38th Federal Congress of the PSOE

38th Federal Congress of the PSOE
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← 2008 3−5 February 2012 2014 →

956 delegates in the 38th Federal Congress of the PSOE
Plurality of delegates needed to win
Opinion polls
Turnout955 (99.9%) (secretary)
899 (94.0%) (executive)
  Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba 2012b (cropped).jpg Carme Chacón 2010 (cropped).jpg Portrait placeholder.svg
Candidate Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba Carme Chacón Blank ballots
Delegate vote 487 (51.0%) 465 (48.7%) 2 (0.2%)
Executive 723 (81.1%) Withdrew 168 (18.9%)

Secretary before election

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero

Elected Secretary

Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba

The 38th Federal Congress of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party was held in Seville from 3 to 5 February 2012, 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. The congress was called after the PSOE suffered its worst defeat since the Spanish transition to democracy in the general election held on 20 November 2011. Previous secretary-general José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero had announced in April the same year he would not stand for election to a third term as Prime Minister of Spain, announcing his intention to step down as party leader after a successor had been elected.

The result was a close race between the two candidates to the party leadership: Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, the party's candidate for the 2011 general election and former first deputy prime minister and interior minister, and former defence minister Carme Chacón. The ballot saw Rubalcaba win by a 51.0% of the delegate vote (487 votes) to the 48.7% won by Carme Chacón (465 votes), with 2 blank and 1 invalid ballots.


The key dates are listed below (all times are CET):

  • 26 November: Official announcement of the congress.
  • 8 January: Federal committee endorsement submission.
  • 9–15 January: Election of congress delegates.
  • 3–5 February: Federal congress.


Candidate Age Notable positions Announced Eliminated Ref.


Candidate elected as secretary-general.
Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba 2012b (cropped).jpg
Alfredo Pérez
60 Deputy in the Cortes Generales for Cádiz,
Cantabria, Madrid and Toledo (since 1993)

First Deputy Prime Minister of Spain (2010–2011)
Spokesperson of the Government of Spain (1993–1996 and 2010–2011)
Minister of the Interior of Spain (2006–2011)
Spokesperson of the PSOE Group in the Congress of Deputies (2004–2006)
Secretary of Communication of the PSOE (1997–2000)
Minister of the Presidency of Spain (1993–1996)
Minister of Education and Science of Spain (1992–1993)
Secretary of State of Education of Spain (1986–1992)
29 December 2011 checkY Elected


Candidates who met the endorsement requirement and were officially proclaimed to contest the party congress.
Carme Chacón 2010 (cropped).jpg
Carme Chacón
40 Deputy in the Cortes Generales for Barcelona (since 2000)
Minister of Defence of Spain (2008–2011)
Minister of Housing of Spain (2007–2008)
First Vice President of the Congress of Deputies (2004–2007)
Secretary of Education, Universities, Culture and Research of the PSOE (2000–2004)
First Deputy Mayor of Esplugues de Llobregat (1999–2003)
City Councillor of Esplugues de Llobregat (1999–2003)
7 January 2012 4 February 2012


Candidates who announced an intention to run for the primary election, but were rejected as a result of not meeting the endorsement requirement.
Portrait placeholder.svg
Luis Ángel
Hierro Recio
48 Deputy in the Cortes Generales for Seville (2004–2007) 8 January 2012 8 January 2012


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 10% of federal committee members and of between 20% and 30% of congress delegates.

Summary of candidate endorsement results
Candidate Federal Committee Delegates
Count % T % V Count % T % V
Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba 58 23.20 66.67 286 29.92 49.91
Carme Chacón 29 11.60 33.33 287 30.02 50.09
Luis Ángel Hierro Recio Eliminated (below 10%) N/A
Total 87 573
Valid endorsements 87 34.80 573 59.94
Not endorsing 163 65.20 383 40.06
Total members 250 956
Endorsements by committee members
Endorsements by delegates

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 delegates, who were the ones ultimately entitled to vote in the congress election.

PSOE voters

Spanish voters

Delegate estimations


Summary of the 4–5 February 2012 congress results
Candidate Secretary Executive
Votes % Votes %
Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba 487 51.05 723 81.14
Carme Chacón 465 48.74 Withdrew
Blank ballots 2 0.21 168 18.86
Total 954 891
Valid votes 954 99.90 891 99.11
Invalid votes 1 0.10 8 0.89
Votes cast / turnout 955 99.90 899 94.04
Abstentions 1 0.10 57 5.96
Total delegates 956 956
Vote by delegates (Secretary)
Blank ballots
Vote by delegates (Executive)
Blank ballots

This page was last updated at 2022-04-25 10:56 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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