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2014 Extraordinary Federal Congress of the PSOE

2014 Extraordinary Federal Congress of the PSOE

← 2012 13 July 2014 (primary)
26−27 July 2014 (congress)
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1,019 delegates in the 2014 Extraordinary Federal Congress of the PSOE
Plurality of delegates needed to win
Opinion polls
Registered198,123 (primary)
Turnout132,850 (67.1%) (primary)
990 (97.2%) (congress)
Candidate Pedro Sánchez Eduardo Madina José Antonio Pérez Tapias
Popular vote 64,116 (48.3%) 47,750 (36.0%) 19,869 (15.0%)
Delegate vote Unopposed Withdrew Withdrew
Executive 849 (86.2%) Withdrew Withdrew

Secretary before election

Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba

Elected Secretary

Pedro Sánchez

The 2014 Extraordinary Federal Congress of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party was held in Madrid from 26 to 27 July 2014, to renovate the governing bodies of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and establish the party's main lines of action and strategy for the next leadership term. A primary election to elect the new party secretary-general was held on 13 July. The congress was called by outgoing PSOE leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba after his party's poor results at the 2014 European Parliament election, garnering just 23% of the vote. Rubalcaba announced his intention not to run for either his party's leadership or for the 2015 Spanish general election.[1][2]

Election system

This Federal Congress was the first held at a national level in which all party members and affiliates (around 200,000) had the possibility to be consulted, several days before the Congress was held, about which person they wanted to become the new party leader. While not a legally binding ballot, the results were likely to be respected by the 1,000 party delegates which finally elected the new party's Secretary-General.[3] Party members wishing to contend the election were required to gather the endorsement of at least 5% of the party membership before June 27.


The 2011 general election had resulted in a landslide victory for Mariano Rajoy's People's Party (PP), a result of the financial crisis which had been hurting the country's economy since 2008. The ruling Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), amidst a climate of high unpopularity, was ousted from power with the worst election result since the first post-Francoist electoral process in 1977. Then-Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero had decided to stand down as PM candidate in early 2011 and as party leader once the quadrennial party congress due for early 2012 was held. Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, PSOE candidate for the 2011 election and former Deputy Prime Minister, was elected new Secretary-General in a tight fight against former Minister of Defence Carme Chacón.[4]

However, as the new Rajoy's government was forced to pass new austerity measures and spending cuts, including a harsh labor reform and a very austere state budget for 2012, the new Government's ratings plummeted in opinion polls as it met with widespread protests and two general strikes.[5][6][7][8][9] Little over 6 months of government had seen support for the PP government plummet from 45% in the general election to 34% in mid-to late 2012 polls, the most support lost by a political party in its first months of government in the country's history.

However, despite the PP's falling ratings, the PSOE found itself unable to regain lost support, suffering from the memory on Zapatero's last government and his economic management, as well as the emergence of major corruption scandals in both parties, regarding possible illegal financing on both the People's Party and the Socialist Party regional government of Andalusia. A series of negative regional election results throughout 2012, coupled with an internal crisis in 2013 and the threat of rupture from the party's Catalonia partner, the PSC, further weakened the PSOE, with Rubalcaba's leadership being put in question as his popularity ratings plummeted.[10][11] The crisis was temporarily settled after the party's Political Conference in November 2013, with the question on the party's leadership being initially postponed for late 2014.[12][13]

After the European Parliament election, 2014 culminated in a major election crash for the party, coupled with a spectacular rise in support for newly-created Podemos party, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba announced his intention not to run as his party's candidate for the 2015 general election and to have the party hold an extraordinary Congress for July 2014.[14]


The key dates are listed below:[15]

  • 26 May: Official announcement and census closure.
  • 6–9 June: Communication of provisional census and period of correction of census incidents.
  • 10 June: Communication of definitive census.
  • 10–13 June: Presentation of pre-candidates.
  • 13–28 June: Endorsement collection period (until 27 June) and provisional candidate proclamations.
  • 29 June–2 July: Allegation and definitive candidate proclamations.
  • 3–12 July: Information campaign.
  • 13 July: Primary election (to elect the Secretary-General).
  • 13–19 July: Provincial and insular congresses. Election of delegates and amendment period.
  • 26–27 July: Extraordinary Federal Congress.


