The Senate

The Senate is, according to the definition of the Spanish Constitution, the house of territorial representation.

Its functions include intervening in the approval of laws and in the authorisation to conclude international treaties, the approval of the General State Budget, political control of the Government, as well as information and the study and research in matters of general interest.

Unlike in Congress, their number is not fixed. It may vary upwards or downwards as the number of inhabitants of the different Autonomous Communities changes.

The variation in the number of senators occurs at the beginning of each Legislature (after the general elections are held) and is based on the population census published on 1 January of the year in which the elections are held.

During the 14th Legislature, there were 265 senators, 208 of whom were elected and 57 appointed by the Legislative Assemblies of the Autonomous Communities.

For the next Legislature, there will be 266 senators. The Valencian Community has one more Senator than in the previous legislature.

The Senate has two types of senators, according to their origin

The 208 elected by universal suffrage that is free, equal, direct and secret suffrage is as follows:

  • 4 are elected in each peninsular province
  • 3 are elected in Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Mallorca
  • 2 for Ceuta and Melilla
  • 1 for Ibiza-Formentera, Menorca, Fuerteventura, Gomera, Hierro, Lanzarote, and La Palma

These 208 senators will be the ones we elect on 23 July.

Unlike in Congress, where a party is voted for by means of closed lists, in the Senate the person, the candidate, is voted for by choosing 3, 2 or 1 (always one less than those corresponding to each constituency) from among those appearing on the single ballot paper for the Senate, which the voter will find in his or her polling station.

But there is also another group of senators (57 in the last legislature), elected by the Legislative Assemblies of the Autonomous Communities: 1 per Autonomous Community, and another one for each million inhabitants of its respective territory.