Greek referendum, 1946

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A referendum on maintaining the monarchy was held in Greece on 1 September 1946.[1] The proposal was approved by 68.4% of voters with a turnout of 88.6%.[2]


The referendum was the fourth since 1920 on the country's monarchy. The 1946 parliamentary elections, in which the right-wing parties achieved a landslide, had just taken place. The new conservative government of Konstantinos Tsaldaris was favorable to George II, but what influenced the result more was the atmosphere of imminent civil war.

The civil war convulsed Greece during two main periods: first between 1943 and 1944 between the communist-dominated EAM-ELAS partisans and the right-wing resistance groups and the collaborationist government, and again from 1946 until 1949. When the referendum took place, EAM-ELAS had been defeated in the Dekemvriana and forced to disarm in the Treaty of Varkiza, after which its members were persecuted by state-sponsored security and paramilitary groups ("White Terror"). This deepened the gulf between the Left and the centrist and right-wing parties, and polarized the political spectrum so that the centrist parties (that followed a more moderate but also more ambiguous policy) lost part of their power. The Communist Party of Greece boycotted both the elections and the referendum. George II symbolized the unity of the anti-communist forces, which partly explains the percentage of votes in his favour. The conservatives, along with Prime Minister Konstantinos Tsaldaris, supported him, whereas the centrists were divided. While the centrists regarded George II with displeasure, they did not want to be accused of being "accomplices" of the communists.

The official report of the Allied Mission to Observe the Greek Elections [AMFOGE] acknowledged the existence of voter fraud, despite its vested interest in legitimizing the election, that "There is no doubt in our minds that the party representing the government view exercised undue influence in securing votes in support of the return of the King." They however claimed that without said influence, the monarchy would still have prevailed in the election. [3]


Choice Votes %
For 1,136,289 68.4
Against 524,771 31.6
Invalid/blank votes 3,860
Total 1,664,920 100
Registered voters/turnout 1,921,725 86.6
Source: Nohlen & Stöver


  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p830 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p838
  3. ^