39th Federal Congress of the PSOE

39th Federal Congress of the PSOE

← 2014 21 May 2017 (primary)
16−18 June 2017 (congress)
2021 →

988 delegates in the 39th Federal Congress of the PSOE
Plurality of delegates needed to win
Opinion polls
Registered187,949 (primary)
Turnout149,951 (79.8%) (primary)
956 (96.8%) (congress)
Candidate Pedro Sánchez Susana Díaz Patxi López
Popular vote 74,805 (49.9%) 59,392 (39.6%) 14,652 (9.8%)
Delegate vote Unopposed Withdrew Withdrew
Executive 674 (71.1%) Withdrew Withdrew

Secretary before election

Caretaker committee headed by Javier Fernández

Elected Secretary

Pedro Sánchez

The 39th Federal Congress of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party was held in Madrid between 16 and 18 June 2017, to elect a new party leadership in the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and set out the party's main lines of action and strategy, after the sacking of Pedro Sánchez as party leader in October 2016 had resulted in a caretaker leadership being appointed. The primary election was held on 21 May 2017, after being confirmed in a federal committee on 1 April.

The leadership race was the first to be held after the party's electoral setbacks in both the 2015 and 2016 general elections in which the party scored its two worst electoral records since the Spanish transition to democracy. An extraordinary party congress had been held in July 2014 after Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba's resignation, in which Pedro Sánchez had been elected as new party leader. However, no ordinary congress had been held since 2012. Former President of the Congress of Deputies and former Lehendakari Patxi López publicly announced his bid as candidate on 15 January, with President of the Regional Government of Andalusia Susana Díaz and Sánchez himself following suit.

The election resulted in Pedro Sánchez being re-elected as Secretary General in a landslide. Sánchez would ultimately lead the PSOE into government after a successful vote of no confidence which would see Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his People's Party ousted from power.


Susana Díaz's rise

Susana Díaz became President of the Regional Government of Andalusia and Secretary General of the PSOE–A succeeding José Antonio Griñán—who had resigned as a result of political fallout derived from the ERE scandal—after a rapid ascent among party ranks throughout the previous years. Known for her political ambition, her power and influence grew as she became the leader of the most powerful Spanish Socialist Workers' Party regional federation, as well as premier of the largest and most populous region in Spain. Soon, she was publicly acclaimed by party colleagues who considered she had the skills, charisma and political appeal needed for leading the PSOE, and they quickly rallied behind her as a potential contender for the role of Secretary General after Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba's announced resignation—as a consequence of the PSOE electoral setback in the 2014 European Parliament election—ushered in a rushed leadership race. However, the challenge posed by Eduardo Madina—whose pressure forced a primary election to be held on 13 July—, Díaz's own desire to become party leader by acclamation and not through a bitter leadership contest which could see her popularity eroded, as well as opposition from within the PSOE–A—members of which asked her to remain in Andalusia—motivated Diaz's decision not to run. Nonetheless, Díaz's opposition to Madina for his maneuvers to trigger a party primary and, consequently, thwarting her planned rise, resulted in the PSOE–A backing a dark horse candidate, then-relatively unknown deputy Pedro Sánchez, ahead of the previous federal congress. Thanks to Díaz's support, Sánchez was able to win the primary election by a wide margin and become the new PSOE Secretary General.

However, the alliance between Sánchez and Díaz was short-lived. Díaz's initial plans to become the PSOE candidate at the next general election were impeded by Sánchez's own growing political aspirations. This, coupled with personal differences derived from Sánchez's management over the party, seen as alienating the different party families, caused both leaders to grow increasingly distrustful of each other and to develop a personal rivalry. Susana Díaz took advantage of growing criticism to Sánchez's leadership, succeeding in causing many long-standing rivals within the party—such as Rubalcaba and Carme Chacón, Felipe González and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, or even Eduardo Madina and Díaz herself; as well as six out of the seven PSOE regional presidents—to abandon their feuds, attracting them to her sphere and uniting them against her former protégé.

