Spanish general election, 1933

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Spanish general election, 1933
Spain
1931 ←
19 November 1933
→ 1936

All 473 seats of the Congress of Deputies
237 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 67.31%
  First party Second party Third party
  No image.svg Lerroux face.jpg F. Largo Caballero.jpg
Leader José María Gil-Robles y Quiñones Alejandro Lerroux Francisco Largo Caballero
Party CEDA PRR PSOE
Leader since 4 March 1933 1908 1932
Last election N/A 90 seats 115 seats
Seats won 115 102 59
Seat change Increase115 Increase12 Decrease56

Spanish general election map, 1933.svg

Areas of most support: the right (dark blue), the centre-right (light blue), the centre (green) and the left (red).

Prime Minister before election

Manuel Azaña
AR

Elected Prime Minister

Alejandro Lerroux
PRR

Elections to Spain’s legislature, the Cortes Generales, were held on 19 November 1933 for all 473 seats in the unicameral Cortes of the Second Spanish Republic. Since the previous elections of 1931, a new constitution had been ratified, and the franchise extended to more than six million women. The governing Republican-Socialist coalition had fallen apart, with the Radical Republican Party beginning to support a newly united political right.

The right formed an electoral coalition, as was favoured by the new electoral system enacted earlier in the year. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español, or PSOE) won only 59 seats. The newly formed Catholic conservative Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right (Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas or CEDA) gained 115 seats and the Radicals 102. The right capitalised on disenchantment with the government among Catholics and other conservatives. CEDA campaigned on reversing the reforms that had been made under the Republic, and on freeing political prisoners. Anarchists favoured abstention from the vote. These factors helped the election to result in significant victory for the right over the left.

Background[edit]

Elections in June 1931 had returned a large majority of Republicans and Socialists to the Cortes, with the PSOE gaining 116 seats and the Radical Republican Party 94.[1] The state's financial position was poor. Wealth redistribution supported by the new government attracted criticism from the wealthy. [2] The government also attempted to tackle poverty in rural areas by instituting an eight-hour day and giving security of tenure to farm workers, drawing criticism from landlords.[3][4]

An effective parliamentary opposition was led by three groups. The first included Catholic movements such as the Catholic Association of Propagandists (Asociación Católica de Propagandistas).[nb 1][4] The second group consisted of organisations that had supported the monarchy, such as the Renovación Española and Carlists, who wanted to see the new republic overthrown in a violent uprising.[5] The third group were fascist organisations.[5] Members of the National Confederation of Labour (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, or CNT) trade union movement willing to cooperate with the Republic were forced out of the CNT, which continued to oppose the government.[6] Opposition parties had the support of the church.[7] A new constitution was ratified on 9 December 1931.[8] It included many controversial articles, some of which were aimed at curbing the influence of the Catholic Church.[9] The constitution was reformist, liberal, and democratic in nature, and was welcomed by the Republican-Socialist coalition, but opposed by landowners, industrialists, the organised church, and army officers.[8] In opposing educational and religious reforms, Spanish Catholics were forced to oppose the government.[10] The press criticised government actions as barbaric, unjust, and corrupt.[11]

In October 1931 Prime Minister Niceto Alcalá Zamora resigned and was succeeded by Manuel Azaña. Radical Party leader Alejandro Lerroux had wanted that job himself and became alienated, switching his party's support to the opposition.[10] This left Azaña dependent on the Socialists, but both the Socialists, who favoured reform, and the conservative right, who were against reform, were critical of the government.[12] Socialists continued to support Azaña, but the left became fractured, driving the Socialists to the left, while the right united into CEDA, which tacitly embraced fascism. [11][13]

