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Spanish constitutional referendum, 1978

Spanish constitutional
referendum, 1978
Do you approve of the Constitution Bill?
Location Spain
Date 6 December 1978
Results
Votes %
☑Y Yes 15,706,078 91.81%
☒N No 1,400,505 8.19%
Valid votes 17,106,583 95.71%
Invalid or blank votes 766,688 4.29%
Total votes 17,873,271 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 26,632,180 67.11%

A Spanish constitutional referendum was held on Wednesday, 6 December 1978, to gauge support for either the ratification or repealing of the Spanish Constitution which had been approved by the Cortes Generales on 31 October 1978. The question asked was "Do you approve of the Constitution Bill?" (Spanish: "¿Aprueba el Proyecto de Constitución?"). The referendum resulted in 91.8% of voters supporting the bill on a turnout of 67.1%.[1]

Purpose

The new constitution was intended to replace the many constitutional laws of the Franco era, the Fundamental Laws of the Realm, and turn Spain into a constitutional monarchy by removing many of the King's powers. The feat of creating a democratic system without breaking the structures of power of the state was made possible by the approval of the Political Reform Act of 1977, passed by the Francoist Cortes as the last Fundamental Law. It had been drafted by Torcuato Fernández Miranda, then President of the Cortes, and supported by Prime Minister Adolfo Suárez and King Juan Carlos. The law provided for the legalization of political parties and a democratic election to Constituent Cortes, a committee of which then drafted the Constitution.[2]

Results

Overall

Choice Votes %
Referendum passed Yes 15,706,078 91.81
No 1,400,505 8.19
Valid votes 17,106,583 95.71
Invalid or blank votes 766,688 4.29
Total votes 17,873,271 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 26,632,180 67.11
Source: Ministry of the Interior[3]

Results by region

Region Electorate Turnout Yes No
Votes % Votes %
Andalusia 4,347,542 69.51 2,775,521 94.36 165,882 5.64
Aragon 894,403 73.58 579,734 92.90 44,287 7.10
Asturias 864,796 61.79 473,348 91.34 44,874 8.66
Balearic Islands 450,115 70.18 282,598 94.88 15,251 5.12
Basque Country 1,552,737 44.65 479,205 74.60 163,191 25.40
Canary Islands 879,963 62.90 508,668 95.46 24,174 4.54
Cantabria 374,559 71.15 222,559 87.01 33,232 12.99
Castile and León 1,950,813 71.37 1,184,361 90.28 127,545 9.72
Castilla–La Mancha 1,207,525 73.82 751,614 87.74 105,034 12.26
Catalonia 4,398,173 67.91 2,701,870 95.15 137,845 4.85
Extremadura 765,235 70.51 481,808 92.40 39,637 7.60
Galicia 2,107,613 50.20 942,097 93.84 61,892 6.16
La Rioja 192,597 72.46 120,847 91.70 10,940 8.30
Madrid 3,047,226 72.23 1,896,205 89.49 222,638 10.51
Murcia 630,268 71.44 408,722 93.59 27,975 6.41
Navarre 361,243 66.63 182,207 81.70 40,804 18.30
Valencian Community 2,545,481 74.14 1,676,680 92.72 131,664 7.28
Total 17,873,271 67.11 15,706,078 91.81 1,400,505 8.19

Issues

Some Spanish media found up to 30% of irregularities in the census in certain provinces, with many people allegedly being unable to vote while others voted twice.[4] Adolfo Suárez's government had lowered voting age from 21 to 18 only three weeks before the referendum, which resulted in a made-up electoral register increasing by over 3 million people compared to the 1977 general election amid technical, administrative and logistical issues.[5] Interior Ministry officials acknowledged deviations of up to 5.1 per 100 in the electoral census—roughly 1.5 million people according to the National Institute of Statistics—, resulting from the absence of an official electoral register and in an overreliance on data from municipal registers.[6]

References

  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1824 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ 1978: Spain set to vote for democracy BBC News
  3. ^ "Electoral Results Consultation. Referendum. December 1978. National totals". infoelectoral.mir.es (in Spanish). Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Editorial | Incompetencia y caos". El País (in Spanish). 7 December 1978. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Tribuna | El censo electoral: fundamento de la democracia (I)". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 4 April 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Participación de más del 70 por 100". Arriba (in Spanish). 7 December 1978. Retrieved 18 September 2017.