1989 European Parliament election in Spain

The 1989 European Parliament election in Spain was held on Thursday, 15 June 1989, as part of the EU-wide election to elect the 3rd European Parliament. All 60 seats allocated to Spain as per the 1985 Treaty of Accession were up for election.

1989 European Parliament election in Spain

 1987 15 June 1989 1994 

All 60 Spanish seats in the European Parliament
Opinion polls
Registered29,283,982 2.9%
Turnout16,022,276 (54.7%)
13.8 pp
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Fernando Morán Marcelino Oreja José Ramón Caso
Alliance SOC EPP LDR
Leader since 10 April 1987 20 January 1989 28 April 1989
Leader's seat Spain Spain Spain
Last election 28 seats, 39.1% 17 seats, 25.5% 7 seats, 10.3%
Seats won 27 15 5
Seat change 1 2 2
Popular vote 6,275,552 3,395,015 1,133,429
Percentage 39.6% 21.4% 7.1%
Swing 0.5 pp 4.1 pp 3.2 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Fernando Pérez Royo Carles Gasòliba José María Ruiz-Mateos
Party IU CiU Ruiz-Mateos
Alliance EUL LDR
Leader since 25 April 1987 1 January 1986 7 May 1987
Leader's seat Spain Spain Spain
Last election 3 seats, 5.3% 3 seats, 4.4% 0 seats, 0.6%
Seats won 4 2 2
Seat change 1 1 2
Popular vote 961,742 666,602 608,560
Percentage 6.1% 4.2% 3.8%
Swing 0.8 pp 0.2 pp 3.2 pp

The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) emerged as the largest party, followed by the newly amalgamated People's Party (PP) and Adolfo Suárez's Democratic and Social Centre—both of which scoring far below expectations—, as well as left-wing United Left (IU), which improved slightly on its 1987 performance. Ruiz-Mateos Group was the election surprise by winning two seats, with former Rumasa CEO and party leader José María Ruiz Mateos being elected as MEP—which granted him immunity from criminal prosecution, as he had been a fugitive from Spanish justice at the time of his election—. Registered turnout was a record low at the time for a nationwide election held in Spain, with abstention peaking at 45.3%.[1]

The election was largely influenced by a recent string of PP–CDS agreements to vote no confidence motions on PSOE local governments, which included the Madrid city council and regional governments.[2][3][4] This was said to have influenced the election's outcome, which had resulted in a sizeable PSOE win and a collapse in support for both the PP and CDS.[5][6] His party's showing in this election was said to be one of the reasons that led Prime Minister Felipe González to call a snap general election for 29 October 1989.[7][8]

Electoral system

The 60 members of the European Parliament allocated to Spain as per the 1985 Treaty of Accession were elected using the D'Hondt method and a closed list proportional representation, with no electoral threshold being applied in order to be entitled to enter seat distribution. However, the use of the D'Hondt method might result in an effective threshold depending on the district magnitude.[9] Seats were allocated to a single multi-member constituency comprising the entire national territory. Voting was on the basis of universal suffrage, which comprised all nationals over eighteen and in full enjoyment of their political rights.[10][11]

The electoral law provided that parties, federations, coalitions and groupings of electors were allowed to present lists of candidates. However, they were required to secure the signature of at least 15,000 registered electors. Electors were barred from signing for more than one list of candidates. Parties, federations and coalitions were allowed to replace this requirement with the signature of at least 50 elected officials—deputies, senators, MEPs or members from the legislative assemblies of autonomous communities or from local city councils—. 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 from the election call.[10]

Parties and coalitions

Below is a list of the main parties and coalitions which contested the election:

Parties and coalitions[12] Alliance Ideology Candidate Seats
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)[lower-alpha 1] SOC Social democracy Fernando Morán[15][16] 29
People's Party (PP)
People's Party (PP)
Navarrese People's Union (UPN)
Centrists of Galicia (CdG)
ED (PP) Conservatism
Christian democracy
Marcelino Oreja[17] 17 (PP)
Democratic and Social Centre (CDS) NI Centrism
José Ramón Caso[18] 6
United Left (IU)
Communist Party of Spain (PCE)
Initiative for Catalonia (IC)
Socialist Action Party (PASOC)
Republican Left (IR)
COM Socialism
Fernando Pérez Royo[19] 1 (PCE)
1 (IC)
Convergence and Union (CiU)
Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC)
Democratic Union of Catalonia (UDC)
Catalan nationalism
Carles Gasòliba 2 (CDC)
1 (UDC)
Popular Unity (HB) NI Basque independence
Left-wing nationalism
Txema Montero 1
For the Europe of the Peoples (PEP)
Basque Solidarity (EA)
Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC)
Galician Nationalist Party (PNG)
RBW (EA) Left-wing nationalism Carlos Garaikoetxea 1 (EA)
Left of the Peoples (IP)
Basque Country Left (EE)
Galician Socialist Party–Galician Left (PSG–EG)
Valencian People's Union (UPV)
Agreement of Left Nationalists (ENE)
Socialist Party of Majorca (PSM)
Nationalist Canarian Assembly (ACN)
Aragonese Union (UA–CHA)
Socialist Party of Menorca (PSM)
Asturianist Party (PAS)
Left-wing nationalism Juan María Bandrés 0
Nationalist Coalition (CN)
Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ/PNV)
Canarian Independent Groups (AIC)
Galician Coalition (CG)
Nationalist Party of Castile and León (PANCAL)
Regionalism Jon Gangoiti 0
Andalusian Party (PA) Andalusian nationalism
Social democracy
Pedro Pacheco 0
Federation of Regional Parties (FPR)
Valencian Union (UV)
Regionalist Party of Cantabria (PRC)
United Extremadura (EU)
Progressive Riojan Party (PRP)
Melillan People's Union (UPM)
Regional Party of Madrid (PRM)
Regionalist Party of the Leonese Country (PREPAL)
Union of Regionalist Parties of Castilla–La Mancha (UPRCLM)
Regionalism Héctor Villalba 0
Ruiz-Mateos Group (Ruiz-Mateos) Populism José María Ruiz-Mateos[20] 0

