Italian general election, 1900

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Italian general election, 1900
Kingdom of Italy
← 1897 3–10 June 1900 1904 →

All 508 seats to the Chamber of Deputies of the Kingdom of Italy
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  Giovanni Giolitti.jpg Rudini.jpg Filippo Turati 3.jpg
Leader Giovanni Giolitti Antonio Starabba di Rudinì Filippo Turati
Party Historical Left Historical Right Socialist Party
Seats won 296 116 33
Seat change Decrease33 Increase17 Increase 29
Popular vote 663,418 271,698 164,946
Percentage 52.3% 21.4% 13.0%
Swing Decrease12.0% Increase 2.0% Increase10.0%

Prime Minister before election

Luigi Pelloux

Elected Prime Minister

Giuseppe Saracco
Historical Left

General elections were held in Italy on 3 June 1900, with a second round of voting on 10 June.[1] The "ministerial" left-wing bloc remained the largest in Parliament, winning 296 of the 508 seats.[2]

Electoral system[edit]

The election was held using 508 single-member constituencies. However, prior to the election the electoral law was amended so that candidates needed only an absolute majority of votes to win their constituency, abolishing the second requirement of receiving the votes of at least one-sixth of registered voters.[3]

Historical background[edit]

Upon the fall of Antonio Starabba di Rudinì in June 1898, General Luigi Pelloux was entrusted by King Umberto with the formation of a cabinet, and took for himself the post of minister of the interior. He resigned office in May 1899 over his Chinese policy, but was again entrusted with the formation of a government. His new cabinet was essentially military and conservative, the most decisively conservative since 1876.[4]

He took stern measures against the revolutionary elements in southern Italy. The Public Safety Bill for the reform of the police laws, taken over by him from the Rudinì cabinet, and eventually promulgated by royal decree. The law made strikes by state employees illegal; gave the executive wider powers to ban public meetings and dissolve subversive organisations; revived the penalties of banishment and preventive arrest for political offences; and tightened control of the press by making authors responsible for their articles and declaring incitement to violence a crime.[4] The new coercive law was fiercely obstructed by the Socialist Party of Italy (PSI), which, with the Left and Extreme Left, succeeded in forcing General Pelloux to dissolve the Chamber in May 1900, and to resign office after the general election in June.

Parties and leaders[edit]

Party Ideology Leader
Historical Left Liberalism, Centrism Giovanni Giolitti
Historical Right Conservatism, Monarchism Antonio Starabba di Rudinì
Italian Socialist Party Socialism, Revolutionary socialism Filippo Turati
Historical Far Left Radicalism, Republicanism Ettore Sacchi
Italian Republican Party Republicanism, Radicalism Napoleone Colajanni


Summary of June 1900 Chamber of Deputies election results
Italian Parliament 1900.svg
Party Votes % Seats +/−
Historical Left 663,418 52.3 296 −33
Historical Right 271,698 21.4 116 +17
Italian Socialist Party 164,946 13.0 33 +18
Historical Far Left 89,872 7.1 34 −8
Italian Republican Party 79,127 6.2 29 +4
Invalid/blank votes 38,888
Total 1,310,480 100 508 ±0
Registered voters/turnout 2,248,509 58.3
Source: Nohlen & Stöver
Popular vote
Far Left
Parliamentary seats
Far Left


  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1047 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p1083
  3. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p1039
  4. ^ a b Seton-Watson, Italy from liberalism to fascism, 1870-1925, p. 193