2016 PSOE crisis

The 2015 general election had seen the PSOE obtaining its worst results in a general election since the Spanish transition to democracy, with the party reduced to just 90 seats and 5.5 million votes. Left-wing newcomer Podemos had finished within striking distance, winning 69 seats and 5.2 million votes, boosted by massive support from young voters, raising fears among some PSOE leaders that Podemos could eventually replace their party as the dominant Spanish party to the left-of-centre. Secretary General Pedro Sánchez, who had led the party into the general election and whose leadership had been widely questioned for some time by the critical faction led by Susana Díaz, announced he would run for re-election as party leader in the party federal congress initially scheduled for early 2016. Díaz, unlike 2014, was now allegedly determined to become new party leader herself by battling Sánchez in the incoming contest, intending for the congress to be held as early as March or April 2016, whereas Sánchez sought to have it held in June. A compromise solution was reached in order to avoid a major clash between both sides, with the congress being scheduled for 21 and 22 May and a primary election to be held on 8 May.

Government formation talks nationwide broke down after Sánchez's failed investiture attempt in early March 2016. On 28 March, the PSOE leadership race was postponed indefinitely until a new government was appointed, due to increasing odds of a fresh election being called for 26 June. The party's performance in the eventual 2016 general election, where it narrowly avoided being decisively overcome by the Unidos Podemos coalition, only temporarily halted criticism from party critics. Serious setbacks in the Basque and Galician elections held on 25 September, which had been turned by dissenters into an electoral test of Sánchez, prompted immediate calls for resignation among his opponents, unleashing a party crisis which weakened Sánchez's standing and indicated a loss of support for him within the party. Sánchez refused to step down and instead proposed to have the congress held immediately, scheduling it for 12 and 13 November and the primary election for 23 October, while daring his critics to challenge him in a back-me-or-sack-me vote. This move enraged his opponents, who subsequently forced the resignation of half of the party's executive committee on 28 September in order to trigger Sánchez's downfall. Sánchez did not acknowledge his ouster and sought to keep his promise of an autumn congress, resulting in the party being openly split into two opposing factions, as critics no longer recognized Sánchez's legitimacy to act as secretary general. In a troubled federal committee held on 1 October, Sánchez finally resigned as party leader after losing a key ballot on his congress' proposal by 132 votes to 107. A caretaker managing committee headed by Asturias President Javier Fernández was appointed to lead the party until the party congress to elect a new leadership could be organized.

Concurrently with the ongoing PSOE crisis, the government formation process continued as the People's Party of Mariano Rajoy had secured the support of both Citizens and Canarian Coalition for Rajoy's investiture. The PSOE caretaker leadership appointed after Sánchez's sacking approved the party's abstention in such a vote, thus ensuring Rajoy's re-election as Prime Minister of Spain despite the party's previous stance not to allow a new PP government. A few hours ahead of the scheduled second ballot that would allow Rajoy's investiture, Pedro Sánchez announced his resignation as an MP—a decision advised by his close aides—arguing that he could neither abstain—and thus break his electoral pledge of opposing a PP government—or, as former PSOE leader, set a bad precedent by disobeying the decision of the highest party governing body, the federal committee. Right after government formation, in an exclusive interview for laSexta's Salvados news show, Pedro Sánchez publicly accused Susana Díaz's allies within the party and the "financial powers"—specially the PRISA Group, owner of El País media outlet—of having coerced him into avoiding a left-wing pact with Podemos and nationalist parties throughout the entire government formation process, accusing them of triggering the internal revolt within PSOE to oust him once he considered a serious attempt at forming such an alliance.

Late 2016: Díaz's consolidation, Sánchez in expectation

Former Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero had become one of Susana Díaz's most devoted backers in recent times.