Opinion polls

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.



Summary of the 15 June 1989 European Parliament election results in Spain
Parties and coalitions Popular vote Seats
Votes  % ±pp Total +/−
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 6,275,55239.57+0.51 27–1
People's Party (PP)1 3,395,01521.41–4.13 15–2
Democratic and Social Centre (CDS) 1,133,4297.15–3.11 5–2
United Left (IU) 961,7426.06+0.81 4+1
Convergence and Union (CiU) 666,6024.20–0.23 2–1
Ruiz-Mateos Group (Ruiz-Mateos)2 608,5603.84+3.23 2+2
Nationalist Coalition (CN)3 303,0381.91+0.16 1+1
Andalusian Party (PA) 295,0471.86+0.90 1+1
Left of the Peoples (IP)4 290,2861.83+0.47 1+1
Popular Unity (HB) 269,0941.70–0.17 1±0
For the Europe of the Peoples (PEP)5 238,9091.51–0.19 1±0
Workers' Party of Spain–Communist Unity (PTE–UC) 197,0951.24+0.08 0±0
Green List (Adhered to the European Greens) (LV)6 164,5241.04+0.14 0±0
The Ecologist Greens (LVE) 161,9031.02New 0±0
Federation of Regional Parties (FPR)7 151,8350.96–0.16 0±0
Communist Party of the Peoples of SpainPCC (PCPE–PCC) 79,9700.50New 0±0
National Front (FN) 60,6720.38–0.26 0±0
Spanish Vertex Ecological Development Revindication (VERDE) 58,6860.37New 0±0
Social Democratic Coalition (CSD) 52,5770.33+0.20 0±0
Green Alternative–Ecologist Movement of Catalonia (AV–MEC) 47,2500.30New 0±0
Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) 46,0520.29+0.01 0±0
Workers' Socialist PartyRevolutionary Workers' Party (PST–PORE)8 38,6830.24–0.32 0±0
Europe for Life (EPV) 30,2520.19New 0±0
Spanish Phalanx of the CNSO (FE–JONS) 24,3400.15+0.03 0±0
Free Catalonia (CLL) 19,7740.12New 0±0
Humanist Party (PH) 19,3560.12±0.00 0±0
Alliance for the Republic (AxR)9 17,1890.11–0.02 0±0
Asturian Nationalist Unity (UNA) 13,1650.08New 0±0
Centrist Unity–Democratic Spanish Party (PED) 10,3920.07+0.02 0±0
Andalusian Liberation (LA) 9,4210.06+0.01 0±0
Initiative for a European Democracy (IDE) 8,7890.06New 0±0
Carlist Party (PC) 8,4770.05New 0±0
BACTERIA Electors' Group (BACTERIA) 00.00New 0±0
Blank ballots 200,7941.27+0.28
Total 15,858,470 60±0
Valid votes 15,858,47098.98+0.17
Invalid votes 163,8061.02–0.17
Votes cast / turnout 16,022,27654.71–13.81
Abstentions 13,261,70645.29+13.81
Registered voters 29,283,982
Popular vote
Blank ballots

Distribution by European group

Summary of political group distribution in the 3rd European Parliament (1989–1994)[22]
Groups Parties Seats Total  %
Socialist Group (SOC) 27 27 45.00
European People's Party (EPP) 15
16 26.67
Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (LDR) 5
6 10.00
European United Left (EUL) 2
4 6.67
Rainbow Group (RBW) 1
2 3.33
The Green Group in the European Parliament (G) 1 1 1.67
Non-Inscrits (NI) 2

4 6.67
Total 60 60 100.00


  1. Includes the Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC) as an integral part of the candidacy, running as a sister party in Catalonia.