Candidate Age Notable positions Announced Eliminated Ref.


Candidate elected as secretary-general.
Pedro Sánchez
42 Deputy in the Cortes Generales for Madrid (2009–2011 and since 2016)
City Councillor of Madrid (2004–2009)
12 June 2014 checkY Elected [16]


Candidates who met the endorsement requirement and were officially proclaimed to contest the primary election.
Eduardo Madina
38 Secretary General of the PSOE Group in the Congress of Deputies
(since 2009)
Deputy in the Cortes Generales for Biscay (since 2004)

City Councillor of Sestao (1999–2001)
13 June 2014 13 July 2014 [17]
José Antonio
Pérez Tapias
58 Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of the University of Granada
(since 2013)

Deputy in the Cortes Generales for Granada (2006–2011)
31 May 2014 13 July 2014 [18]


Candidates who announced an intention to run for the primary election, but were rejected as a result of not meeting the endorsement requirement.
Alberto Sotillos
28 None[a] 11 June 2014 2 July 2014 [19]


The individuals in this section were the subject of speculation about their possible candidacy, but publicly denied or recanted interest in running:


Candidates seeking to run were required to collect the endorsements of at least 5% of party members.[26]

Summary of candidate endorsement results
Candidate Endorsements
Count % T % V
Pedro Sánchez 41,338 20.86 54.05
Eduardo Madina 25,238 12.74 32.99
José Antonio Pérez Tapias 9,912 5.00 12.96
Alberto Sotillos Eliminated (below 5%)
Total 76,488
Valid endorsements 76,488 38.61
Not endorsing 121,635 61.39
Registered voters 198,123
Endorsements by party members

Opinion polls

Poll results are listed in the tables below in reverse chronological order, showing the most recent first, and using the date the survey's fieldwork was done, as opposed to the date of publication. If such date is unknown, the date of publication is given instead. The highest percentage figure in each polling survey is displayed in bold, and the background shaded in the candidate's colour. In the instance of a tie, the figures with the highest percentages are shaded. Polls show data gathered among PSOE voters/supporters as well as Spanish voters as a whole, but not among party members, who were the ones ultimately entitled to vote in the primary election.

PSOE voters

Spanish voters



Summary of the 13–27 July 2014 PSOE congress results
Candidate Primary Congress
Secretary Executive
Votes % Votes % Votes %
Pedro Sánchez 64,116 48.32 Unopposed 849 86.19
Eduardo Madina 47,750 35.98 Withdrew
José Antonio Pérez Tapias 19,869 14.97 Withdrew
Blank ballots 967 0.73 136 13.81
Total 132,702 985
Valid votes 132,702 99.89 985 99.49
Invalid votes 148 0.11 5 0.51
Votes cast / turnout 132,850 67.05 990 97.15
Abstentions 65,273 32.95 29 2.85
Total members / delegates 198,123 1,019 1,019
Vote by party members
Blank ballots
Vote by delegates (Executive)
Blank ballots

By region


In his victory speech after being elected as Secretary-General by party members, Pedro Sánchez proclaimed "the beginning of a new time in the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party" and that it was "the beginning of the end of Mariano Rajoy [as Prime Minister]".[30][31] He was formally named to the post on 26 July succeeding Rubalcaba, who announced his intention to quit from active politics and to return to his post professor in the Organic Chemistry faculty, in the Complutense University of Madrid.

Upon his official proclamation as Secretary-General, Sánchez stated that "We [the PSOE] are the party of change, we are the left that will change Spain", urging all Socialists to "work for the millions of people that need a renewed PSOE" and to make the party "the most formidable instrument for making the country progress". Sánchez promised to be blunt with corruption cases within the party, to look forward the promotion of a federal amendment of the Spanish Constitution and that his Executive will report in an open assembly to the militants once per year.[32][33] Sánchez stated that he was inspired by the "modernization drives" of both Felipe González in the past as well as of PD-leader Matteo Renzi in Italy.[34]


  1. ^ Alberto Sotillos was son of Eduardo Sotillos, former Spokesperson of the Government of Spain under Felipe González between 1982 and 1985.[19]
  2. ^ PSOE members.