On 1 October 1933, Socialist left leader Largo Cabellero spoke out against Lerroux's Republicans, suggesting the reform programme of the government, and thus the basis for the Republic itself, was under threat. He warned that if the government itself were the threat, the Socialists would have to withdraw support for it.[14] The following day another Socialist leader, Indalecio Prieto, declared that the Socialists would no longer participate in government, which precipitated its collapse. Alcalá Zamora, who became President in 1931, now requested that Republican Martínez Barrio form a new government. Socialist opposition on both constitutional and ideological grounds meant the PSOE withheld its support for the Barrio government, which was formed on 8 October, but called for fresh elections to be held on 19 November 1933.[15]

Election[edit]

Nobody should vote, because politics means immorality, shameful business practices, growing fat, excessive ambition, uncontrolled hunger to become rich, to dominate, to impose oneself, to possess the privileges of State, both in the name of democracy and in the name of God, the Fatherland and the King.

—From an anarchist newspaper in October 1933.[16]

In common with the 1936 election, Spain was divided into multi-member constituences; for example, Madrid had 17 representatives. However, each member of the electorate could vote for somewhat less than that – in Madrid's case, 13. This favoured coalitions, as in Madrid when the Socialists won 13 members and the right, with only 5,000 votes less, secured only the remaining 4.[17] This system had been passed in 1933. There would be two rounds of voting; 40% of the vote was necessary in the first round to win. In the event that no list of candidates reached 40%, then a second round would be composed of those achieving at least 8% in the first round.[18] It was the first election in Spain where women had the vote, following the new constitution.[19] This incorporated a new 6,800,000 electors.[18]

The governing leftist parties went to the polls divided. The political right, on the other hand, formed the Union of the Right (Spanish: Unión de Derechas) which incorporated CEDA, agrarian parties and traditionalists. It stood on a three-point programme: religious and social reforms would be examined and rolled back where needed; agrarian reform would be reversed; political prisoners would be released.[18] These parties threw vast resources into their campaign, with ten million leaflets, 300,000 posters, radio and cinema addresses and aerial propaganda drops.[16] They called upon Catholics to defend order and religion against the bourgeois Republic.[16] The Radical Party campaigned primarily against the Socialists, since they would need the help of the political right if in government. They used mass-appeal slogans such as 'Republic, order, freedom, social justice, amnesty' and were confident following successes at municipal level in 1933.[18] Anarchists such as the CNT-FAI called for absention: politicians were 'vultures', who must be overthrown by revolution.[16] If the right were to win the election, there would be an uprising, they promised. Thus, anarchists should avoid voting for the left, since overthrowing the government would be preferable. Abstention was supported by Benito Pábon and Miguel Abós.[20]

Elections were held on 19 November 1933.[19] A second round of voting was held in sixteen constituencies[20] on 3 December.[21]

Outcome[edit]

It resulted in an overwhelming victory for the right, with the CEDA and the Radicals together winning 219 seats.[nb 2] Although the political situation was complicated, parties of the right won around 3,365,700 votes, parties of the centre 2,051,500 votes, and parties of the left 3,118,000 according to one estimate. Turnout was around 8,535,200 votes, 67.5% of the electorate.[22] The right had spent far more on their election campaign than the Socialists, who campaigned alone.[23] Women, in their first election, mainly voted for the centre-right.[19] The Communist Party, with perhaps 3,000 members, were at this point not significant.[24] Nationalist Basques won twelve of seventeen Basque seats, a considerable victory.[25] Keeping their promise, the CNT proclaimed a revolution.[20] There were many reasons the Socialists and Republicans lost out; the female vote alone cannot explain the shift. Among them was the disunity of the political left compared to the right, in a system that favoured broad coalitions. The Radicals and their supporters had also shifted to the right. Abstentionalism hindered Socialist and Republican candidates. Overall, the political system in Spain had changed dramatically since the last election.[20]

