Elections in Milan

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Electoral banners in Milan in the early 1970s

All Milan residents who are at least 18 years old and hold an EU citizenship[1] are eligible to vote for the Mayor and the 48 members of the City Council, as well as for the President and the 30 or 40 members of the Council of the Municipality where they reside.

Since 1993 Italian mayors are elected directly. In all the cities with a population higher than 15,000 the voters express a choice for a mayor-candidate and/or for a party or civic list, not necessarily linked to the same mayor-candidate (voto disgiunto). If no mayor-candidate receives an absolute majority, the top two candidates go to a runoff election (ballottaggio) after two weeks. The City Council and Municipalities Councils elections are based on a proportional system with preferences: for each list, the candidates with the most preferences are elected proportionally to the seats assigned to the list, with the lists supporting the elected mayor being granted around 60% of the total seats to guarantee governability.

Elections are scheduled every five years, usually between 15 April and 15 June. The last election was held in June 2016.

Elections during the Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)[edit]

City Council election, 1889[edit]

The election took place on 10 November 1889.

Comprehensive group Votes Seats
Liberal-conservatives 50
Democrats and radicals 30
Total 80

Sunday 10 November 1889

City Council election, 1895[edit]

The election took place on 10 February 1895.

Comprehensive group Votes
(first / last candidate)
Seats
Liberal-conservatives and clericals 14,673 / 13,531 64
Democrats, radicals and socialists 15,651 / 13,485 16
Total 80

Sunday 10 February 1895

City Council election, 1899[edit]

The election took place on 11 June 1899.

Comprehensive group Votes
(first / last candidate)
Seats
Democrats, radicals and socialists 19,234 / 18,123 38
Liberal-conservatives and clericals 14,255 / 13,359 42
Total 80

Sunday 11 June 1899

City Council election, 1905[edit]

The election took place on 29 January 1905.

Comprehensive group Votes
(first / last candidate)
Seats
Liberal-conservatives 19,074 / 18,637 30
Democrats, radicals and socialists 18,468 / 17,570 27
Clericals 18,279 / 17,488 23
Total 80

Sunday 29 January 1905

City Council election, 1911[edit]

The election took place on 22 January 1911.

It was the first municipal election which involved the complete renewal of the City Council after six years. Elections which brought to a partial renewal of the City Council were held in 1907 and in 1910.

Comprehensive group Votes
(first / last candidate)
Seats
Liberal-conservatives 16,953 / 15,451 64
Socialists 18,469 / 9,808 16
Democrats 9,594 / 8,286 0
Total 80

Sunday 22 January 1911.

City Council election, 1914[edit]

Emilio Caldara, the first socialist Mayor (1914–1920)

The election took place on 14 June 1914.

It was the first municipal election held by universal manhood suffrage. Changes made by the 1912 electoral reform widened the voting franchise to include all literate men aged 21 or over who had served in the armed forces. For those over 30 the literacy requirement was abolished. The political debate on the enlargement of the right to vote had begun in the early years of the new century. The Socialists, in fact, but also the Radicals and the Republicans, had long demanded the introduction of universal manhood suffrage, necessary in a modern liberal democracy. The Italian Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti declared himself in favor of universal male suffrage, believing that the extension of the franchise would bring more conservative rural voters to the polls as well as drawing votes from grateful socialists. But after the 1913 national election, became clear that the universal male suffrage, contrary to Giolitti's opinions, would have destabilized the entire political establishment: the "mass parties" were the ones who benefitted from the new electoral system.

In a huge blow for the traditional moderate and liberal groups which had dominated both national and milanese political system for more than 50 years, the socialists were able to win the super-majority of seats in the City Council granted by the local electoral law for the first time in history and their leader, Emilio Caldara, became the first socialist Mayor of a major Italian city.

Due to the mechanism of the majoritarian electoral system, which granted a representation in the City Council just for the majority party and for the party which came second in the election, both the radicals and the republicans didn't obtain a single seat.

Comprehensive list Votes % Seats Milan Council 1914.svg
Italian Socialist Party 34,596 45.6 64
Liberal-clerical Bloc 32,876 41.4 16
Italian Radical Party 8,750 11.7 0
Italian Republican Party 900 1.3 0
Total 80

Sunday 14 June 1914.

City Council election, 1920[edit]

Electoral symbols of the Italian Socialist Party (left) and the National Blocs (right) in 1920

The last democratic election before the rise of the fascist regime took place on 7 November 1920.

