Dutch general election, 1918

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Azure, billetty Or a lion with a coronet Or armed and langued Gules holding in his dexter paw a sword Argent hilted Or and in the sinister paw seven arrows Argent pointed and bound together Or. [The seven arrows stand for the seven provinces of the Union of Utrecht.] The shield is crowned with the (Dutch) royal crown and supported by two lions Or armed and langued gules. They stand on a scroll Azure with the text (Or) "Je Maintiendrai" (French for "I will maintain".)
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Netherlands

General elections were held in the Netherlands on 3 July 1918.[1] They were the first elections held after a series of reforms that introduced universal male suffrage and pure proportional representation, replacing the previous system using first-past-the-post voting in single member constituencies.[2] This change was known as the Great Pacification, which also included the introduction of state financing of religious schools, and led to the start of consociational democracy.[3]

The change in the electoral system led to major changes in the political make-up of the House of Representatives. The confessional right-wing parties, the General League of Roman Catholic Caucuses, the Anti-Revolutionary Party and the Christian Historical Union, together won 50 seats. Along with two Christian splinter-parties (the Christian Democratic Party and the Christian Social Party) they were able to gain a majority of 52 seats.

The liberal parties lost the most seats. While in 1917, two of the liberal parties, the Liberal Union and the League of Free Liberals, had won 31 seats, they were now reduced to 10 seats. Together with three smaller liberal parties, liberals now held only 15 seats in the House of representatives.

The fragmentation of the House was caused by the low electoral threshold of just 0.5%, with the smallest party, the Alliance for the Democratization of the Army, managing to win a seat with only 6,830 votes.


A man writing political slogans on a wooden fence in Amsterdam
Party Votes % Seats +/–
General League of Roman Catholic Caucuses 402,908 30.0 30 +5
Social Democratic Workers' Party 296,145 22.0 22 +7
Anti-Revolutionary Party 179,523 13.4 13 +2
Christian Historical Union 87,983 6.5 7 –3
Liberal Union 83,173 6.2 6 –16
Free-thinking Democratic League 71,582 5.3 5 –3
League of Free Liberals 51,195 3.8 4 –6
Economic League 42,042 3.1 3
Social Democratic Party 31,043 2.3 2
Middle Class Party 12,663 0.9 1
Christian Democratic Party 10,653 0.8 1
Socialist Party 8,950 0.7 1
League of Christian Socialists 8,416 0.6 1
Christian Social Party 8,152 0.6 1
Neutral Party 7,186 0.5 1
Farmers' League Left 5,562 0.4 1
Alliance for the Democratization of the Army 6,830 0.5 1
General Freedom Party 30,203 2.2 0
General State Party 0
Amsterdamese Police and Firefighting Party 0
Alberda Group 0
Braam Group 0
Kuiper Group 0
Stoffel Group 0
Van der Zwaag Group 0
National League of Protestant Voters 0
Neutral and Colonial League 0
Farmers' League Right 0
Police Party 0
Reformed Political Party 0
People's Welfare Party 0
People's Party 0
Invalid/blank votes
Total 1,344,209 100 100 0
Registered voters/turnout 1,517,380
Source: Nohlen & Stöver
Popular Vote


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1395 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, pp1384-1385
  3. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p1385