Taking advantage of the internal disarray resulting from Sánchez's demise, Susana Díaz, main orchestrator of the party revolt that brought him down, became widely regarded as the new PSOE leader in pectore as the Fernández-led caretaker team came to be seen as a mere puppet body under her control. As Díaz extended her influence throughout the party's structure, she sought party adhesions to its figure and visibility as the PSOE's organic and institutional reference by meeting Socialists' Party of Catalonia leader Miquel Iceta—securing the PSC neutrality for the incoming leadership contest in exchange of the promise to avoid a split between both parties—and planning a tour to the European Parliament as part of the greater national and international scope of her political agenda. She also staged a party rally in Jaén on 16 December, in which she was granted the public and unconditional support of former Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero—long turned into an admirer of the Andalusian President and an opponent to Pedro Sánchez—. In the ensuing weeks, Díaz would receive public acclaim from regional Presidents Javier Lambán of Aragon—who publicly endorsed her and went as far as to assure that Díaz was "protected by the gods of Socialism"—and Guillermo Fernández Vara of Extremadura—who commented on her that "she's like a cannon communicating; she sounds like a winner"—.

Close aides to Díaz revealed that she preferred to face the primary election as the sole candidate in order to win unopposed, but the faction critical of the new leadership soon assured they would field a candidate of their own regardless of Díaz's intentions, and all sides soon acknowledged that the race would be competitive. Some called for Pedro Sánchez—who had hinted at such a possibility but had never officially confirmed it—to run again for leadership, but there were those who regarded both Díaz and Sánchez unfit for the role—arguing that their long-lasting grudge for power had deeply divided the party and that none of them would be able to fully re-unite it again—. Proponents of this alternative, 'third' way, considered former President of the Congress of Deputies Patxi López as a potential frontrunner. Support for a potential Patxi López's bid grew among Sánchez's loyalists as time passed and the former PSOE leader remained ambiguous on his intentions.

Concurrently and without revealing his future plans, Sánchez staged several events with the party's grassroots throughout November and December 2016. The first, held in Xirivella in the Valencian Community on 26 November, was an attendance success with more than a thousand assistants. This feat was repeated in another appearance in El Entrego, Asturias, on 10 December. In both events, Sánchez called for the party congress to be held immediately and accused Fernández's caretaker committee of leading the party as a full-fledged executive, when it should be limited—as per party statutes—to organizing the congress. Meanwhile, party members critical of the new PSOE leadership, under the Recupera PSOE platform (Spanish for "Recover [the] PSOE"), opened an unauthorized party office just 500 meters away from the main PSOE headquarters in Madrid to promote affiliation of new members to vote in the primary election, to which the caretaker committee replied by announcing legal actions for improper use and usurpation of the party's symbology.

January 2017: Congress announced, enter López and Sánchez

Former Lehendakari Patxi López unexpectedly became, on 15 January 2017, the first to publicly announce his bid, posing as an alternative to both Sánchez and Díaz.

On 14 January 2017, party leaders in federal committee formally set the congress' date for 17 and 18 June with a primary election scheduled for May, the preferred choice of both Javier Fernández and Susana Díaz who had called for postponing the congress' date to "just before summer [2017]" in hopes of Sánchez's support eroding over time. Despite previous calls from critics for the leadership contest to be held earlier, the proposed timetable was reluctantly accepted by critics with little opposition as Fernández and Díaz's faction commanded a comfortable majority among federal committee members. The next day, Patxi López unexpectedly became the first to publicly announce his candidacy to the party's leadership, stating that the party's abstention in Rajoy's investiture had been "an error" and claiming to "feel strong enough to rebuild the party". After weeks of waiting for Sánchez's final decision and of debating on whether it was advisable for the late Secretary General to return to office, many of his previous supporters switched sides and aligned with López, appealed by his 'third way' project, while calling for Sánchez to join them in an effort to prevent splitting the anti-Díaz vote. Among those withdrawing their support from the former party leader were Balearic President Francina Armengol—the only PSOE regional premier not aligned to Susana Díaz—as well as the party's regional branches in Madrid, the Basque Country, Navarre, Castile and León and La Rioja. Even the PSC, formerly staunch defenders of Sánchez before his deposition, now claimed "neutrality" by virtue of Iceta's agreement with Díaz.

