Multi-level electoral competition - Regional elections and party systems in Spain

F Pallares, M Keating

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

115 Citations (Scopus)


Regionalization in the form of the creation of Autonomous Communities (ACs) has played a significant role in shaping the Spanish party system since the transition to democracy in 1977. Parties are divided into statewide parties, operating at both national and regional levels, and non-statewide parties. The latter have been most important in the historic nations of Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia. We can generally see autonomous elections as second-order elections, with lower turnout than national elections and with results generally following the national pattern. In certain cases, the presence of non-statewide parties challenges this pattern and in Catalonia a distinct political arena exists with its own characteristics. The existence of autonomous parliaments and governments has also provided new opportunities for both statewide and non-statewide parties and served as a power base for political figures within the parties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-255
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Urban and Regional Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • elections
  • regions
  • Spain


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