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The Spanish Socialist Party and the modernisation of Spain$

Paul Kennedy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074134

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074134.001.0001

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(p.207) Appendix Party Organisation, Membership and General Election Results 2000–11

(p.207) Appendix Party Organisation, Membership and General Election Results 2000–11

Source:
The Spanish Socialist Party and the modernisation of Spain
Publisher:
Manchester University Press

Party organisation

Statutes and Party Structure

The Federal Statutes approved at the PSOE's 38th Congress in February 2012 describe the party as having a federal structure composed of local, municipal and provincial levels, which, in turn, form regional parties or federations based on Spain's seventeen Autonomous Communities (Heading 3, Chapter 1: Article 15).

Alongside this territorial structure, the party has a complementary arrangement based on thematic ‘Sectorial’ Organisations covering the following areas aimed at facilitating the direct participation of members in the party's operations: Education; the Environment; Citizens' Participation; Health; the Information Society; and Entrepreneurs, Social Economy and Self-Employed Workers.

The party's leading bodies at both the regional and national levels are the Congress, the Committee and the Executive Committee. The Federal Congress (Congreso Federal) is the party's sovereign body, and has the power to modify the party's statutes. Its major functions include the formulation of policy, monitoring the operations of the Federal Committee and the Federal Executive Committee (Comisión Ejecutiva Federal), and the election of members of the Federal Committee (Comité Federal). Delegates to the Congress, numbering between 500 and 2,000, are selected at Regional Congresses, at the party's Youth Organisation (Juventudes Socialistas) and by each of the Sectorial Organisations. The Federal Congress, which is convened by the Federal Committee, meets every three to four years.

Although the Federal Committee is, officially, the party's leading body during the period between congresses, it is, in practical terms, of less significance than the Federal Executive Committee (see below). It has 65 members. Automatic members include the membership of the Federal Executive Committee, party general secretaries at all territorial levels and the President of the Parliamentary Socialist Group. In addition, members are elected by the Federal and Regional Congresses. Responsibilities include the development of policy between congresses; monitoring the operations of the Federal Executive Committee; drawing up and approving the party's general election manifesto; and selecting the party's (p.208) prime ministerial candidate. The Federal Committee meets at least three times per year.

The Federal Executive Committee is in reality the party's most important body and is tasked with applying and managing party policy. Responsible for day-to-day party operations, it can convene itself as and when required, meeting on numerous occasions throughout the year. Its decisions are adopted in accordance with a simple majority of those present. The members of the Federal Executive Committee are voted for by simple majority at the Federal Congress and it is composed of the President and General Secretary of the party, the Deputy General Secretary and fifteen departmental secretaries responsible for areas including the party's internal organisation; economic and employment policy; education and culture; and the EU. Finally, there are twenty members without portfolio, or vocales.

The federal party body responsible for policy with respect to the autonomous regions is the Territorial Council (Consejo Territorial). It meets every other month and its members include the General Secretary of the Federal Executive Committee, the secretary for the party's internal organisation, the secretary for policy concerning the autonomous regions, and the general secretaries of regional federations.

Finally, the six-member Federal Ethics and Guarantees Committee (Comisión Federal de Ética y Garantías) is concerned with the rights and duties of members and monitors internal primary elections.

Party Membership

The Federal Organisational Secretariat is responsible for supervising and bringing up to date membership figures. There are two levels of membership: ‘militants’ (militantes), who pay party dues, and ‘sympathisers’ (simpatizantes).

With respect to the profile of PSOE members, the party no longer collates information regarding the professional background of members, although figures dating back to 1989 described 43.5 per cent of members as being ‘manual workers’, 34 per cent as ‘middle class’, and the remainder not forming part of the working population (Méndez Lago, 2000: 225). The Organisational Secretariat of the PSOE nevertheless provided the author with figures on the number of members (Table 1) and on the age and gender of members (Table 3).

(p.209)

Table 1 PSOE membership, 2000–11

Year

Total membership

2000

407,821

2004

460,000

2011

617,087

Sources: Méndez Lago, 2006: 29 and data provided to the author by the PSOE's Organisational Secretariat.

Table 2 Membership Figures in September 2011

Militants

Sympathisers

Total

Number

217,610

399,477

617,087

%

35.26

64.74

100

Note: The total number of provincial branches was 4,614.

Source: PSOE Organisational Secretariat.

Table 3 Age and gender profile of PSOE members in September 2011

Age

Militants

Sympathisers

Male

Female

Male

Female

% <30

3.48

2.81

1.76

1.51

% 31–45

14.82

10.47

13.33

9.78

% 46–65

33.42

15.91

30.48

15.22

% >65

13.64

5.46

19.93

7.99

Source: PSOE Organisational Secretariat.

(p.210)

Table 4 General election results 2000–11

Year

2000

2004

2008

2011

% turnout

68.71

75.66

73.85

71.69

votes

%

seats

votes

%

seats

votes

%

seats

votes

%

seats

PSOE

7,918,752

34.16

125

11,026,163

42.59

164

11,289,335

43.87

169

6,973,880

28.73

110

PP

10,321,178

44.52

183

9,763,144

37.71

148

10,279,010

39.94

154

10,830,693

44.62

186

IU-LV

1,263,043

5.45

8

1,284,081

4.96

5

969,946

3.77

2

1,680,810

6.92

11

CiU

970,421

4.19

15

835,471

3.23

10

779,425

3.03

10

1,014,263

4.17

16

EAJ-PNV

353,953

1.53

7

420,980

1.63

7

306,128

1.19

6

323,517

1.33

5

BNG

306,268

1.32

3

208,688

0.81

2

212,543

0.83

2

183,279

0.75

2

CC-PNC

248,261

1.07

4

235,221

0.91

3

174,629

0.68

2

143,550

0.59

2

UPyD

303,535

1.2

1

1,140,242

4.69

5

PA

206,255

0.89

1

ERC

194,715

0.84

1

652,196

2.52

8

298,139

1.16

3

256,393

1.05

3

AMAIUR

333,628

1.37

7

IC-NT

119,290

0.51

1

EA

100,742

0.43

1

80,905

0.31

1

CHA

75,356

0.33

1

94,252

0.36

1

Na-Bai/GBAI

61,045

0.24

1

62,398

0.24

1

42,411

0.17

1

CompromÍs-Q

125,150

0.51

1

FAC

99,173

0.4

1

Key: PSOE = Spanish Socialist Workers' Party; PP = Popular Party; IU-LV = United Left-Greens; CiU = Convergence and Union (Catalonia); EAJ-PNV = Basque Nationalist Party; BNG = Galician National Bloc; CC-PNC = Canary Islands Coalition-Canary Islands Nationalist Party; UPyD = Progress and Democracy Union; PA = Andalusian Party; ERC = Catalan Republican Left; AMAIUR = Radical Basque Separatist Coalition; IC-V = Initiative for Calalonia/Greens; EA = Basque Solidarity; CHA =Aragon Council; Na-Bai/GBAI = Yes Navarra; Compromís-Q = Q Commitment; FAC = Citizens' Forum

Source: Spanish Interior Ministry.