General elections were held in Italy on 20 November 1870, with a second round of voting on 27 November. They were a snap election, called by Prime Minister Giovanni Lanza to take advantage by the Capture of Rome and to give parliamentary representation to the future capital of Italy.
Only 530,018 men of a total population of around 26 million were entitled to vote. They were largely aristocrats representing rentiers from the north of the country, and held moderate political views including loyalty to the crown and low government spending.
^The turnout was so low that many candidates that obtained a landslide in the first round, were obliged to the second round because the first one was annulled because the quorum of 50% of registered voters was not accomplished.
^The electoral law did not limit the number of constituencies where a candidate could stand, so many political leaders run and won in two or more constituences, which consequently needed by-elections to fill their seats.