Belgian general election, 1912

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Belgian general election, 1912
Belgium
1910 ←
2 June 1912 → 1914
All 186 seats in the Chamber of Representatives
93 of 120 seats in the Senate

Government before election

De Broqueville I
Catholic

Elected Government

De Broqueville I
Catholic

Full general elections were held in Belgium on 2 June 1912.[1]

Background[edit]

Charles de Broqueville

Catholics had formed the government continuously since 1884. Minister Schollaert had drafted a controversial education law and was forced to resign in June 1911. He was succeeded by a government led by Charles de Broqueville. The education law intended to financially equalise public and private education, which was opposed by liberals and socialists as it benefited private (Catholic) schools. Both opposition parties, united against Catholics, were expected to win the elections. King Albert I intended to switch to a progressive government headed by liberal Paul Hymans. However, the elections unexpectedly increased the majority of the Catholic Party, which won 101 of the 186 seats in the Chamber of Representatives and 54 of the 93 seats in the Senate.[2] Consequently the incumbent Catholic government headed by Charles de Broqueville continued after the elections.

Electoral system[edit]

These elections were the first full general elections since 27 May 1900, when a proportional system using the D'Hondt method was introduced. Since 1893, there was universal suffrage with plural voting. Hence there were more votes than the 1,745,666 who could vote in these Chamber elections (out of a population of 7,571,387 in the country).

Following the population census, the number of seats in the Chamber of Representatives increased from 166 to 186. The number of directly elected seats in the Senate (half the number of Chamber seats) consequently increased from 83 to 93; the number of provincial senators remained at 27.

Results[edit]

Chamber of Representatives[edit]

Party Votes  % Seats
Catholic Party 1,337,315 51.0 101
Liberal-Socialist Kartels 710,459 27.1
Liberal Party 290,084 11.1 44
Belgian Labour Party 243,338 9.3 39
Christene Volkspartij 19,317 0.7 2
Other parties 20,258 0.8 0
Invalid/blank votes 62,327
Total 2,684,098 100 186
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

Senate[edit]

Party Votes % Seats
Catholic Party 1,224,767 52.2 54
Liberal-Socialist Kartels 480,457 20.5 16
Liberal Party 408,043 17.4 14
Belgian Labour Party 223,197 9.5 9
Other parties 8,937 0.4 0
Invalid/blank votes
Total 2,345,401 100 93
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

Constituencies[edit]

The distribution of seats among the electoral districts was as follows.[3] Several arrondissements got one or more additional seats, following the population census. With Neufchâteau-Virton receiving an extra seat, every electoral district now had at minimum three seats in the Chamber.

Province Arrondissement(s) Chamber Change Senate Change
Antwerp Antwerp 15 +2 7 +1
Mechelen 5 +1 5 +1
Turnhout 4 +1
Elected by the provincial council 3
Limburg Hasselt 3 4 +1
Tongeren-Maaseik 4 +1
Elected by the provincial council 2
East Flanders Aalst 5 4
Oudenaarde 3
Gent-Eeklo 12 +1 6 +1
Dendermonde 4 +1 4
Sint-Niklaas 4
Elected by the provincial council 4
West Flanders Bruges 4 2
Roeselare-Tielt 5 +1 3 +1
Kortrijk 5 4
Ypres 3
Veurne-Diksmuide-Ostend 5 +1 2
Elected by the provincial council 3
Brabant Leuven 7 +1 3
Brussels 26 +5 13 +2
Nivelles 4 2
Elected by the provincial council 4
Hainaut Tournai-Ath 6 3
Charleroi 11 +2 7 +1
Thuin 3
Mons 7 +1 5
Soignies 4
Elected by the provincial council 4
Liège Huy-Waremme 4 2
Liège 13 +1 7 +1
Verviers 5 2
Elected by the provincial council 3
Luxembourg Arlon-Marche-Bastogne 3 3
Neufchâteau-Virton 3 +1
Elected by the provincial council 2
Namur Namur 5 5 +1
Dinant-Philippeville 4
Elected by the provincial council 2
Total 186 +20 120 +10

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nohlen, Dieter; Stöver, Philip (31 May 2010). Elections in Europe: A data handbook. Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. p. 289. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7. 
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, pp308-310
  3. ^ List of members of the Chamber of Representatives (1912)