The Renovación Española and the Spanish Nationalist Party (Spanish: Partido Nacionalista Español, PNE) formed the National Block (Spanish: Bloque Nacional), with a total of 14 deputies. Similarly, the Republican Left of Catalonia (Catalan: Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, ERC), the Socialist Union of Catalonia (Unió Socialista de Catalunya, USC) and the Union of Rabassaires (Unió de Rabassaires, UdR) formed the Catalan Left (Esquerra Catalana) with 18 deputies.[21] Five independents joined the Agrarians and one joined CEDA. The other seven, along with one member of Conservative Republican Party (Spanish: Partido Republicano Conservador, PRC), formed a group of independents called the Independent Right (Independiente de Derechas). The Mallorcan Regionalist deputy joined the Catalan League (Lliga Catalana), and the independent in favour of the Estella Statute joined the Basque Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista Vasco). 5 members of the Agrarians and one of the PRC joined CEDA, although the Agrarians as a whole resisted pressure to join CEDA, and formed the Spanish Agrarian Party (Partido Agrario Español).[21]

President of the Republic, Niceto Alcalá Zamora entrusted the formation of a cabinet to Alejandro Lerroux, who was reliant on the support of CEDA.[19]

Results[edit]

Summary of the 19 November 1933 Congress of Deputies election results[21]
Electoral alliance % vote Seats won Seats allocated
Union of the Right (Unión de Derechas)[nb 3] 31.02% 160 211
PRR and Centre[nb 4] 15.26% 75 122
Right Coalition (Coaliciones Derechas)[nb 5] 9.55% 98
Coalition of the Left (Coalición de Izquierdas)[nb 6] 21.68% 63 59
Catalan Left (Esquerra Catalana)[nb 7] 5.06% 26 21
Catalan League (Lliga Catalana) 4.83% 28 24
Basque National Party (Partido Nacionalista Vasco) 2.14% 11 11
Coalition of the Republican Left (Coalición Izquierda Republicana)[nb 8] 2.09% 1 8
Communist Party of Spain (Partido Comunista de España) 1.80% 1 1
Gallacian Republican Party (Partido Republicano Gallego)[nb 9] 1.69% 8 6
Radical Socialist Republican Party (Partido Republicano Radical Socialista) 1.23% 1 1
Republican Catalan Action–Spanish National Republican Party

(Acció Catalana Republicana–Partido Nacional Republicano Español)

0.87%
Federal Republicans[nb 10] 0.40% 4
Others 1.98% 1 5
Totals: 100.00% 473 473

Seats[edit]

Party divisions at the start of the Cortes, after seats had been awarded between coalitions:[21]

Affiliation Party Name in Spanish or Catalan Abbreviation Seats
Marxist Left
  Spanish Socialist Workers' Party Partido Socialista Obrero Español PSOE 59
  Socialist Union of Catalonia Unió Socialista de Catalunya USC 3
  Communist Party of Spain Partido Comunista de España PCE 1
Republican Left
  Republican Action Acción Republicana AR 5
  Democratic Federal Republican Party Partido Republicano Democrático Federal PRD Fed. 4
  Independent Radical Socialist Republican Party Partido Republicano Radical Socialista Independiente PRSSI 3
  Radical Socialist Republican Party Partido Republicano Radical Socialista PRRS 1
Nationalist Left
  Republican Left of Catalonia Esquerra Repubicana de Catalunya ERC 17
  Galician Republican Party Partido Repubicano Gallego PRG 6
  Union of Rabassaires Unió de Rabassaires UdR 1
Republicans of the Centre and of the Right
  Radical Republican Party Partido Republicano Radical PRR 102
  Conservative Republican Party Partido Republicano Conservador PRC 17
  Liberal Democrat Republican Party Partido Republicano Liberal Demócrata PRLD 9
  Progressive Republican Party Partido Republicano Progresista PRP 3
  Centre Republican Party Partido Republicano de Centro PRCe 2
  Independents of the Centre 5
Regionalists and Nationalists of the Centre and of the Right
  Catalan League Lliga Catalana LC 24
  Basque Nationalist Party Partido Nacionalista Vasco PNV 11
  Mallorcan Regionalist Party Partit Regionalista de Mallorca PRM 1
  Independents (pro-Statute of Estella) 1
Parties of the Right
  Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas CEDA 115
  Spanish Agrarian Party Agrarios (Minoría Agraria) A 30
  Independents of the Right 13
Monarchist parties of the Right
  Traditionalist Communion Comunión Tradicionalista (Carlista) CTC 20
  "Spanish Renewal" Renovación Española RE 14
  Independent Monarchists 4
  Spanish Nationalist Party Partido Nacionalista Español PNE 1
Far-right
  Spanish Falange Falange Española FE 1
Total: 473

