Italian general election, 1921

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Italian general election, 1921
Kingdom of Italy
1919 ←
15 May 1921 → 1924

All 535 seats to the Chamber of Deputies of the Kingdom of Italy
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  Turati.jpg Don Luigi Sturzo.jpg Giovanni Giolitti.jpg
Leader Filippo Turati Don Luigi Sturzo Giovanni Giolitti
Party Socialist Party People's Party National Blocs
Seats won 123 108 105
Seat change Decrease33 Increase8 new party
Popular vote 1,631,435 1,347,305 1,260,007
Percentage 24.7% 20.4% 19.1%
Swing Decrease7.6% Decrease0.1% new party

Italian Parliament 1921.svg

Composition of the Parliament

Prime Minister before election

Giovanni Giolitti
Liberal Party

Subsequent Prime Minister

Ivanoe Bonomi
Reform Socialist Party

General elections were held in Italy on 15 May 1921.[1] It was the first election in which the recently acquired regions of Trentino-Alto Adige, Venezia Giulia, Zara and Lagosta island elected deputies, many of whom from Germanic and South Slav ethnicity.[2]

Historical background[edit]

From 1919 to 1920 Italy was shocked by a period of intense social conflict following the First World War; this period was named Biennio Rosso (Red Biennium).[3] The revolutionary period was followed by the violent reaction of the Fascist blackshirts militia and eventually by the March on Rome of Benito Mussolini in 1922.

The Biennio Rosso took place in a context of economic crisis at the end of the war, with high unemployment and political instability. It was characterized by mass strikes, worker manifestations as well as self-management experiments through land and factories occupations.[3] In Turin and Milan, workers councils were formed and many factory occupations took place under the leadership of anarcho-syndicalists. The agitations also extended to the agricultural areas of the Padan plain and were accompanied by peasant strikes, rural unrests and guerrilla conflicts between left-wing and right-wing militias.

In the general election of 1922 the Liberal governing coalition, strengthened by the joining of Fascist candidates in the National Blocs (33 of whom were elected deputies), came short of a majority. The Italian Socialist Party, weakened by the split of the Communist Party of Italy, lost many votes and seats, while the Italian People's Party was steady around 20%. The Socialists were stronger in Lombardy (41.9%), than in their historical strongholds of Piedmont (28.6%), Emilia-Romagna (33.4%) and Tuscany (31.0%), due to the presence of the Communists (11.9, 5.2 and 10.5%), while the Populars were confirmed the largest party of Veneto (36.5%) and the Liberal parties in most Southern regions.[4]

Parties and leaders[edit]

Party Ideology Leader
Italian Socialist Party (PSI) Socialism, Revolutionary socialism Filippo Turati
Italian People's Party (PPI) Christian democracy, Popularism Luigi Sturzo
National Blocs (BN) Italian nationalism, Anti-socialism Giovanni Giolitti
Democratic Liberal Party (PLD) Social liberalism, Liberalism Francesco Saverio Nitti
Italian Liberal Party (PLI) Liberalism, Centrism Luigi Facta
Social Democratic Party (PDSI) Social liberalism, Christian left Giovanni Antonio Colonna
Communist Party of Italy (PCdI) Communism, Marxism-Leninism Amedeo Bordiga
Italian Republican Party (PRI) Republicanism, Radicalism Carlo Sforza
Reformist Democratic Party (PDR) Reformism, Social democracy several
Combatants' Party (PdC) Italian nationalism, Veteran interests several

Results[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Italian Socialist Party 1,631,435 24.7 123 –33
Italian People's Party 1,347,305 20.4 108 +8
National Blocs 1,260,007 19.1 105 New
Democratic Liberal Party 684,855 10.4 68 +8
Italian Liberal Party 470,605 7.1 43 +2
Italian Social Democratic Party 309,191 4.7 29 –31
Communist Party of Italy 304,719 4.6 15 New
Italian Republican Party 124,924 1.9 6 –3
Reformist Democratic Party 122,087 1.8 11 New
Combatants' Party 113,839 1.7 10 –10
Slavs and Germans 88,648 1.3 9 New
Economic Party 53,382 0.8 5 –2
Independent Socialists 37,892 0.6 1 0
Dissident People's Party 29,703 0.4 0 0
Italian Fasci of Combat 29,549 0.4 2 New
Invalid/blank votes 93,355
Total 6,701,496 100 535 +27
Registered voters/turnout 11,477,210 58.4
Popular vote
PSI
  
24.69%
PPI
  
20.39%
BN
  
19.07%
PLD
  
10.36%
PLI
  
7.12%
PDSI
  
4.68%
PCdI
  
4.61%
PRI
  
1.89%
PDR
  
1.82%
PdC
  
1.72%
Others
  
3.77%

Results by Region[edit]

Region First party Second party Third party
Abruzzo-Molise BN PSI PPI
Apulia BN PSI PPI
Basilicata BN PPI PSI
Calabria BN PPI PSI
Campania BN PPI PSI
Emilia-Romagna PSI BN PPI
Lazio PPI BN PSI
Liguria PSI BN PPI
Lombardy PSI BN PPI
Marche PSI PPI BN
Piedmont PSI BN PPI
Sardinia BN PPI PSI
Sicily BN PPI PSI
Trentino PPI BN PSI
Tuscany PSI PPI BN
Umbria PSI PPI BN
Veneto PPI PSI BN
Venezia Giulia BN PPI PSI

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1047 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ ITALY’S FRINGE OF ALIEN SUBJECTS, The New York Times, May 29, 1921
  3. ^ a b Brunella Dalla Casa, Composizione di classe, rivendicazioni e professionalità nelle lotte del "biennio rosso" a Bologna, in: AA. VV, Bologna 1920; le origini del fascismo, a cura di Luciano Casali, Cappelli, Bologna 1982, p. 179.
  4. ^ Piergiorgio Corbetta; Maria Serena Piretti, Atlante storico-elettorale d'Italia, Zanichelli, Bologna 2009