Opinion poll sources
  1. ^ "¿Quién le gustaría que sucediese a Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba?" (PDF). El Mundo (in Spanish). 12 July 2014.
  2. ^ "El 34% prefiere a Madina pero el 24% no se decanta por ningún candidato". La Razón (in Spanish). 6 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Sánchez adelanta a Madina a una semana de la votación en el PSOE". El Mundo (in Spanish). 6 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Elecciones a la secretaría general del PSOE: práctico empate entre Madina y Sánchez entre los votantes socialistas". Blogs El País (in Spanish). 7 July 2014.
  5. ^ "La Carrera por Ferraz". El Mundo (in Spanish). 29 June 2014.
  6. ^ "¿Quién le gustaría que sucediese a Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba?" (PDF). El Mundo (in Spanish). 22 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Los votantes del PSOE apuestan por Susana Díaz para liderar el partido". Libertad Digital (in Spanish). 2 June 2014.
  8. ^ "La carrera por la sucesión del PSOE" (PDF). La Razón (in Spanish). 2 June 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  9. ^ a b "La mayoría apuesta por primarias y por Carme Chacón". El Mundo (in Spanish). 1 June 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Rubalcaba es un lastre para los votantes del PSOE". El Mundo (in Spanish). 4 January 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Esperanza Aguirre, candidata preferida por los votantes del PP para las próximas Elecciones Generales". TNS Demoscopia (in Spanish). 21 November 2013. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Carme Chacón y Susana Díaz favoritas para liderar el PSOE". El Mundo (in Spanish). 18 November 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Los ciudadanos prefieren a Carme Chacón como candidata del PSOE para las elecciones". Antena 3 (in Spanish). 13 November 2013.
  14. ^ "La mayoría de los votantes del PSOE rechaza a Rubalcaba y prefiere a Chacón". La Razón (in Spanish). 10 November 2013.
  15. ^ "Los votantes del PSOE prefieren a Chacón para las primarias y echan de menos a Felipe González". (in Spanish). 10 November 2013.
  16. ^ "La izquierda se convierte en la fuerza electoral potencialmente mayoritaria en España" (PDF). Fundación Sistema (in Spanish). 14 October 2013. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  17. ^ a b "Las primarias del PSOE no tienen candidato favorito". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 8 September 2013.
  18. ^ a b "PP y PSOE, faltos de liderazgo reconocido en unas eventuales Elecciones Generales". TNS Demoscopia (in Spanish). 31 July 2013. Archived from the original on 11 August 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  19. ^ a b "Rubalcaba perjudica al PSOE, según sus votantes". El Mundo (in Spanish). 12 May 2013.
  20. ^ a b "El ObSERvatorio de la Cadena SER. El clima político y la situación del PSOE (13/05/2013)" (PDF). MyWord (in Spanish). 13 May 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  21. ^ "Carme Chacón es la preferida por los españoles para dirigir el PSOE". laSexta (in Spanish). 31 May 2014.
  1. ^ "Rubalcaba throws the towel and calls an extraordinary congress for July after the debacle". El País (in Spanish). 26 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Partido Socialista Obrero Español. Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya, P.Socialista de Euskadi E.E., Partido Socialista Popular, PSOE histórico". Historia (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  3. ^ "All party members will elect the future PSOE Secretary-General". El País (in Spanish). 2014-05-30.
  4. ^ "Rubalcaba promises a strong PSOE". El País (in Spanish). 2012-02-05.
  5. ^ "Rajoy approves the biggest spending cut in history and a large tax increase". El País (in Spanish). 2011-12-31.
  6. ^ "The reform eases and cheapens the dismissal". El País (in Spanish). 2012-02-10.
  7. ^ "29 March, general strike". El Mundo (in Spanish). 2012-03-09.
  8. ^ "Unions call a general strike for November 14". El País (in Spanish). 2012-10-17.
