French legislative election, 1881

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French legislative election, 1881
French Third Republic
← 1877 21 August and 4 September 1881 1885 →

All 545 seats to the Chamber of Deputies
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  Die Gartenlaube (1878) b 009.jpg Julesferry.jpg Rouher, Eugène, par Plock.JPG
Leader Léon Gambetta Jules Ferry Eugène Rouher
Party Republican Union Republican Left Bonapartist
Leader's seat Paris Vosges Puy-de-Dôme
Seats won 204 168 46
Seat change Increase 74 Increase 38 Decrease 58
Percentage 37.43% 30.83% 8.44%
Swing Increase 12.48% Increase 5.88% Decrease 11.52%

France Chambre des deputes 1881.png
Composition of the Chamber of Deputies

Prime Minister before election

Jules Ferry
Republican Left

Elected Prime Minister

Léon Gambetta
Republican Union

The 1881 general election was held on 21 August and 4 September 1881. This election marked the collapse of the right compared to the 1877 election.

It was a great success for the followers of Léon Gambetta, whom President Jules Grévy appointed premier two months after the election. His government only lasted 73 days, however, before falling over the issue of electoral reform.[1] This led to three short-lived minority governments, until Jules Ferry was able to form a second government in February 1883 with the support of Gambetta's Republican Union.

70.55% of eligible voters participated.


Parliamentary Groups[edit]

Affiliation Party Seats
  Radical-Socialists and Socialists 46
  Republican Union 204
  Republican Left[2] 168
  Moderate Republicans[3] 39
  Bonapartists 46
  Monarchists 42
Total 545
  1. ^ Gildea, R., Children of the Revolution, London, 2008, p. 254-255
  2. ^ Supporters of Jules Ferry, including Jules Grévy, Jules Favre, and Jules Simon
  3. ^ Liberal supporters of the Republic