After reorganisation[edit]

This left the following divisions in the Cortes:[21]

Party Name in Spanish or Catalan Abbreviation Seats
  Spanish Socialist Workers' Party Partido Socialista Obrero Español PSOE 59
  Communist Party of Spain Partido Comunista de España PCE 1
  Republican Left Izquierda Republicana IR 14
  Democratic Federal Republican Party Partido Republicano Democrático Federal PRD Fed. 4
  Radical Socialist Republican Party Partido Republicano Radical Socialista PRRS 1
  Catalan Left Esquerra Catalana EC 21
  Radical Republican Party Partido Republicano Radical PRR 102
  Conservative Republican Party Partido Republicano Conservador PRC 15
  Liberal Democrat Republican Party Partido Republicano Liberal Demócrata PRLD 9
  Independent Republicans Republicano Independiente RI 10
  Catalan League Lliga Catalana LC 21
  Basque Nationalist Party Partido Nacionalista Vasco PNV 12
  Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas CEDA 120
  Spanish Agrarian Party Agrarios (Minoría Agraria) A 31
  Independents of the Right 13
  Traditionalist Communion Comunión Tradicionalista (Carlista) CTC 20
  National Block Bloque Nacional RE 15
  Independent Monarchists 4
  Spanish Falange Falange Española FE 1
Total: 473

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ See also: es:Asociación Católica de Propagandistas (Spanish)
  2. ^ Thomas (1961). p. 66. allocates 207 seats to the political right.
  3. ^ Included the CEDA, A, CT, RE, PRLD, PRCe, PRM, PNE and FE.
  4. ^ Included the PRR, PRC, and PRP.
  5. ^ Included the PRR.
  6. ^ Included the PSOE.
  7. ^ Included the ERC, USC and UdR.
  8. ^ Included the AR and PRRSI.
  9. ^ Formed from ORGA and the Partido Galleguista.
  10. ^ Included PRD Fed., EEF and federal independents.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Preston (2006). p. 50.
  2. ^ Preston (2006). pp. 41–42.
  3. ^ Preston (2006). p. 42.
  4. ^ a b Preston (2006). p. 43.
  5. ^ a b Preston (2006). p. 45.
  6. ^ Thomas (1961). p. 61.
  7. ^ Preston (2006). pp. 46–47.
  8. ^ a b Preston (2006). p. 53.
  9. ^ Thomas (1961). p. 46.
  10. ^ a b Thomas (1961). p. 47.
  11. ^ a b Preston (2006). p. 61.
  12. ^ Preston (2006). pp. 54–55.
  13. ^ Thomas (1961). p. 67.
  14. ^ Preston (1994). p. 177.
  15. ^ Preston (1994). p. 178.
  16. ^ a b c d Casanova (2010). p. 90.
  17. ^ Brenan (1950). p. 266.
  18. ^ a b c d Casanova (2010). p. 89.
  19. ^ a b c d Beevor (2006). p. 27.
  20. ^ a b c d Casanova (2010). p. 91.
  21. ^ a b c d e f "Elecciones a I Cortes de la República 19 de noviembre de 1933" (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  22. ^ Enrique González. "A 75 años de la Revolución española (II)" (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  23. ^ Preston (2006). pp. 63–65.
  24. ^ Thomas (1961). p. 71.
  25. ^ Payne (1984). p. 195.

Sources[edit]