French legislative election, 1958
All 576 seats to the French National Assembly
289 seats were needed for a majority
Charles de Gaulle
3,603,958 (1st round)
5,249,746 (2nd round) 2,815,176 (1st round)
2,869,173 (2nd round) 1,858,380 (1st round)
1,370,246 (2nd round)
17.60% (1st round)
28.20% (2nd round) 13.7% (1st round)
15.4% (2nd round) 9.10% (1st round)
7.4% (2nd round)
French legislative elections took place on 23 and 30 November 1958 to elect the 1st National Assembly of the French Fifth Republic.
Since 1954, the
French Fourth Republic had been mired in the Algerian War. In May 1958, Pierre Pflimlin, a Christian-Democrat, became Prime Minister. He was known to be in favour of a negotiated settlement with the Algerian nationalists. On 13 May riots broke out in Algiers, with the complicity of the army. A rebel government seized power in Algiers in order to defend "French Algeria". The next day, General Massu demanded the return to power of General Charles de Gaulle.
The rebellious generals took control of
Corsica threatening to conduct an assault on Paris, involving paratroopers and armoured forces based at Rambouillet. In Paris, the political leaders were trying to find a compromise. On 1 June De Gaulle replaced Pflimlin to lead a government of national unity and nominated as Ministers of State (Vice-Prime Ministers) Pierre Pflimlin ( Popular Republican Movement, MRP), Guy Mollet ( French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO), Louis Jacquinot ( National Center of Independents and Peasants, CNIP) and Félix Houphouët-Boigny. He obtained the right to develop a new Constitution. Only the Communists and some center-left politicians such as Pierre Mendès-France and François Mitterrand, opposed this "coup against the Republic".
On 28 September the new Constitution was approved by 79.2% of voters. The Fifth Republic was born. The
Two-round system was re-established for the legislative elections. The Gaullists created the Union for the New Republic which became the largest parliamentary group. Their opponents were crushed. The division in the Left between the supporters and the opponents to the Fifth Republic explained, in due to this ballot system which encourages the alliances, the small number of left-wing MPs.
On 21 December de Gaulle was elected
President of France by an electoral college. His Justice Minister Michel Debré became Prime Minister. The pro-Fifth Republic center-left parties (SFIO and Radical Party) left the majority.
Results (Metropolitan France) [ edit ]
Parties and coalitions
Union for the New Republic ( Union pour la nouvelle République) UNR
French Section of the Workers International ( Section française de l'Internationale ouvrière) SFIO
National Center of Independents and Peasants ( Centre national des indépendants et paysans) CNIP
Miscellaneous Right DVD
Popular Republican Movement ( Mouvement républicain populaire) MRP
Radical Party ( Parti radical) and allies Rad
Total "Pro-Fifth Republic Majority"
French Communist Party ( Parti communiste français) PCF
Union of the Democratic Forces ( Union des forces démocratiques) UFD
Abstention: 22.90% (1st round), 29.30% (2nd round)
1st National Assembly by Parliamentary Group [ edit ]
UNR Group 199
IPAS Group 107
FAEAS (Algerian and African deputies) Group
RPCD Group 49
Socialist Group 43
FANI Group 40