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1986 Basque regional election

1986 Basque regional election

← 1984 30 November 1986 1990 →

All 75 seats in the Basque Parliament
38 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Registered1,660,143 4.8%
Turnout1,155,815 (69.6%)
1.1 pp
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Txiki Benegas José Antonio Ardanza Juan Carlos Yoldi
Leader since 26 February 1978 2 March 1985 1986
Leader's seat Biscay Guipúzcoa Guipúzcoa
Last election 19 seats, 23.0% 32 seats, 41.8% 11 seats, 14.6%
Seats won 19 17 13
Seat change 0 15 2
Popular vote 252,233 271,208 199,900
Percentage 22.0% 23.6% 17.4%
Swing 1.0 pp 18.2 pp 2.8 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Carlos Garaikoetxea Juan María Bandrés Julen Guimón
Leader since 4 September 1986 1985 1986
Leader's seat Guipúzcoa Guipúzcoa Biscay
Last election Did not contest 6 seats, 7.9% 7 seats, 9.3%[a]
Seats won 13 9 2
Seat change 13 3 5
Popular vote 181,175 124,423 55,606
Percentage 15.8% 10.8% 4.8%
Swing New party 2.9 pp 4.5 pp

Lehendakari before election

José Antonio Ardanza

Elected Lehendakari

José Antonio Ardanza

The 1986 Basque regional election was held on Sunday, 30 November 1986, to elect the 3rd Parliament of the Basque Autonomous Community. All 75 seats in the Parliament were up for election.

The Socialist Party of the Basque Country (PSE–PSOE) won 19 seats, the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ/PNV) came second with 17 seats, People's Unity (HB) and Basque Solidarity (EA), a PNV split, each won 13 seats, and Basque Country Left won 9 seats.


Electoral system

The Basque Parliament was the devolved, unicameral legislature of the autonomous community of the Basque Country, having legislative power in regional matters as defined by the Spanish Constitution and the Basque Statute of Autonomy, as well as the ability to vote confidence in or withdraw it from a lehendakari.[1] Voting for the Parliament was on the basis of universal suffrage, which comprised all nationals over 18 years of age, registered in the Basque Country and in full enjoyment of their political rights.

The 75 members of the Basque Parliament were elected using the D'Hondt method and a closed list proportional representation, with an electoral threshold of five percent of valid votes[b] being applied in each constituency. Seats were allocated to constituencies, corresponding to the provinces of Álava, Biscay and Guipúzcoa, with each being allocated a fixed number of 25 seats in order to provide for an equal parliamentary representation of the three provinces, as required under the regional statute of autonomy.[1][2]

The electoral law allowed for parties and federations registered in the interior ministry, coalitions and groupings of electors to present lists of candidates. Parties and federations intending to form a coalition ahead of an election were required to inform the relevant Electoral Commission within ten days of the election call, whereas groupings of electors needed to secure the signature of at least 500 electors in the constituencies for which they sought election, disallowing electors from signing for more than one list of candidates.[2][3]

Election date

The term of the Basque Parliament expired four years after the date of its previous election, unless it was dissolved earlier. An election was required to take place within from thirty-six and forty-five days from the date of expiry of parliament. The previous election was held on 26 February 1984, which meant that the legislature's term would have expired on 26 February 1988. The election was required to be held no later than the forty-fifth day from dissolution, setting the latest possible election date for the Parliament on Monday, 11 April 1988.[1][2]

The lehendakari had the prerogative to dissolve the Basque Parliament at any given time and call a snap election, provided that no motion of no confidence was in process. In the event of an investiture process failing to elect a lehendakari within a sixty-day period from the Parliament re-assembly, the Parliament was to be dissolved and a fresh election called.[4]

Opinion polls

The tables below lists opinion polling results 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 poll.

Voting intention estimates

The table below lists weighted voting intention estimates. Refusals are generally excluded from the party vote percentages, while question wording and the treatment of "don't know" responses and those not intending to vote may vary between polling organisations. When available, seat projections determined by the polling organisations are displayed below (or in place of) the percentages in a smaller font; 38 seats were required for an absolute majority in the Basque Parliament.

Voting preferences

The table below lists raw, unweighted voting preferences.

Victory preferences

The table below lists opinion polling on the victory preferences for each party in the event of a general election taking place.

Victory likelihood

The table below lists opinion polling on the perceived likelihood of victory for each party in the event of a regional election taking place.

Preferred Lehendakari

The table below lists opinion polling on leader preferences to become Lehendakari.



Summary of the 30 November 1986 Basque Parliament election results
Parties and alliances Popular vote Seats
Votes % ±pp Total +/−
Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ/PNV) 271,208 23.60 –18.21 17 –15
Socialist Party of the Basque Country (PSE–PSOE) 252,233 21.95 –1.01 19 ±0
Popular Unity (HB) 199,900 17.40 +2.81 13 +2
Basque Solidarity (EA) 181,175 15.77 New 13 +13
Basque Country Left (EE) 124,423 10.83 +2.89 9 +3
People's AllianceLiberal Party (AP–PL)1 55,606 4.84 –4.48 2 –5
Democratic and Social Centre (CDS) 40,445 3.52 New 2 +2
United Left (IU/EB) 6,750 0.59 New 0 ±0
Communist Party of the Basque Country (PCE/EPK) 5,675 0.49 –0.90 0 ±0
Workers' Socialist Party (PST) 2,925 0.25 +0.05 0 ±0
Humanist Party (PH) 1,400 0.12 New 0 ±0
Internationalist Socialist Workers' Party (POSI) 1,190 0.10 New 0 ±0
Republican Popular Unity (UPR)2 1,102 0.10 ±0.00 0 ±0
Blank ballots[d] 5,003 0.44 –0.03
Total 1,149,035 75 ±0
Valid votes 1,149,035 99.41 –0.01
Invalid votes 6,780 0.59 +0.01
Votes cast / turnout 1,155,815 69.62 +1.13
Abstentions 504,328 30.38 –1.13
Registered voters 1,660,143
Popular vote
Blank ballots

