Basque regional election, 2001

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Basque regional election, 2001

← 1998 13 May 2001 2005 →

All 75 seats in the Basque Parliament
38 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Registered 1,813,356 0.5%
Turnout 1,431,996 (79.0%)
9.0 pp
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Juan José Ibarretxe Jaime Mayor Oreja Nicolás Redondo
Leader since 31 January 1998 26 February 2001 20 October 1997
Leader's seat Álava Biscay Biscay
Last election 27 seats, 36.2% 18 seats, 21.1% 14 seats, 17.4%
Seats won 33 19 13
Seat change 6 1 1
Popular vote 604,222 326,933 253,195
Percentage 42.4% 22.9% 17.8%
Swing 6.2 pp 1.8 pp 0.4 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party
Leader Arnaldo Otegi Javier Madrazo
Party EH EB/IU
Leader since 14 February 1998 14 May 1994
Leader's seat Guipúzcoa Biscay
Last election 14 seats, 17.7% 2 seats, 5.6%
Seats won 7 3
Seat change 7 1
Popular vote 143,139 78,862
Percentage 10.0% 5.5%
Swing 7.7 pp 0.1 pp

Constituency results map for the Basque Parliament

Lehendakari before election

Juan José Ibarretxe

Elected Lehendakari

Juan José Ibarretxe

The 2001 Basque regional election was held on Sunday, 13 May 2001, to elect the 7th Parliament of the Basque Autonomous Community. All 75 seats in the Parliament were up for election.

The electoral coalition Basque Nationalist PartyBasque Solidarity (PNV–EA) won 33 seats, the People's Party (PP) came second with 19 seats, the Socialist Party of the Basque Country–Basque Country Left (PSE–EE) came in third with 13 seats. The Basque Citizens (EH) coalition obtained 7 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 grant or revoke confidence from a Lehendakari.[1] Voting for the Parliament was on the basis of universal suffrage, with all nationals over eighteen, registered in the Basque Country and in full enjoyment of all political rights entitled to vote.

The 75 members of the Basque Parliament were elected using the D'Hondt method and a closed list proportional representation, with a threshold of 3 per 100 of valid votes[n 1]—which included blank ballots—being applied in each constituency. Parties not reaching the threshold were not taken into consideration for seat distribution. Additionally, the use of the D'Hondt method might result in an effective threshold over three percent, dependant on the district magnitude.[2] Seats were allocated to constituencies, corresponding to the Basque provinces of Álava, Biscay and Guipúzcoa. Each constituency was allocated a fixed number of 25 seats each, to provide for an equal representation of the three provinces in Parliament as required under the regional Statute of Autonomy.[1][3] This meant that Álava was allocated the same number of seats as Biscay and Gipuzkoa, despite their populations being, as of 1 January 2001: 285,198, 1,124,445 and 673,328, respectively.[4]

The electoral law provided that parties, federations, coalitions and groupings of electors were allowed to present lists of candidates. However, groupings of electors were required to secure at least the signature of 1 per 100 of the electors entered in electoral register of the constituency for which they were seeking election. Electors were barred from signing for more than one list of candidates. 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.[3][5][6]

Election date

The term of the Basque Parliament expired four years after the date of its previous election, unless it was dissolved earlier. The election Decree was required to be issued no later than the twenty-fifth day prior to the date of expiry of parliament and published on the following day in the Official Gazette of the Basque Country, with election day taking place on the fifty-fourth day from publication.[1][3] The previous election was held on 25 October 1998, which meant that the legislature's term would expire on 25 October 2002. The election Decree was required to be published no later than 1 October 2002, with the election taking place on the fifty-fourth day from publication, setting the latest possible election date for the Parliament on Sunday, 24 November 2002.

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.[7]

Opinion polls


Poll results are listed in the table below in reverse chronological order, showing the most recent first. The highest percentage figure in each polling survey is displayed in bold, and the background shaded in the leading party's colour. In the instance that there is a tie, then no figure is shaded. The lead column on the right shows the percentage-point difference between the two parties with the highest figures. Poll results use the date the survey's fieldwork was done, as opposed to the date of publication. However, if such date is unknown, the date of publication will be given instead.

Seat projections

Opinion polls showing seat projections are displayed in the table below. The highest seat figures in each polling survey have their background shaded in the leading party's colour. In the instance that there is a tie, then no figure is shaded. 38 seats were required for an absolute majority in the Basque Parliament.



Summary of the 13 May 2001 Basque Parliament election results
Parties and coalitions Popular vote Seats
Votes  % ±pp Won +/−
Basque Nationalist PartyBasque Solidarity (PNV–EA)1 604,222 42.38 +6.19 33 +6
People's Party (PP)2 326,933 22.93 +1.84 19 +1
Socialist Party of the Basque Country–Basque Country Left (PSE–EE (PSOE)) 253,195 17.76 +0.41 13 –1
Basque Citizens (EH) 143,139 10.04 –7.62 7 –7
United Left (EB/IU) 78,862 5.53 –0.07 3 +1
Blank ballots 11,508 0.81 –0.58
Total 1,425,777 100.00 75 ±0
Valid votes 1,425,777 99.57 +0.10
Invalid votes 6,219 0.43 –0.10
Votes cast / turnout 1,431,996 78.97 +8.98
Abstentions 381,360 21.03 –8.98
Registered voters 1,813,356
Popular vote
Blank ballots

Distribution by constituency

 % S  % S  % S  % S  % S
Álava 33.6 9 32.5 9 20.4 5 6.1 1 5.9 1
Biscay 43.4 12 23.4 6 18.1 4 8.0 2 5.6 1
Guipúzcoa 44.3 12 18.0 4 16.1 4 15.1 4 5.2 1
Total 42.4 33 22.9 19 17.8 13 10.0 7 5.5 3


Investiture vote

First round: 11 July 2001
Absolute majority (38/75) required
Choice Vote
Parties Votes
NJuan José Ibarretxe PNVEA (33)
33 / 75
Blank ballots PP (19), PSE–EE (13), EB/IU (3)
35 / 75
Do not vote: EH (7)
Second round: 12 July 2001
Simple majority required
Choice Vote
Parties Votes
YJuan José Ibarretxe PNVEA (32), EB/IU (3)
35 / 75
Blank ballots PP (19), PSE–EE (13)
32 / 75
Do not vote: EH (7)
Absences: EA (1)


  1. ^ A 2000 legal amendment had seen the electoral threshold being lowered from five to three percent.


  1. ^ a b c Statute of Autonomy for the Basque Country of 1979, Organic Law No. 3 of December 18, 1979 Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved on 17 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Effective threshold in electoral systems". Trinity College, Dublin. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c Basque Parliament Elections Law of 1990, Law No. 5 of June 15, 1990 Official Gazette of the Basque Country (in Spanish). Retrieved on 17 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Principales series desde 1971. Resultados por Provincias. Población residente por fecha, sexo y edad". (in Spanish). National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 8 August 2017. 
  5. ^ General Electoral System Organic Law of 1985, Organic Law No. 5 of June 19, 1985 Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved on 28 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Representation of the people Institutional Act". Central Electoral Commission. Retrieved 16 June 2017. 
  7. ^ Government Law of 1981, Law No. 7 of June 30, 1981 Official Gazette of the Basque Country (in Spanish). Retrieved on 17 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Election Results Archive". (in Spanish). Basque Government. Retrieved 24 September 2017. 
  9. ^ "Basque Parliament elections since 1980". (in Spanish). Electoral History. Retrieved 24 September 2017.