wing government in the city since 1989.

The PSOE suffered heavily from tactical voting to Ahora Madrid after it became apparent throughout the campaign that the left-of-centre vote was coalescing around Carmena's coalition. The newcomer liberal Citizens (Spanish: Ciudadanos) party also entered the City Council for the first time, collecting votes disenchanted with the PP and replacing Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD) as the main centrist local force. United Left (IU) fell below the 5% threshold and failed to gain any representation for the first time in history.

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 and residing in the municipality of Madrid and in full enjoyment of their political rights, as well as resident non-national European citizens and those whose country of origin allowed Spanish nationals to vote in their own elections by virtue of a treaty.[1][2][3]

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][3] Councillors were allocated to municipal councils based on the following scale:

Population Councillors
<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
>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, a toss-up would determine the appointee.[3]

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 a determined amount of the electors registered in the municipality for which they sought election. For the case of Madrid, as its population was over 1,000,001, at least 8,000 signatures were required. 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][2]

Mayoral candidates[edit]

According to the Spanish legislation on local authorities, the government of cities is assigned to the City Council and the mayor. The Spanish political system is parliamentary democracy in all its levels of government, with the city council responsible for the election of the mayor.

  • People's Party (PP): The Mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, announced her intention not to run for mayor in September 2014.[4] Mariano Rajoy, the President of the PP, designated Esperanza Aguirre as candidate on 6 March 2015.[5]
  • Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE): The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party scheduled a primary election on October 2014. Regional assemblyman and frequent talk show guest Antonio Miguel Carmona and city councillor Enrique del Olmo announced their intention to run for the post. Candidates intending to run had to secure the endorsement of at least 20% of the party membership. On the closing day of the endorsement collection only Carmona had gathered the required endorsements, thus being nominated as party candidate without the primary election being held.[6]
  • United Left (IU):United left of Madrid held an open primary election on 30 November 2014. The election was contested by:
    • Mauricio Valiente, assemblyman, representing the minority sectors in the last IU Regional Assembly
    • Raquel López, city councillor, representing the majority sectors.
    • Eulalia Vaquero, assembly woman, representing sectors disengaged from the majority.
Valiente defeated his rivals by securing 59% of the votes. However, he withdrew his candidacy after internal turmoil in the regional branch of the party and entered the Ahora Madrid election list, led by Manuela Carmena. Raquel López was designated as the new IU candidate for the local election instead.[7]
  • Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD): The party's current spokesperson on the City Council, David Ortega, obtained a landslide victory (81% of the votes) against three largely unknown candidates.


Electoral debates were held in Telemadrid between the candidates of the PP, PSOE, IU, UPyD, Vox, Citizens and Ahora Madrid in the last week of campaign, between 18 and 20 May. The most expected and tense moment came with the debate between PP candidate Esperanza Aguirre and AM Manuela Carmena, as the most-likely candidates to become the next Mayor of the city. Aguirre immediately accused Carmena of saying in the past that "ETA members had suffered a lot", trying to link the former judge with the terrorist group, as well as trying to discredit Carmena's career in the judiciary, which was seen as a furious attack of Aguirre on Carmena. The latter, visibly surprised, counterattacked responding that Aguirre was acting arrogantly and contemptuous to others and accusing her of allowing corruption to spread during her tenure as President of Madrid. "Please go, you've caused a lot of harm" said Carmena to Aguirre.[8]

In the last days of the campaign, especially following her debate with Aguirre, several celebrities such as actors Pilar Bardem, Carlos Bardem, Loles León, Goya Toledo, Paco León, playwright Cristina Rota, lawyer and former politician Cristina Almeida and journalist Ernesto Ekaizer expressed their support for Carmena's candidacy, with actress Eva Hache going on to say through the Twitter social network that "I don't know if we are Manuela but surely we are not the other [in reference to Aguirre]. VOTE."[9][10] Carmena had also received the support of dozens of artists who created drawings in support of Carmena's and Ahora Madrid candidacy, with the drawings themselves becoming viral in the social networks.[11] Following the Telemadrid debate, after which Aguirre was highly criticised for her aggressive behaviour towards Carmena,[12] supporters cast the drawings next to Aguirre's home in Malasaña.[13] On 21 May, a Carmena's act in the center of Madrid exceeded its capacity, originally scheduled for 800 people, resulting in the closing of a street and in Carmena herself apologizing to the around 1,500 people outside that were not able to enter.[14]