The election was originally scheduled to take place in June 1918 but was postponed due to the First World War. In March 1919 Benito Mussolini had founded in Milan the political organization Fasci Italiani di Combattimento, which was incorporated in an ultra-conservative coalition formed also by the liberals and the nationalists led by Enrico Corradini, and other right-wing forces.

Despite the intense violent activity of the fascist paramilitary groups during the electoral campaign, the socialists were able to retain the majority in the City Council for a few votes.

Comprehensive list Votes % Seats Milan Council 1920.svg
Italian Socialist Party 67,349 50.6 64
National Blocs 65,748 49.4 16
Total 80

Sunday 7 November 1920.

Elections during the Italian Republic (since 1946)[edit]

City Council election, 1946[edit]

Antonio Greppi, the first democratic Mayor (1945–1951)

The first democratic election after the fall of fascism took place on 7 April 1946.

After the defeat of the Nazis forces on 25 April 1945, socialist politician Antonio Greppi had been appointed as Provisional Mayor by the National Liberation Committee (CLN) under approval of the United Nations military government.[2] When the authority of the Italian government was restored on 1 January 1946, local elections were called in Northern Italy.

Proportional representation and Westminster system were the principles chosen to restore municipal democracy in Italy.

After the clear socialist victory, Greppi was confirmed Mayor by the City Council, and an executive board of municipal unity was formed: the alliance between PSIUP, DC and PCI ruled Milan as it ruled Italy at time.[2]

Parties Votes % Seats Milan Council 1946.svg
Italian Socialist Party of Proletarian Unity PSIUP 225,383 36.2 29
Christian Democracy DC 167,316 26.9 22
Italian Communist Party PCI 155,140 24.9 20
National Democratic Union UDN 45,864 7.3 6
Italian Republican Party-Action Party PRI-PdA 19,168 3.1 2
Local Traders List 9,931 1.6 1
Total 622,702 100.0 80

Sunday 7 April 1946. Sources: La Stampa , Unimi , 1946–1955 Local Elections (Italian)

City Council election, 1951[edit]

The second post-war election took place on 27 May 1951.

Political situation had deeply changed during the previous five years. A new social-democratic party had broken away from the Socialist Party, and the alliances of anti-fascist unity had ended both at national and at local level. The Communist Party had left the administration of Milan in 1949, as the remaining Socialist Party had moved to a position of abstention. Antonio Greppi had joined the social-democratic group and formed a new centrist alliance with the DC, the PLI and the PRI.[2]

In 1951 Alcide De Gasperi's government changed the local electoral law to a block voting system, to ensure the leadership of its local administrations: two thirds of the seats would be ensured to the winning coalition, abolishing the proportional representation.

The centrist incumbent coalition obtained an absolute majority with 53% of suffrages, which was changed into a 66% of seats by the electoral mechanism. However Greppi, who had unsuccessfully called for a coalition of socialist unity between the PSDI and the PSI, lost the support of the DC. Virgilio Ferrari, a social-democratic activist, was elected Mayor on 25 June.[3]

Coalitions and parties Votes % +/- Seats +/- Milan Council 1951.svg
Seats by party

Milan Council (coa) 1951.svg
Seats by coalition
Centrist Coalition 412,246 53.2 53
Christian Democracy 238,693 30.8 Increase 3.9 30 Increase 8
Italian Democratic Socialist Party 111,185 14.3 Increase 14.3 15 Increase 15
Italian Liberal Party 49,299 6.4 Decrease 0.9 6 Steady
Italian Republican Party 13,069 1.7 Decrease 1.4 2 Steady
Leftist Coalition 291,796 37.8 21
Italian Communist Party 179,894 23.3 Decrease 1.6 13 Decrease 7
Italian Socialist Party 109,097 14.1 Decrease 22.1 8 Decrease 7
Others (civic list) 2,805 0.4 Decrease 1.2 0 Decrease 1
Italian Social Movement 50,454 6.5 Increase 6.5 4 Increase 4
Monarchist National Party 23,956 3.0 Increase 3.0 2 Increase 2
Total 778,452 100.0 = 80 =

Sunday 27 May 1951. Sources: La Stampa , Unimi

City Council election, 1956[edit]

The election took place on 27 May 1956.