Pedro Sánchez, who was said to be privately upset by López's move—both had been close allies during his time as Secretary General—, revealed on 18 January he would be meeting party members throughout Spain without clarifying whether he would withdraw from the race or not. Moreover, sources from within his team hinted that he had allegedly already chosen to run, but that he would not make the decision public until it better suited him, instead focusing in warming up his potential candidacy with events widely seen as a defiance to his rivals, such as one scheduled in Seville—Díaz's home province—for 28 January. It was later revealed that López was among those who advised Sánchez to resign his seat, a move which deprived him of a public platform from where to launch his leadership run and for which Sánchez was said to feel "deeply betrayed". Concurrently, Susana Díaz was determined to launch her bid in the ensuing weeks and started assembling campaign teams in the different PSOE regional federations to ready up the party's "machinery" under her control for collecting endorsements once the race would formally start. López's announcement, which was said to initially catch Díaz unprepared, did not alter her plans and, like Sánchez, she remained silent on her intentions to run, aware that her bid for the highest party office would rush a succession race within her party in Andalusia. Some suggested Díaz would try to combine her role as President of the Regional Government of Andalusia with that of PSOE Secretary General if elected.

While Patxi López had been the first to announce his run and had quickly seen the anti-Díaz coalition coalesce around him, he did not obtain the express support of historical party leaders and long-time friends such as Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba—who disassociated himself from Lopez's strategy and praised Díaz's "political strength"—. He also stirred up suspicions among Pedro Sánchez's remaining loyalists that his move was an opportunistic maneuver aimed at thwarting Sánchez's potential bid and negotiating a future power sharing with Díaz, despite López's calls that he was willing to "go to the end" in the fight for PSOE's control. Sánchez found himself stranded from most of his previous collaborators and could no longer count with the party apparatus of the anti-Díaz regional federations to back him, facing the challenge of making up a minimal infrastructure able to grant his campaign the required resources for remaining competitive. Meanwhile, Susana Díaz embarked herself in a tour through PSOE territories hostile to her in order to mobilize her supporters, starting in Castile and León from 20 to 22 January. In León, her presence was received amid a polarized environment, with protesters booing and shouting "¡No es no!" (Spanish for "No means no", an unofficial slogan that referred to Sánchez's opposition to the formation of a PP government) and accusing her of "handing over power to one of Europe's most corrupt parties". Díaz and López called for party unity ahead of the congress so as to avoid turning the primaries campaign into a "fratricide battle" that could further aggravate the party crisis, both aware that Sánchez's presence in the race would deeply divide the grassroots.

In his 28 January rally in Dos Hermanas, Seville, which gathered over 1,500 people, Pedro Sánchez announced his run for party leadership. Patxi López welcomed Sánchez to the "debate on proposals" and stated that it was now time of "confronting projects". Meanwhile, Susana Díaz, who concurrently was in a party meeting in Alcalá de los Gazules (Cádiz), remained unsettled on Sánchez's announcement and kept refusing to disclose when would she announce her bid, commenting that "it isn't time to talk about leaderships now" but of "strengthening the party with a winning project, without any complex and useful to Spain".

February−March 2017: Díaz officially enters the race

Susana Díaz on 13 March, the day after she confirmed her intention to launch her leadership bid on 26 March.