Opinion polls[edit]

The table below lists voting intention estimates in reverse chronological order, showing the most recent first and using the dates when the survey fieldwork was done, as opposed to the date of publication. Where the fieldwork dates are unknown, the date of publication is given instead. The highest percentage figure in each polling survey is displayed with its background shaded in the leading party's colour. If a tie ensues, this is applied to the figures with the highest percentages. The "Lead" column on the right shows the percentage-point difference between the parties with the highest percentages in a given poll. When available, seat projections are also displayed below the voting estimates in a smaller font. 29 seats were required for an absolute majority in the City Council of Madrid.

Color key:

  Exit poll


Summary of the 24 May 2015 City Council of Madrid election results
Parties and coalitions Popular vote Seats
Votes % ±pp Total +/−
People's Party (PP) 564,154 34.57 –15.12 21 –10
Madrid Now (Ahora Madrid) 519,721 31.84 New 20 +20
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 249,286 15.27 –8.66 9 –6
Citizens–Party of the Citizenry (C's) 186,487 11.43 +11.24 7 +7
Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD) 29,812 1.83 –6.02 0 –5
United Left of the Community of MadridThe Greens (IUCM–LV) 27,651 1.69 –9.06 0 –6
Vox (Vox) 9,867 0.60 New 0 ±0
Animalist Party Against Mistreatment of Animals (PACMA) 9,599 0.59 +0.13 0 ±0
The Greens–Green Group (LV–GV) 5,409 0.33 New 0 ±0
United Free Citizens (CILUS) 2,512 0.15 New 0 ±0
Spanish Phalanx of the CNSO (FE–JONS) 2,089 0.13 ±0.00 0 ±0
Blank Seats (EB) 1,895 0.12 New 0 ±0
The National Coalition (LCN) 1,259 0.08 New 0 ±0
Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE) 1,226 0.08 –0.06 0 ±0
Humanist Party (PH) 1,015 0.06 –0.07 0 ±0
Spanish Alternative (AES) 998 0.06 –0.25 0 ±0
Multi-Cultural Party of Social Justice (MJS) 789 0.05 New 0 ±0
Libertarian Party (P–LIB) 617 0.04 New 0 ±0
Internationalist Solidarity and Self-Management (SAIn) 543 0.03 New 0 ±0
Internationalist Socialist Workers' Party (POSI) 528 0.03 –0.04 0 ±0
Castilian PartyCommoners' Land (PCAS–TC) 490 0.03 –0.03 0 ±0
Union for Leganés (ULEG) 270 0.02 –0.05 0 ±0
Blank ballots 15,825 0.97 –1.87
Total 1,632,042 57 ±0
Valid votes 1,632,042 99.27 +1.09
Invalid votes 12,051 0.73 –1.09
Votes cast / turnout 1,644,093 68.90 +1.68
Abstentions 742,027 31.10 –1.68
Registered voters 2,386,120
Popular vote
Ahora Madrid
Blank ballots
Ahora Madrid