For this election there was a different electoral system: after Alcide De Gasperi's government had retired in 1953 the 1951-electoral law based on a block voting system, the previous electoral law was restored.

Christian Democracy obtained the 30% of suffrages, while the Socialist Party came second with the 20% of the votes, gaining 6% more than the 1951 election. Virgilio Ferrari was confirmed Mayor by the majority of the City Council.

Parties Votes % +/- Seats +/- Milan Council 1956.svg
Christian Democracy DC 261,610 30.1 Decrease 0.7 25 Decrease 5
Italian Socialist Party PSI 173,813 20.1 Increase 6.0 16 Increase 8
Italian Communist Party PCI 158,818 18.3 Decrease 5.0 15 Increase 2
Italian Democratic Socialist Party PSDI 103,175 11.9 Decrease 2.4 10 Decrease 5
Italian Liberal Party PLI 53,501 6.3 Decrease 0.1 5 Decrease 1
Italian Social Movement MSI 50,827 5.9 Decrease 0.6 4 Steady
Monarchist National Party PNM 35,171 4.1 Increase 1.1 3 Increase 1
Italian Republican Party PRI 13,407 1.2 Decrease 0.5 0 Decrease 2
Others (civc list) 15,721 2.0 Increase 1.6 2 Increase 2
Total 866,043 100.0 = 80 =

Sunday 27 May 1956. Source: La Stampa

City Council election, 1960[edit]

The election took place on 6 November 1960.

This election was anticipated by the effect of a new law which ordered a new 4 years-term legislature.

Christian Democracy came again first with the 29% of suffrages. Gino Cassinis (PSDI) was elected Mayor by a large majority in the City Council. For the first time in ten years the Socialist Party entered again in the executive board of the city and a centre-left alliance was formed.[3]

Parties Votes % +/- Seats +/- Milan Council 1960.svg
Christian Democracy DC 288,030 29.9 Decrease 0.3 25 Steady
Italian Socialist Party PSI 199,728 20.7 Increase 0.6 17 Increase 1
Italian Communist Party PCI 195,521 20.3 Decrease 2.0 17 Increase 2
Italian Democratic Socialist Party PSDI 101,703 10.5 Decrease 1.4 8 Decrease 2
Italian Liberal Party PLI 78,488 8.4 Increase 2.2 6 Increase 1
Italian Social Movement MSI 63,156 6.5 Increase 0.6 5 Increase 1
Italian Democratic Party of Monarchist Unity PDIUM 24,858 2.3 Decrease 1.8 2 Decrease 1
Italian Republican Party PRI 10,201 1.1 Decrease 0.1 0 Steady
Others (civc list) 2,513 0.3 Decrease 1.7 0 Decrease 2
Total 964,198 100.0 = 80 =

Sunday 6 November 1960. Source: La Stampa

City Council election, 1964[edit]

Pietro Bucalossi lead a centre-left executive as Mayor (1964–1967)

The election took place on 22 November 1964.

The election was characterized by the incredible surge of the centre-right Liberal Party, which obtained more than 21% of votes and managed to become for the first time the third party in a milanese municipal election. This exceptional growth of the liberals – and the contemporary defeat of the Socialist Party – can be explained by the poor economic results of the first centre-left national government and by the ability of the liberal leader Giovanni Malagodi to draw some votes from the Italian Social Movement, the Monarchist Party and especially Christian Democracy, whose electoral base was composed also by conservatives suspicious of the Socialists. Christian Democracy itself obtained just the 24% of suffrages, suffering a notable loss from the previous election.

Despite the huge loss by the left-wing parties, a center-left coalition was formed again and Pietro Bucalossi (PSDI), who succeeded Cassinis in February 1964, was confirmed Mayor by the majority of the City Council.

Parties Votes % +/- Seats +/- Milan Council 1964.svg
Christian Democracy DC 257,653 24.0 Decrease 5.8 20 Decrease 5
Italian Communist Party PCI 236,013 21.9 Increase 1.6 18 Increase 1
Italian Liberal Party PLI 226,895 21.1 Increase 13.0 17 Increase 11
Italian Socialist Party PSI 171,334 15.9 Decrease 4.8 13 Decrease 4
Italian Democratic Socialist Party PSDI 90,790 8.4 Decrease 2.1 7 Decrease 1
Italian Social Movement MSI 54,011 5.0 Decrease 1.5 4 Decrease 1
Italian Socialist Party of Proletarian Unity PSIUP 22,022 2.0 Increase 2.0 1 Increase 1
Italian Democratic Party of Monarchist Unity PDIUM 10,000 0.9 Decrease 1.4 0 Decrease 2
Others (civc list) 6,613 0.6 Increase 0.3 0 Steady
Total 1,075,381 100.0 = 80 =

Sunday 22 November 1964. Source: La Stampa

City Council election, 1970[edit]

The election took place on 7 June 1970.