Opinion poll sources
  1. "El PSOE, satisfecho de su triunfo porque no se ve una alternativa clara al Gobierno". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 16 June 1989.
  2. "El PSOE resiste, erosión del PP y CDS y ascenso de grupos minoritarios". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 16 June 1989.
  3. "La abstención hace que los pequeños ganen la "pedrea"". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 16 June 1989.
  4. "Los sondeos electorales de los medios de comunicación muestran el retroceso del PSOE". ABC (in Spanish). 9 June 1989.
  5. "Los partidos grandes repiten, los menores cambian". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 9 June 1989.
  6. "El PSOE pierde de 3 a 5 escaños, IU gana 1 y el centro-derecha se mantiene". El País (in Spanish). 9 June 1989.
  7. "Izquierda Unida y las minorías mejoran a costa del PSOE". El País (in Spanish). 9 June 1989.
  8. "Ficha técnica". El País (in Spanish). 9 June 1989.
  9. "Sondejos". Generalitat de Catalunya (in Catalan). Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  10. "El hipotético relevo de Pujol". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 3 June 1989.
  11. "Una vez más, las encuestas de opinión no acertaron en sus estimaciones electorales". ABC (in Spanish). 19 June 1989.
  12. "Desciende el PSOE y suben centristas y comunistas". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 4 June 1989.
  13. "El PSOE perderá tres escaños, pero el centro-derecha no sube". El País (in Spanish). 28 May 1989.
  14. "El PSOE perderá diputados en el Parlamento Europeo". El País (in Spanish). 28 May 1989.
  15. "Ficha técnica". El País (in Spanish). 28 May 1989.
  16. "PSOE y PP repiten resultados y HB se queda sin escaño, dice un sondeo del CIS". ABC (in Spanish). 20 May 1989.
  17. "El Gobierno estudia adelantar las elecciones". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 1 May 1989.
  18. "Sigue la tónica de ligero descenso del PSOE y mejora de la oposición". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 16 April 1989.
  19. "El CIS da más del 40% al PSOE". El País (in Spanish). 26 April 1989.
  20. "Fuerte descenso electoral del PSOE, según una encuesta". ABC (in Spanish). 8 March 1989.
  1. "La abstención quita escaños a los grandes y se los da a los pequeños". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. 16 June 1989. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  2. González Ibañez, Juan (9 May 1989). "Fraga anuncia su acuerdo con el CDS para derribar a Barranco, Leguina y cuatro alcaldes socialistas". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  3. Montoliu, Pedro (18 May 1989). "Centristas y populares presentan la moción de censura contra el alcalde de Madrid". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  4. "La moción de censura contra Leguina se votará tras las elecciones europeas". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. 30 May 1989. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  5. "Caso admite que puede haber sido un error presentar mociones de censura con el PP". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. 24 June 1989. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  6. Díez, Anabel (7 August 1989). "El CDS se desmarca de los populares tras el daño electoral y la desmoralización de sus bases". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  7. González Ibañez, Juan (19 August 1989). "Felipe González, claramente favorable al adelanto de las elecciones tras reflexionar en Doñana". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  8. González Ibañez, Juan (26 August 1989). "González convocará las legislativas para el 29 de octubre". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  9. Gallagher, Michael (30 July 2012). "Effective threshold in electoral systems". Trinity College, Dublin. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  10. "Ley Orgánica 5/1985, de 19 de junio, del Régimen Electoral General". Organic Law No. 5 of 19 June 1985. Boletín Oficial del Estado (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  11. "Treaty concerning the accession of the Kingdom of Spain and the Portuguese Republic to the European Economic Community and to the European Atomic Energy Community". Act of 15 November 1985. Official Journal of the European Communities. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  12. "European election 15 June 1989". historiaelectoral.com (in Spanish). Electoral History. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  13. "European Parliament: Distribution of Spanish MEPs among parliamentary groups". historiaelectoral.com (in Spanish). Electoral History. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  14. "Votes and seats in European Parliament elections". historiaelectoral.com (in Spanish). Electoral History. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  15. Díez, Anabel (7 April 1987). "Fernando Morán encabezará la candidatura del PSOE para el Parlamento Europeo". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  16. "Morán vuelve a ser el cabeza de lista del PSOE al Parlamento Europeo". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. 9 February 1989. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  17. González Ibáñez, Juan; Prieto, Joaquín (20 January 1989). "Manuel Fraga lanza hoy el Partido Popular como clave de la renovación del centro-derecha". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  18. "Confirmada la entrada de Caso en la lista europea de los centristas". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. 28 April 1989. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  19. Bayarri, Francesc (26 April 1987). "Gerardo Iglesias afirma que el Gobierno no conocía el impacto de la entrada de España en la CE". El País (in Spanish). Valencia. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  20. "Ruiz-Mateos define su partido como democrático y constitucional". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. 8 May 1987. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  21. "Electoral Results Consultation. European Parliament. June 1989. National totals". Ministry of the Interior (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  22. "Parlamento Europeo: Distribución de los Eurodiputados españoles en grupos parlamentarios". historiaelectoral.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 March 2017.