  1. ^ "El PP habría ganado las elecciones autonómicas en Madrid pero insuficiente para gobernar". Telemadrid (in Spanish). 24 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Encuestas y resultados - elecciones autonómicas y municipales del 24 de mayo de 2015". GAD3 (in Spanish). 28 May 2015.
  3. ^ "El último 'tracking' del PP deja a la izquierda a dos ediles de la mayoría absoluta en el Ayuntamiento de Madrid". infoLibre (in Spanish). 20 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Aguirre logra cerrar filas entre los votantes del PP pero será desbancada si no obtiene apoyo de C's". Público (in Spanish). 17 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Empate técnico entre el PP y la lista apoyada por Podemos en Madrid". El País (in Spanish). 17 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Situación política en el municipio de Madrid". El País (in Spanish). 17 May 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d "Sondeo preelectoral en el municipio de Madrid". Blogs El País (in Spanish). 18 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Aguirre gana en Madrid, pero sin mayoría absoluta". La Razón (in Spanish). 15 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Intención de voto en el Ayuntamiento de Madrid" (PDF). La Razón (in Spanish). 15 May 2015.
  10. ^ "El PP se recupera y Podemos sigue por delante del PSOE en intención del voto al Ayuntamiento de Madrid". El Mundo (in Spanish). 15 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Intención de voto y valoración en el Ayuntamiento de Madrid. Gráfico". El Mundo (in Spanish). 15 May 2015.
  12. ^ "El PP depende de C's para gobernar en Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla y Málaga". Público (in Spanish). 15 May 2015.
  13. ^ "El PP conserva Madrid con Podemos y Ciudadanos acechando al PSOE". Telecinco (in Spanish). 24 April 2015.
  14. ^ "Esperanza Aguirre podrá ser alcaldesa pero en minoría". Cadena SER (in Spanish). 12 May 2015.
  15. ^ "El ObSERvatorio de la Cadena SER. Estudio preelectoral de la ciudad de Madrid (12/5/2015)" (PDF). MyWord (in Spanish). 12 May 2015.
  16. ^ "Ada Colau empata con Trias, Barberá se estrella en Valencia y Podemos tiene la llave en Sevilla". Público (in Spanish). 3 May 2015.
  17. ^ a b "Tracking de sondeos en las capitales: la derecha sólo puede esperar que Ciudadanos salve al PP". Público (in Spanish). 3 May 2015.
  18. ^ "El Partido Popular perdería la mayoría absoluta en el Ayuntamiento y en la Comunidad de Madrid". laSexta (in Spanish). 2 May 2015.
  19. ^ "MADRID, Abril 2015. Sondeo Invymark". Electograph (in Spanish). 2 May 2015.
  20. ^ "El PP gana en Madrid pero tendrá que pactar con Ciudadanos". El País (in Spanish). 2 May 2015.
  21. ^ "Situación política en el municipio de Madrid". El País (in Spanish). 2 May 2015.
  22. ^ "MADRID, Abril 2015. Sondeo Cámara de Comercio". Electograph (in Spanish). 23 April 2015.
  23. ^ "El PP ganaría en el Ayuntamiento y la Comunidad de Madrid sin mayoría absoluta". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 24 April 2015.
  24. ^ "El PP gana en Madrid, pero necesitará a Ciudadanos para poder gobernar". ABC (in Spanish). 26 April 2015.
  25. ^ "Esperanza Aguirre gana en Madrid pero necesita a Ciudadanos para gobernar". Encuestamos (in Spanish). 25 April 2015.
  26. ^ "Preelectoral elecciones autonómicas y municipales 2015. Ciudad de Madrid (Estudio nº 3065. Marzo-Abril 2015)" (PDF). CIS (in Spanish). 7 May 2015.
  27. ^ "El PP se echa a la calle para recuperar a las clases medias". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 8 May 2015.
  28. ^ "El PP pierde la mayoría absoluta en Madrid". Telecinco (in Spanish). 24 April 2015.
  29. ^ "El PP filtra a los medios una falsa encuesta que da a Esperanza Aguirre como ganadora y al PSOE como tercera fuerza". Diario Progresista (in Spanish). 3 April 2015.
  30. ^ "El PP debe 'aprender' a pactar". El Mundo (in Spanish). 5 April 2015.
  31. ^ "Encuesta electoral: Comunidad y Ayuntamiento de Madrid. Gráfico". El Mundo (in Spanish). 5 April 2015.
  32. ^ "González pincha en las encuestas internas del PP". La Gaceta (in Spanish). 17 February 2015.
  33. ^ "MADRID, Febrero 2015. Sondeo interno PP". Electograph (in Spanish). 18 February 2015.
  34. ^ "El PP se llevaría la Alcaldía de Madrid pese a que Carmona es el líder más valorado". laSexta (in Spanish). 15 February 2015.
  35. ^ "MADRID, Febrero 2015. Sondeo interno PP". Electograph (in Spanish). 5 February 2015.
  36. ^ "Una coalición de Podemos e IU empataría con los 'populares'". El Mundo (in Spanish). 26 November 2014.
  37. ^ "Intención de voto en las elecciones municipales a la alcaldía de Madrid". El Mundo (in Spanish). 26 November 2014.
  38. ^ "El reparto del poder territorial en España en 2015" (PDF). desarrollando-ideas.com (in Spanish). 31 October 2014.
  39. ^ "El PP pierde la mayoría absoluta en Madrid, pero triplica al PSOE". ABC (in Spanish). 14 September 2014.
  40. ^ "El PP se desangra en Madrid". El País (in Spanish). 2 May 2014.
  41. ^ "Clima político y social de la ciudad de Madrid". El País (in Spanish). 2 May 2014.
  42. ^ "El PP perdería la mayoría absoluta en el Ayuntamiento de Madrid, según el barómetro de laSexta". laSexta (in Spanish). 15 May 2014.
  43. ^ "La crisis deja al PP al borde de perder el Gobierno de la capital de España". El País (in Spanish). 14 May 2013.
  44. ^ "Intención de voto y valoración de líderes en Madrid". El País (in Spanish). 14 May 2013.
  45. ^ "Ana Botella superaría a Gallardón". ABC (in Spanish). 18 January 2012.


