1851 French constitutional referendum

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A referendum was held in France on 20 and 21 December 1851.[1] Voters were asked whether they approved of the continuation of the authority of Louis Napoléon Bonaparte and to delegate the powers required to produce a new constitution.[2] It was approved by 92% of voters with an 81.7% turnout.[2]


92.03% of French voters voted in favor of the amendment, while 18.35% of electors abstained from voting. The official tally and free nature of the vote were questioned by dissidents like Victor Hugo.

Referendum results
Choice Votes %
Referendum passed Yes 7,481,231 92.0
No 647,292 8.0
Valid votes 8,128,523 99.5
Invalid or blank votes 37,107 0.5
Total votes 8,165,630 100.00


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p. 673 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ a b Nohlen & Stöver, p. 683