The elections to the Russian Constituent Assembly that were organised as a result of events in the Russian Revolution of 1917 were held on November 25, 1917 (although some districts had polling on alternate days), around 2 months after they were originally meant to occur. It is generally reckoned as the first truly free election in Russian history.
The Bolsheviks, who had seized power in the October Revolution, believed that it would consolidate their power and prove that they had a clear popular mandate to govern. Instead, the election yielded a clear victory for the Socialist Revolutionary Party (SRs), who polled far more votes than the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks allowed the Constituent Assembly to convene on 18 January 1918. However, the other parties refused to give their support to Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin's idea of a soviet republic. He persuaded the rest of the Bolsheviks to leave in protest with him and later that day, it emerged that he had dissolved the Constituent Assembly after only one day. This action is considered to be the onset of the Bolshevik dictatorship. Within a few months of the assembly's dissolution, all opposition parties had been banned. Following the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, no free elections of any sort would be held in Russia until the 1990 republic election.
Various academic studies have given alternative results. However, all clearly indicate that the Bolsheviks were clear winners in the urban centres, and also took around two-thirds of the votes of soldiers on the "Western Front." Nevertheless, the SRs who topped the polls on the strength of massive support from the country's rural peasantry.
A study by Oliver Henry Radkey found the following breakdown. (Note that the figures for Socialist Revolutionaries includes the Ukrainian Socialist Revolutionaries, while the Cadet figure includes other "rightists" as well. The total number of deputies returned for "Others" includes 39 Left Socialist-Revolutionaries and four Popular Socialists, as well as 77 others from various local groups.)