Italian general election, 1861

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Italian general election, 1861
Kingdom of Italy
27 January–3 February 1861 1865 →

All 443 seats to the Chamber of Deputies of the Kingdom of Italy
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  Camillo Benso Cavour di Ciseri.jpg Urbano Rattazzi-lookingleft.jpg Giuseppe Mazzini.jpg
Leader Camillo Benso di Cavour Urbano Rattazzi Giuseppe Mazzini
Party Historical Right Historical Left Historical Far Left
Seats won 342 62 14
Percentage 46.1% 20.4% 2.3%

Prime Minister before election

None

Elected Prime Minister

Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour
Historical Right

General elections were held in Italy on 27 January 1861, with a second round of voting on 3 February.[1] The newly elected Parliament first convened in Turin on 4 March 1861, where it declared the unification of the country as the Kingdom of Italy.[2]

The election was carried out according to the 1848 electoral law of the Kingdom of Sardinia, in which only literate men over the age of 25 and paying a certain level of taxation were allowed to vote.[1] Candidates were elected in single member constituencies, with a second round required in cases when no candidates received over 50% of the vote or the equivalent of one-third of the registered voters in the constituency.[3] The Pope demanded that Catholics did not take part in the elections.[3]

The race[edit]

The Historical Right was led by the former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sardinia, Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, a long-time statesman and a leading figure in the movement toward Italian unification.

On the other hand, the bloc of the Historical Left was led by Urbano Rattazzi, a liberal politician who was among the founders of the Italian left-wing parliamentary group.

In opposition to the two main blocs there were a third party known as The Extreme, a far-left coalition, under the leadership of Giuseppe Mazzini, an Italian revolutionary and a key figure of the Unification.

Only 418,696 men of a total population of around 22 million were entitled to vote.[4] Right-wing candidates emerged as the largest bloc in Parliament with around 43% of the 443 seats.[5] They were largely aristocrats representing rentiers from the north of the country, and held moderate political views including loyalty to the crown and low government spending.[6] The right-wing leader Camillo Benso di Cavour was elected as the first Prime Minister in the history of Italy.

Parties and leaders[edit]

Party Ideology Leader
Historical Right Conservatism, Monarchism Camillo Benso di Cavour
Historical Left Liberalism, Centrism Urbano Rattazzi
Historical Far Left Radicalism, Republicanism Giuseppe Mazzini

Results[edit]

Summary of February 1861 Chamber of Deputies election results
Italian Parliament 1861.svg
Party Votes % Seats +/−
Historical Right 46.1 342 New
Historical Left 20.4 62 New
Historical Far Left 2.3 14 New
Independent 3.9 23 New
Others 27.3
Invalid/blank votes
Total 239,583 100 443 ±0
Registered voters/turnout 418,696 57.2
Source: Nohlen & Stöver
Popular vote
Historical Right
  
46.2%
Historical Left
  
20.4%
Historical Far Left
  
2.3%
Independent
  
3.9%
Others
  
27.3%
Parliamentary seats
Historical Right
  
77.2%
Historical Left
  
14.0%
Historical Far Left
  
3.1%
Independent
  
5.2%

Vote by geographical area[edit]

Party North Centre South
Historical Right 52.48% 68.00% 34.16%
Historical Left 31.21% 15.00% 27.72%
Historical Far Left 1.42% 1.00% 3.96%
Others 14.89% 16.00% 34.16%

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1047 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p1027
  3. ^ a b Nohlen & Stöver, p1039
  4. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p1049
  5. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p1082
  6. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p1028