This election took place after six years from the last and simultaneously with the first regional elections of Lombardy.

Christian Democracy obtained the 26% of suffrages, while the Italian Communist Party came second with the 22% of the votes. However in 1967 the socialists had already been able to impose their own candidate for Mayor, succeeding in having elected Aldo Aniasi at the head of a centre-left coalition. After the municipal election, Aniasi was elected Mayor again by the majority of the City Council.

Parties Votes % +/- Seats +/- Milan Council 1970.svg
Christian Democracy DC 291,902 26.3 Increase 2.3 22 Increase 2
Italian Communist Party PCI 254,069 22.8 Increase 0.9 19 Increase 1
Italian Socialist Party PSI 157,200 14.1 Decrease 1.8 12 Decrease 1
Italian Liberal Party PLI 123,082 11.1 Decrease 10.0 9 Decrease 8
Italian Democratic Socialist Party PSDI 116,202 10.4 Increase 2.0 8 Increase 1
Italian Social Movement MSI 74,395 6.7 Increase 1.7 4 Steady
Italian Republican Party PRI 53,745 4.8 Increase 4.8 4 Increase 4
Italian Socialist Party of Proletarian Unity PSIUP 33,216 3.0 Increase 1.0 2 Increase 1
Italian Democratic Party of Monarchist Unity PDIUM 8,009 0.7 Decrease 0.2 0 Steady
Total 1,111,731 100.0 = 80 =

Sunday 7 June 1970. Source: La Stampa

City Council election, 1975[edit]

Aldo Aniasi lead two centre-left executives and the very first left-wing executive as Mayor (1967–1976)
Carlo Tognoli lead two left-wing executives as Mayor (1976–1986)

The election took place on 15 June 1975.

Similarly to the national vote, the Italian Communist Party became for the first time in history the first party with the 30% of the votes. This extraordinary result led to the birth of the first red-giunta in the history of the city: the new coalition was formed by the leftist Socialist and Communist Party, while Aldo Aniasi was reconfirmed Mayor. In 1976, after Aniasi's resignation, the socialist Carlo Tognoli was elected Mayor.

A notable fact in the election was the surge of the post-fascist Italian Social Movement, which became the fourth party with the 7% of the votes.

Parties Votes % +/- Seats +/- Milan Council 1975.svg
Italian Communist Party PCI 354,603 30.4 Increase 7.6 25 Increase 6
Christian Democracy DC 313,855 26.9 Increase 0.6 22 Steady
Italian Socialist Party PSI 172,558 14.8 Increase 0.7 12 Steady
Italian Social Movement MSI 84,087 7.2 Increase 0.5 6 Increase 2
Italian Democratic Socialist Party PSDI 73,889 6.3 Decrease 4.1 5 Decrease 3
Italian Republican Party PRI 70,050 6.0 Increase 1.2 4 Steady
Italian Liberal Party PLI 53,617 4.6 Decrease 7.1 3 Decrease 6
Proletarian Democracy DP 43,524 3.7 Increase 3.7 3 Increase 3
Total 1,166,183 100.0 = 80 =

Sunday 15 June 1975. Source: La Stampa

City Council election, 1980[edit]

The election took place on 8 June 1980.

For the second time the Italian Communist Party was the first party with the 26% of the votes.

Parties Votes % +/- Seats +/- Milan Council 1980.svg
Italian Communist Party PCI 284,329 26.5 Decrease 3.9 22 Decrease 3
Christian Democracy DC 283,428 26.4 Decrease 0.5 22 Steady
Italian Socialist Party PSI 210,504 19.6 Increase 4.9 16 Increase 4
Italian Social Movement MSI 70,767 6.6 Decrease 0.6 5 Decrease 1
Italian Liberal Party PLI 65,428 6.1 Increase 1.5 5 Increase 2
Italian Democratic Socialist Party PSDI 53,036 4.9 Decrease 1.4 4 Decrease 1
Italian Republican Party PRI 47,522 4.4 Decrease 1.6 3 Decrease 1
Proletarian Democracy DP 29,209 2.7 Decrease 1.0 2 Decrease 1
Proletarian Party for the Communism PPC 16,395 1.5 Increase 1.5 1 Increase 1
Total 1,071,883 100.0 = 80 =

Sunday 8 June 1980. Source: La Stampa

City Council election, 1985[edit]

The election took place on 12 May 1985.