Distribution by constituency

% S % S % S % S % S % S % S
Álava 20.1 5 24.9 7 12.8 3 14.5 4 10.9 3 6.9 1 8.0 2
Biscay 28.8 8 22.5 6 16.0 4 11.7 3 10.2 3 5.1 1 3.2
Guipúzcoa 16.0 4 19.9 6 21.6 6 23.1 6 11.9 3 3.6 2.4
Total 23.6 17 22.0 19 17.4 13 15.8 13 10.8 9 4.8 2 3.5 2


Ballot → 26 February 1987
Required majority → 38 out of 75
38 / 75
Juan Carlos Yoldi (HB)
0 / 75
Blank ballots
  • EA (13)
  • EE (9)
  • AP (2)
24 / 75
  • HB (13)
13 / 75


  1. ^ Results for AP–PDP–UL in the 1984 election.
  2. ^ Unlike other electoral legislation in Spain, valid votes under the 1983 Basque electoral law did not include blank ballots.
  3. ^ With Carlos Garaikoetxea as EA's candidate.
  4. ^ The 1983 electoral law provided that blank ballots would not count as valid votes for the application of the 5 percent threshold in each district. However, this rule was not determinant in excluding any party from seat distribution during its time of application (the 1984 and 1986 elections). As a result, and for comparison purposes, blank ballots are shown here included within valid votes.


Opinion poll sources
  1. ^ a b c "Los sondeos pronostican diferencias mínimas entre el PNV y el PSOE". ABC (in Spanish). 27 November 1986.
  2. ^ "Gaikoetxea y Benegas mejoran posiciones ante elecciones vascas". El País (in Spanish). 23 November 1986.
  3. ^ "Garaikoetxea y los socialistas mejoran posiciones, aunque el PNV mantiene una exigua mayoría". El País (in Spanish). 23 November 1986.
  4. ^ "Ficha técnica". El País (in Spanish). 23 November 1986.
  5. ^ "El PNV obtendrá dos escaños más que el PSOE, según un sondeo del Gobierno vasco". ABC (in Spanish). 23 November 1986.
  6. ^ "PNV gana y PSOE es segundo, según encuesta del Gobierno vasco". Diario de Navarra (in Spanish). 15 November 1986.
  7. ^ "El PNV pierde respaldo, según un sondeo de EL PAÍS y la SER". El País (in Spanish). 15 November 1986.
  8. ^ "Garaikoetxea robará más de 10 escaños al PNV". El País (in Spanish). 15 November 1986.
  9. ^ "Ficha técnica del sondeo". El País (in Spanish). 15 November 1986.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Las primeras encuestas revelan la confusión del electorado nacionalista vasco". ABC (in Spanish). 19 October 1986.
  11. ^ "Ningún partido tendrá mayoría absoluta en el País Vasco". Diario de Navarra (in Spanish). 20 October 1986.
  12. ^ "Garaicoechea favorito en las elecciones vascas según una encuesta". Diario de Navarra (in Spanish). 8 October 1986.
  13. ^ "Una encuesta del PNV otorga la victoria a este partido". Diario de Navarra (in Spanish). 9 October 1986.
  14. ^ "Igualdad de fuerzas". ABC (in Spanish). 22 September 1986.
  15. ^ "Esta semana se decide si se disuelve el Parlamento Vasco y se convocan elecciones". Diario de Navarra (in Spanish). 22 September 1986.
  16. ^ a b c d "Preelectoral País Vasco 1986 (VI) (Estudio nº 1.562. Noviembre 1986)" (PDF). CIS (in Spanish). 20 November 1986.
  17. ^ a b c d "Estudio C.I.S. nº 1.560 ("País Vasco". Noviembre 1986)" (PDF). CIS (in Spanish). 10 November 1986.
  18. ^ a b c d "Estudio C.I.S. nº 1.557 (País Vasco. Noviembre 1986)" (PDF). CIS (in Spanish). 1 November 1986.
  19. ^ a b c d "Estudio C.I.S. nº 1.555 ("País Vasco". Octubre-noviembre 1986)" (PDF). CIS (in Spanish). 20 October 1986.
  20. ^ a b c d "Estudio C.I.S. nº 1.551 ("País Vasco". Octubre 1986)" (PDF). CIS (in Spanish). 10 October 1986.
  21. ^ a b c d "Estudio C.I.S. nº 1.548 ("Preelectoral País Vasco". Octubre 1986)" (PDF). CIS (in Spanish). 1 October 1986.
  1. ^ a b c Ley Orgánica 3/1979, de 18 de diciembre, de Estatuto de Autonomía para el País Vasco (Organic Law 3) (in Spanish). 18 December 1979. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Ley 28/1983, de 25 de noviembre, de Elecciones al Parlamento Vasco (Law 28) (in Spanish). 25 November 1983. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  3. ^ Ley Orgánica 5/1985, de 19 de junio, del Régimen Electoral General (Organic Law 5) (in Spanish). 19 June 1985. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  4. ^ Government Law of 1981 (Law 7) (in Spanish). 30 June 1981. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Elecciones al Parlamento Vasco / Eusko Legebilitzarra (1980 - 2020)". Historia (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Election Results Archive". (in Spanish). Basque Government. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
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1986 Basque regional election
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