As two candidates had entered the race, attention focused on Díaz as she refused to publicly disclose her intentions. A party event on 11 February, allegedly intended as a vindication of the party's municipalism in Spain, became an improvised rally in support of Díaz, who had been invited by the event's organizer, Mayor of Vigo Abel Caballero. During the event, attended by 2,500 party officers and supporters, Díaz strongly hinted at her candidacy by claiming that she had "strength, hope, excitement" and "loved winning", while also pointing that the PSOE had to recover its spirit to "win elections". Amid rumours that she intended to make her announcement after the Andalusia Day holiday on 28 February—in order to prevent eclipsing the holiday's institutional celebration—she responded that it was "a government event" and that she was not going to "talk about [her] party". Díaz kept staging various acts as she was allegedly awaiting for the best time to make her announcement, seeking to prevent a possible succession struggle in Andalusia in the event she choose to step down as regional President and leader. Finally on 12 March, several media outlets confirmed that Susana Díaz was poised to announce her bid during a large party rally in Madrid on 26 March, with the party structure under her influence quickly coalescing around her in order to prevent a Pedro Sánchez's win in the primary. In a speech to a crowd of 5,000 supporters, Susana Díaz formally announced her candidacy on 26 March as planned, supported by former PSOE leaders Felipe González, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, as well as party figures such as Eduardo Madina, Alfonso Guerra, Carme Chacón, José Bono, 11 former ministers, dozens of local mayors and deputation presidents and most of the regional PSOE premiers, who had already rallied around her throughout the previous months.

Concurrently, Pedro Sánchez increased his campaign agenda in Andalusia—which accounted for about a quarter of the party's membership—aware that Díaz's influence in the region and her expected strong primary showing there could dwarf his support in other communities. As Díaz made her bid official, Sánchez proclaimed that there were only "two choices" for party members ahead of the May primaries: "the abstention [to Rajoy] or the [party's] grassroots", while proclaiming that the PSOE itself had to choose whether to be "in front of" or "below or next" to the PP. Sánchez also clashed with the PSOE's managing committee on his campaign's financing: Sánchez's crowdfunding system—through which he had received €38,000 in the first way of its opening, far beyond expectations—was rejected by the later, as they accused Sánchez of not respecting laws on the financing of political parties. The caretaker committee perceived that donations to candidates for an internal party process were also subject to the same legal regulations applied to parties, and that any resulting responsibilities derived from a lack of control of such payments could result in the party bearing ultimate responsibility. As a result, the PSOE demanded all candidates to redirect their funding through a bank account under the party's ownership, something which was initially rejected by Sánchez—who also questioned the legality of such a move—to the party's outrage. On 28 March, the Spanish Court of Auditors ruled in favour of the party's stance and required for Sánchez to respect the financing rules laid down by PSOE. Sánchez reluctantly complied and subsequently shut down his crowdfunding.

Díaz and Sánchez's positions were seen as frontally antagonistic. Whereas Díaz claimed herself to be the representative of "the true PSOE"—vindicating the party's legacy and the much criticized Socialist governments under Felipe González (1982–96) and Rodríguez Zapatero (2004–11)—, Sánchez was heavily critical of the party's direction ever since his resignation, calling himself "the candidate of the grassroots" and demanding a PSOE that was "autonomous, left-wing and credible". Their personal grudge was so intense that PSOE leaders tried to reduce the campaign tone and cast off fears that the losing side in the primaries might not acknowledge the outcome and split from the party. Meanwhile, Patxi López presented himself as "the candidate of integration" and the only one able to unite all sides after the primaries—aware that the Díaz–Sánchez polarization was harmful to his campaign—, calling for "unity" to "recover the PSOE" and for his party colleagues to avoid a "major clash" that could result in a permanent rupture.

April 2017: Run up to the primaries

On 1 April, the party officially set the primary election for 21 May, with candidates intending to run required to obtain the endorsements of at least 5% of party members between 20 April and 4 May in order to be eligible. As in the 2014 primary, voting was restricted to party members. The congress timetable was approved almost unanimously by the federal committee but was met with the opposition of a handful of Sánchez's supporters, who clashed with the party leadership on the proposed timetable for the communication of membership census—complaining that it might hamper the candidates' collection of endorsements—as well as on the statutory modification proposals which, they claimed, were not delivered to them with enough time in advance. The managing committee rejected these claims and replied that "this has been always done like this", with six Sánchez's supporters ultimately abstaining from the vote on the congress timetable. A single debate was also proposed to be held between the candidates meeting the eligibility requirements, with the PSOE not closing the door to additional debates if candidates so agreed.