Another time the Italian Communist Party was narrowly confirmed as the first party in the city with the 24% of the votes. Despite it came first, the Communist Party didn't have enough seats in the City Council to confirm again a left-wing with the Socialist Party, which instead decided to form a new centre-left majority with the Christian Democracy and other small centrist parties.

Carlo Tognoli was reconfirmed Mayor, but resigned in December 1986.

Parties Votes % +/- Seats +/- Milan Council 1985.svg
Italian Communist Party PCI 266,259 24.9 Decrease 1.6 21 Decrease 1
Christian Democracy DC 256,455 24.0 Decrease 2.4 20 Decrease 2
Italian Socialist Party PSI 211,372 19.8 Increase 0.2 16 Steady
Italian Republican Party PRI 105,796 9.9 Increase 5.5 8 Increase 5
Italian Social Movement MSI 81,873 7.7 Increase 1.1 6 Increase 1
Italian Liberal Party PLI 37,662 3.5 Decrease 2.6 3 Decrease 2
Proletarian Democracy DP 34,329 3.2 Increase 0.5 2 Steady
Italian Democratic Socialist Party PSDI 31,811 3.0 Decrease 1.9 2 Decrease 2
Federation of Green Lists 27,533 2.6 Increase 2.6 2 Increase 2
Others 14,867 1.4 Increase 1.4 0 Steady
Total 1,067,957 100.0 = 80 =

Sunday 12 May 1985. Source: La Stampa

City Council election, 1990[edit]

Paolo Pillitteri lead some executives as Mayor (1986–1992), swinging between a centre-left and a left-wing majority

The election took place on 6 May 1990.

The election was characterized by a huge level of political fragmentation. Traditional parties suffered some considerable losses, while new-born movements gained some seats in the City Council and made very difficult the possibility to form a stable coalition to govern the city.

The newborn regionalist Lega Nord became the fourth party with the 13% of the votes.

Parties Votes % +/- Seats +/- Milan Council 1990.svg
Christian Democracy DC 204,954 20.7 Decrease 3.3 17 Decrease 4
Italian Communist Party PCI 194,264 19.6 Decrease 5.0 16 Decrease 5
Italian Socialist Party PSI 192,145 19.4 Decrease 0.4 16 Steady
Lega Nord LN 128,312 13.0 Increase 13.0 11 Increase 11
Italian Republican Party PRI 58,377 5.9 Decrease 4.0 5 Decrease 3
Federation of Green Lists 41,986 4.2 Increase 1.6 3 Increase 1
Italian Social Movement MSI 36,610 3.7 Decrease 4.0 3 Decrease 3
Pensioners' Party PP 34,963 3.5 Increase 3.5 3 Increase 3
Italian Liberal Party PLI 26,401 2.7 Decrease 0.8 2 Decrease 1
Rainbow Greens VA 19,951 2.0 Increase 2.0 1 Increase 1
Italian Democratic Socialist Party PSDI 16,352 1.6 Decrease 1.4 1 Decrease 1
Proletarian Democracy DP 16,051 1.6 Decrease 1.6 1 Decrease 1
Antiprohibitionists on Drugs 15,351 1.5 Increase 1.5 1 Increase 1
Others 5,283 0.5 Decrease 0.9 0 Steady
Total 990,097 100.0 = 80 =

Sunday 6 May 1990. Source: La Stampa

Mayoral and City Council election, 1993[edit]

Mayoral and City Council election, 1997[edit]

Mayoral and City Council election, 2001[edit]

Mayoral and City Council election, 2006[edit]

Mayoral and City Council election, 2011[edit]

Mayoral and City Council election, 2016[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cittadini comunitari alle urne". Ministero dell‘Interno (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  2. ^ a b c Messina, Dino (10 April 2016). "Greppi, il sindaco socialista che fece rinascere Milano dalle ceneri della guerra". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Milano". treccani.it (in Italian). Retrieved 26 April 2020.