  1. ^ a b c "General Electoral System Organic Law of 1985". Organic Law No. 5 of 19 June 1985. Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Representation of the people Institutional Act". juntaelectoralcentral.es. Central Electoral Commission. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Regulation of the Basis of Local Regimes Law of 1985". Law No. 7 of 2 April 1985. Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  4. ^ El País, 9 Sept. 2014, Madrid Mayor Ana Botella will not run in 2015 elections
  5. ^ http://vozpopuli.com/actualidad/58699-rajoy-prescinde-de-gonzalez-y-nombra-a-cifuentes-y-aguirre-para-comunidad-y-alcaldia-de-madrid
  6. ^ ElDiario.es, 6 Oct. 2014, Carmona será el candidato del PSOE a la alcaldía de Madrid sin primarias
  7. ^ "Raquel López, nueva candidata de IU a la Alcaldía de Madrid tras la marcha de Mauricio Valiente". RTVE.
  8. ^ "Esperanza Aguirre muddies the electoral debate accusing Manuela Carmena of syntony with ETA" (in Spanish). eldiario.es. 2015-05-19.
  9. ^ "Loving Carmena" (in Spanish). eldiario.es. 2015-05-20.
  10. ^ "Carmena's act overflows its capacity and requires the closing of a street" (in Spanish). Público. 2015-05-21.
  11. ^ "Much art in support of Manuela Carmena" (in Spanish). Cadena SER. 2015-05-18.
  12. ^ "If you don't vote PP, you vote ETA" (in Spanish). eldiario.es. 2015-05-19.
  13. ^ "Carmena supporters cast her face next to Esperanza Aguirre's home" (in Spanish). Público. 2015-05-20.
  14. ^ "A Carmena's act forces to close a street in the center of Madrid" (in Spanish). El País. 2015-05-21.
  15. ^ "Electoral Results Consultation. European Parliament. May 2014. Madrid Municipality". infoelectoral.mir.es (in Spanish). Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Electoral Results Consultation. Congress. November 2011. Madrid Municipality". infoelectoral.mir.es (in Spanish). Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  17. ^ "Local election results, 24 May 2015, in León, Lleida, Lugo, Madrid, Málaga, Murcia, Navarre, Ourense, Palencia, Las Palmas and Pontevedra provinces" (PDF). juntaelectoralcentral.es (in Spanish). Central Electoral Commission. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  18. ^ "2015 Municipal Election. Madrid" (PDF). madrid.es (in Spanish). City Council of Madrid. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  19. ^ "Electoral Results Consultation. Municipal. May 2015. Madrid Municipality". infoelectoral.mir.es (in Spanish). Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Municipal elections in Madrid since 1979". historiaelectoral.com (in Spanish). Electoral History. Retrieved 30 September 2017.