With the date for the primary election finally fixed, candidates re-directed their efforts at ensuring enough endorsements to be able to participate in the contest. Susana Díaz commented on the endorsement collection that she gave "a huge value to them [the endorsements]", and that she "greatly respected an endorsement, because when you endorse a person you give your word, you commit yourself and you are able, from that time, to represent that person". Members of her campaign commented that she intended to stage a power demonstration by delivering a huge amount of endorsements, whereas the Sánchez and López campaigns commented that they would only focus their efforts at collecting the required 5% of member signatures to run. Sánchez, nonetheless, spoke against the organization of the primary process—which he saw as built around Díaz's figure and against his campaign—and warned that "no matter the hindrances and favoritisms, there shall be no wall stopping the force of the Socialist militancy".

Díaz's campaign was shaken in early April by two events: on the one hand, Estela Goikoetxea, curtain raiser in Díaz's 26 March rally, resigned as Director of the Public Health Observatory of Cantabria only three days later after it transpired that she had lied on her curriculum vitae, by assuring she was a graduate in Biotechnology for the University of León despite not actually having finished her studies—with this event also incidentally leading to a crisis in Santander after it was exposed that the local mayor, Gema Igual from the People's Party, was in a similar situation—. Then on 4 April, a recording leaked to the media showed Miguel Ángel Heredia, Secretary General in the Socialist Parliamentary Group in the Congress and one of Díaz's closest aides, heavily criticizing Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias—dubbing him an "enemy" to PSOE—as well as Sánchez's supporters in the parliamentary group—explicitly referring to Margarita Robles as a "motherfucker"—. Heredia also called for the Socialists' Party of Catalonia's "dissolution"—the PSOE–PSC relations had remained strained in the months following the 2016 PSOE crisis—and justified the party coup against Sánchez in an undisclosed—and officially unconfirmed—government agreement between Sánchez, Unidos Podemos and Republican Left of Catalonia in late September 2016, which the party had allegedly learned from CCOO General Secretary Ignacio Fernández Toxo. Toxo immediately denied these claims—claiming to have never heard of such an agreement happening—and urged Heredia to either reveal who his alleged sources within CCOO were or to resign right away, whereas pro-Sánchez deputies demanded his outright resignation. Heredia apologized for his remarks and argued that the discussion—which, he explained, took place at an informal meeting—had been brought out of context, with close aides blaming Sánchez's supporters for the leak. Susana Díaz, visibly upset, claimed that she did not agree with "that kind of assessments, wherever they come from" and that she had been "working for months to recover the respect and fraternity between party colleagues". She, however, did not think that Heredia had to resign.

The sudden death of former Minister of Defence and party colleague Carme Chacón on 9 April prompted all three candidates for the PSOE leadership to suspend their campaigns for the ensuing days in a show of respect. Little activity ensued during the Holy Week holidays in mid-April, with the candidates focused in the collection of endorsements from 20 April to 4 May.


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

  • 1 April: Official announcement of the congress.
  • 17 April: Start of pre-candidacy submission period.
  • 19 April: End of pre-candidacy submission period at 12 pm.
  • 20 April: Start of endorsement collection period.
  • 4 May: End of endorsement collection period at 12 pm.
  • 8 May: Proclamation of candidates to the party general secretariat.
  • 9 May: Official start of internal information campaign.
  • 20 May: Last day of internal information campaign.
  • 21 May: Primary election.
  • 24–28 May: Election of congress delegates.
  • 28 May: Deadline for amendment submission.
  • 16–18 June: Federal congress.


Candidate Age Notable positions Announced Eliminated Campaign Ref.