  9. ^ "The Government presents the state budget with a spending cut of 27.3 billion" (in Spanish). 20 Minutos. 2012-03-30.
  10. ^ "Mas' challenge does not break Spain yet but opens a schism between PSOE and PSC". El País (in Spanish). 2013-02-27.
  11. ^ "Rubalcaba, to the drivers of Madina: "The PSOE is not on it"". El Mundo (in Spanish). 2013-04-18.
  12. ^ "PSOE leaders want Rubalcaba's dismissal now". El Mundo (in Spanish). 2013-11-08.
  13. ^ "Rubalcaba assured that "the PSOE has returned" and urges his people to go to the streets". El País (in Spanish). 2013-11-10.
  14. ^ "Rubalcaba throws in the towel and calls for an extraordinary party conference in July after the debacle". El País (in Spanish). 2014-05-26.
  15. ^ PSOE (3 June 2014). "Convocatoria y normativa de desarrollo del Congreso Federal Extraordinario" (PDF). (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  16. ^ Díez, Anabel (12 June 2014). "Pedro Sánchez Castejón aspira a cambiar el PSOE con "corazón y cabeza"". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  17. ^ Garea, Fernando (13 June 2014). "Madina se presenta para liderar el PSOE prometiendo un "shock de modernidad"". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  18. ^ Sanz, Luis Ángel (31 May 2014). "José Antonio Pérez Tapias presenta su candidatura a la Secretaría General del PSOE". El Mundo (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  19. ^ a b Agencia EFE (11 June 2014). "Alberto Sotillos anuncia su intención de participar en la carrera por el liderazgo del PSOE". El Mundo (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Sánchez muestra su fuerza y obtiene 16.100 avales más que Madina gracias al apoyo de Andalucía". El Mundo (in Spanish). 27 June 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  21. ^ Díez, Anabel (1 June 2014). "Chacón renuncia a liderar el PSOE y se postula para las elecciones generales". El Mundo (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  22. ^ Sanz, Luis Ángel (10 June 2014). "Susana Díaz no se presenta a liderar el PSOE para no desgastarse como presidenta". El Mundo (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  23. ^ "Page anuncia que no concurrirá a la Secretaría General del PSOE". El Mundo (in Spanish). Toledo. EFE. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  24. ^ Rioja Andueza, Iker (29 May 2014). "Patxi López se descarta para 'competir' por el liderazgo del PSOE". El Mundo (in Spanish). Vitoria. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  25. ^ Sanz, Luis Ángel (26 May 2014). "Rubalcaba se va". El Mundo (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  26. ^ Sanz, Luis Ángel (2 June 2014). "Los militantes del PSOE elegirán a su nuevo líder el 13 de julio, día de la final del Mundial de Fútbol". El Mundo (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  27. ^ "Reparto geográfico de los avales conseguidos por los candidatos" (in Spanish). PSOE. Archived from the original on 22 February 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  28. ^ "Consulta para la Secretaría General del PSOE. 13 de julio de 2014" (in Spanish). PSOE. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  29. ^ "La nueva Ejecutiva federal del PSOE, aprobada por el 86,19% de los votos". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Madrid. EFE. 27 July 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  30. ^ "Pedro Sánchez proclaims "it is the beginning of the end of Mariano Rajoy as Prime Minister"". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 2014-07-13.
  31. ^ "Sánchez promises victory to PSOE". El País (in Spanish). 2014-07-13.
  32. ^ "New PSOE leader: "We are the left that will change Spain"". El País (in Spanish). 2014-07-26.
  33. ^ "Sánchez promises the PSOE a change 'from bottom to top'". El Mundo (in Spanish). 2014-07-26.
  34. ^ "Socialists move between Renzi and Valls". El País (in Spanish). 2014-07-24.
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2014 Extraordinary Federal Congress of the PSOE
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