Italian general election, 1909

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Italian general election, 1909
Kingdom of Italy
← 1904 7–14 March 1909 1913 →

All 508 seats to the Chamber of Deputies of the Kingdom of Italy
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  Giovanni Giolitti.jpg Filippo Turati 3.jpg Ettore Sacchi.jpeg
Leader Giovanni Giolitti Filippo Turati Ettore Sacchi
Party Historical Left Socialist Party Radical Party
Seats won 329 41 48
Seat change Decrease10 Increase12 Increase11
Popular vote 995,290 347,615 181,242
Percentage 54.4% 19.0% 9.9%
Swing Increase3.5% Decrease2.3% Increase1.5%

Prime Minister before election

Giovanni Giolitti
Historical Left

Elected Prime Minister

Giovanni Giolitti
Historical Left

General elections were held in Italy on 7 March 1909, with a second round of voting on 14 March.[1] The "ministerial" left-wing bloc remained the largest in Parliament, winning 329 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]

The right-wing leader Sidney Sonnino succeed to Giolitti's protegé Alessandro Fortis as Prime Minister on 1906. But his cabinet had a short lift; anyway Sonnino formed an alliance with France on the colonial expansion in North Africa. His government lasted only few months.

After Sonnino's resignation Giovanni Giolitti returned to power in 1906. Many critics accused Giolitti of manipulating the elections, piling up majorities with the restricted suffrage at the time, using the prefects just as his contenders. However, he did refine the practice in the elections of 1904 and 1909 that gave the liberals secure majorities.

In the election, The Right lost his important position in the Parliament, replaced by the Radical Party of Ettore Sacchi, who became an ally of Giolitti and the Italian Socialist Party of Filippo Turati, which continued its strong opposition to the Left governments.

Parties and leaders[edit]

Party Ideology Leader
Historical Left Liberalism, Centrism Giovanni Giolitti
Italian Socialist Party Socialism, Revolutionary socialism Filippo Turati
Radical Party Radicalism, Republicanism Ettore Sacchi
Historical Right Conservatism, Monarchism Sydney Sonnino
Italian Republican Party Republicanism, Radicalism Napoleone Colajanni
Catholic Electoral Union Clericalism, Christian democracy Ottorino Gentiloni


Summary of March 1909 Chamber of Deputies election results
Italian Parliament, 1909.svg
Party Votes % Seats +/−
Historical Left 995,290 54.4 329 −10
Italian Socialist Party 347,615 19.0 41 +12
Radical Party 181,242 9.9 48 +11
Historical Right 108,029 5.9 44 −32
Italian Republican Party 81,461 4.4 23 −1
Catholic Electoral Union 73,015 4.0 18 +15
Constitutional Independent 41,213 2.2 0 New
Vacant 5 ±0
Invalid/blank votes 61,500
Total 1,903,687 100 508 ±0
Registered voters/turnout 2,930,473 65.0
Source: Nohlen & Stöver
Popular vote

First party by Region[edit]

Region First party Second party Third party
Abruzzo-Molise Left PSI PR
Apulia Left PSI PR
Basilicata Left PSI PR
Calabria Left PR PSI
Campania Left PR PSI
Emilia-Romagna PSI Left PR
Lazio Left PSI PR
Liguria Left PSI PR
Lombardy Left PSI PR
Marche Left PSI PR
Piedmont Left PSI PR
Sardinia Left PSI PR
Sicily Left PR PSI
Tuscany PSI Left PR
Umbria PSI Left PR
Veneto Left PSI PR


  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