Founded in 1879, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español — PSOE) is one of Europe’s oldest social democratic parties. Prominent during the Second Republic and Civil War period (1931–9), the PSOE shrank to a status of near-irrelevance under the repressive conditions of the Franco dictatorship (1939–75). Under the leadership of Felipe González, the party was able to secure second place to Adolfo Suárez’s center-right Democratic Centre Union (Unión de Centro Democrático — UCD) in the general elections held in 1977 and 1979, before entering office with an overall majority at the general election held in October 1982. A second successive overall majority was secured in 1986, and the party gained precisely half the seats in the lower house of parliament, the Congress of Deputies (Congreso de los Diputados), at the general election held three years later.


General Election Economic Downturn General Secretary Sovereign Debt Spanish Economy 
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© Paul Kennedy 2013

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  • Paul Kennedy

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