Italian general election, 1913

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Italian general election, 1913
Kingdom of Italy
1909 ←
26 October-2 November 1913 → 1919

All 508 seats to the Chamber of Deputies of the Kingdom of Italy
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  Giovanni Giolitti.jpg Turati.jpg Ettore Sacchi.jpeg
Leader Giovanni Giolitti Filippo Turati Ettore Sacchi
Party Liberals Socialist Party Radical Party
Seats won 270 52 62
Seat change Decrease59 Increase11 Increase14
Popular vote 2,387,947 883,409 522,522
Percentage 47.6% 17.6% 10.4%
Swing Decrease6.8% Decrease1.4% Increase0.5%

Italian Parliament, 1913.svg

Composition of the Parliament

Prime Minister before election

Giovanni Giolitti

Subsequent Prime Minister

Giovanni Giolitti

General elections were held in Italy on 26 October 1913, with a second round of voting on 2 November.[1] The Liberals (the former Ministeriali) narrowly retained an absolute majority in the Chamber of Deputies, while the Radical Party emerged as the largest opposition bloc. Both groupings did particularly well in Southern Italy, while the Italian Socialist Party gained eight seats and was the largest party in Emilia-Romagna.[2] However, the election marked the beginning of the decline of Liberal establishment.

Electoral reform[edit]

Changes made in 1912 widened the voting franchise to include all literate men aged 21 or over who had served in the armed forces. For those over 30 the literacy requirement was abolished.[3] This raised the number of eligible voters from 2,930,473 in 1909 to 8,443,205.[4] The electoral system remained single-member constituencies with two-round majority voting.[3]

Historical background[edit]

The two historical parliamentary factions, the liberal and progressive Left and the conservative and monarchist Right, formed a single liberal and centrist group, known as The Liberals, under the leadership of Giovanni Giolitti. This phenomenon, known in Italian as Trasformismo (roughly translatable in English as "transformism"—in a satirical newspaper, the PM was depicted as a chameleon), effectively removed political differences in Parliament, which was dominated by an undistinguished liberal bloc with a landslide majority until after World War I. Two parliamentary factions alternated in government, one led by Sidney Sonnino and the other, by far the largest of the two, by Giolitti. At that time the Liberals governed in alliance with the Radicals, the Democrats and, eventually, the Reform Socialists.[5] This alliance governed against two smaller opposition: The Clericals, composed by some Vatican-oriented politicians, The Extreme, formed by the socialist faction which represented a real left in a present-day concept.[6]

Parties and leaders[edit]

Party Ideology Leader
Liberals Liberalism, Centrism Giovanni Giolitti
Italian Socialist Party (PSI) Socialism, Revolutionary socialism Filippo Turati
Radical Party (PR) Radicalism, Anti-clericalism Ettore Sacchi
Constitutional Democratic Party (PDC) Social liberalism, Liberalism several
Catholic Electoral Union (UECI) Clericalism, Christian democracy Ottorino Gentiloni
Italian Reformist Socialist Party (PSRI) Democratic socialism, Social democracy Leonida Bissolati
Democratic Party (PD) Social liberalism, Social democracy several
Italian Republican Party (PRI) Republicanism, Radicalism Napoleone Colajanni
Conservative Catholics Royalism, Clericalism several


Party Votes % Seats +/–
Liberals 2,387,947 47.6 270 –59
Italian Socialist Party 883,409 17.6 52 +11
Radical Party 522,522 10.4 62 +14
Constitutional Democratic Party 277,251 5.5 29 New
Catholic Electoral Union 212,319 4.2 20 +2
Italian Reformist Socialist Party 196,406 3.9 19 New
Democratic Party 138,967 2.8 11 New
Italian Republican Party 102,102 2.0 8 –15
Conservative Catholics 89,630 1.8 9 New
Dissident Republican 71,564 1.4 9 New
Independent Socialists 67,133 1.3 8 New
Dissident Radicals 65,671 1.3 11 New
Invalid/blank votes 85,694
Total 5,100,615 100 508 0
Registered voters/turnout 8,443,205 60.4
Source: Nohlen & Stöver
Popular vote
Conservative Catholics

First party by Region[edit]

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


  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1047 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Piergiorgio Corbetta; Maria Serena Piretti, Atlante storico-elettorale d'Italia, Zanichelli, Bologna 2009
  3. ^ a b Nohlen & Stöver, p1031
  4. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p1050
  5. ^ Italian Liberal Party, Britannica Concise
  6. ^ Italian Liberal Party, Britannica Concise