Candidate elected as secretary-general.
Pedro Sánchez
45 Secretary-General of the PSOE (2014–2016)
Leader of the Opposition of Spain (2014–2016)
Deputy in the Cortes Generales for Madrid (2009–2011 and 2013–2016)
City Councillor of Madrid (2004–2009)
28 January 2017 checkY Elected


Candidates who met the endorsement requirement and were officially proclaimed to contest the primary election.
Susana Díaz
42 President of the Regional Government of Andalusia (since 2013)
Secretary-General of the PSOE–A (since 2013)
Deputy in the Parliament of Andalusia for Seville (since 2008)

Minister of the Presidency and Equality of Andalusia (2012–2013)
Secretary-General of the PSOE–A in Seville (2012–2013)
Senator in the Cortes Generales appointed by the Parliament of Andalusia
Secretary of Organization of the PSOE–A (2010–2012)
Deputy in the Cortes Generales for Seville (2004–2008)
Deputy Mayor for Human Resources of Seville (2003–2004)
City Councillor of Seville (1999–2004)
Secretary of Organization of the JSA (1997–2004)
26 March 2017 21 May 2017
Patxi López
57 Deputy in the Cortes Generales for Biscay (1987–1989 and since 2016)
President of the Congress of Deputies (2016)
Secretary of Political Action, Citizenship and Liberties of the PSOE (2014–2016)
Secretary of Political Relations of the PSOE (2012–2014)
Secretary-General of the PSE–EE (PSOE) (2002–2014)
Deputy in the Basque Parliament for Álava and Biscay (1991–2014)
Lehendakari (2009–2012)
Secretary-General of the PSE–EE (PSOE) in Biscay (1997–2002)
Secretary of Organization of the PSE–EE (PSOE) (1991–1995)
Secretary General of the JSE–EGAZ (1985–1988)
15 January 2017 21 May 2017


Candidates who announced an intention to run for the primary election, but were rejected as a result of not meeting the endorsement requirement.
Aurelio Belando
66 None 19 April 2017 8 May 2017
Pedro Antonio
45 None 19 April 2017 8 May 2017
José Froilán
53 None 19 April 2017 8 May 2017
Manuel Pérez
69 None 19 April 2017 8 May 2017


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 5% of party members.

Summary of candidate endorsement results
Candidate Endorsements
Count % T % V
Susana Díaz 60,231 32.05 48.27
Pedro Sánchez 53,692 28.57 43.03
Patxi López 10,866 5.78 8.71
Aurelio Belando Eliminated (below 5%)
Pedro Antonio Ibáñez
José Froilán Moreno
Manuel Pérez
Total 124,789
Valid endorsements 124,789 66.40
Not endorsing 63,160 33.60
Total members 187,949
Endorsements by party members



39th PSOE Federal Congress debates
Date Organisers Moderator(s)     P  Present   NI  Not invited 
Díaz López Sánchez Ref.
15 May PSOE Carmen del Riego P P P
Opinion polls
Candidate viewed as "performing best" or "most convincing" in each debate
Debate Polling firm/Commissioner Díaz López Sánchez None Question?
15 May SocioMétrica 28.0 16.0 27.0 29.0
Invymark 32.6 30.2 28.5 8.7

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 party members, who are the ones ultimately entitled to vote in the primary election.

PSOE voters

Spanish voters



Summary of the 21 May–17 June 2017 PSOE congress results
Candidate Primary Congress
Secretary Executive
Votes % Votes % Votes %
Pedro Sánchez 74,805 49.93 Unopposed 674 71.10
Susana Díaz 59,392 39.64 Withdrew
Patxi López 14,652 9.78 Withdrew
Blank ballots 977 0.65 274 28.90
Total 149,826 948
Valid votes 149,826 99.92 948 99.16
Invalid votes 125 0.08 8 0.84
Votes cast / turnout 149,951 79.78 956 96.76
Abstentions 37,998 20.22 32 3.24
Registered voters 187,949 988 988
Vote by party members
Blank ballots
Vote by delegates (Executive)
Blank ballots

By region

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