Spanish general election, 1899

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Spanish general election, 1899
← 1898 16–30 April 1899 1901 →

All 402 seats in the Congress of Deputies and 180 (of 360) seats in the Senate
202 seats needed for a majority in the Congress of Deputies
Registered 4,237,396
Turnout 2,798,262 (66.0%)
  First party Second party Third party
  Francisco Silvela 1905 (cropped).jpg Práxedes Mateo Sagasta (cropped).jpg Germán Gamazo 1898 (cropped).jpg
Leader Francisco Silvela Práxedes Mateo Sagasta Germán Gamazo
Party UC Liberal Gamacists
Leader since 1892 1872 1899
Leader's seat Ávila (Piedrahita) Logroño (Logroño) Valladolid (Medina del Campo)
Last election 82 seats 272 seats Did not contest
Seats won 228 102 28
Seat change Green Arrow Up Darker.svg146 Red Arrow Down.svg170 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg28

Prime Minister before election

Francisco Silvela

Elected Prime Minister

Francisco Silvela

The 1899 Spanish general election was held on Sunday, 16 April and on Sunday, 30 April 1899, to elect the 9th Restoration Cortes of the Kingdom of Spain. All 402 seats in the Congress of Deputies were up for election, as well as 180 of 360 seats in the Senate.[1]


The Spanish legislature, the Cortes, was composed of two chambers at the time of the 1899 election:

This was a nearly perfect bicameral system, with the two chambers established as "co-legislative bodies". Both chambers had legislative, control and budgetary functions, sharing equal powers except for laws on contributions or public credit, where the Congress had preeminence.[2]

The Spanish Constitution of 1876 enshrined Spain as a constitutional monarchy, awarding the King power to name senators and to revoke laws, as well as the title of commander-in-chief of the army. The King would also play a key role in the system of the turno pacífico (Spanish for "Peaceful Turn") by appointing and toppling governments and allowing the opposition to take power. Under this system, the Conservative and Liberal parties alternated in power by means of election rigging, which they achieved through the encasillado, using the links between the Ministry of the Interior, the provincial civil governors, and the local bosses (caciques) to ensure victory and exclude minor parties from the power sharing.

Electoral system[edit]

For the Congress of Deputies, 84 seats were allocated to 26 multi-member constituencies and awarded using a partial block voting, with the remaining 318 awarded under a first-past-the-post system in single-member districts. Instead of voting for parties, electors would vote for individual candidates. In districts electing more than one seat and up to four, electors could vote for one less candidate than seats to be filled; in those with more than four seats and up to eight, for up to two less; and for up to three less in multi-member constituencies electing eight seats or more. Candidates winning a plurality of votes in each constituency were elected. The overall number of seats was determined by the population count, with one seat per each 50,000 inhabitants. Voting was on the basis of universal manhood suffrage, with males over twenty-five and at least a two-year residency in a municipality entitled to vote. Concurrently, secular males at least twenty-five years old and in the full enjoyment of all civil rights were eligible for the Congress.[3]

The Senate was not a directly elected body, with its 360 members being divided into three different classes:

The Constitution of 1876 provided for 180 elective senators and an equal number of senators for the other two classes combined. Elective senators served terms of ten years each, with their terms staggered so that approximately one-half of these seats were up for appointment every five years. The King could dissolve the entirety of the elective section of the Senate at will, triggering the appointment of the full contingent of elective senators.[4][5]


Congress of Deputies[edit]

Most voted party by regions and provinces.
Summary of the 16 April 1899 Congress of Deputies election results
Party Popular vote Seats
Votes  % ±pp Won +/−
Conservative UnionLiberal Conservative Party (UC–PLC) 228 +146
Liberal Party (PL) 102 –170
Gamacist Liberals (LG) New 28 +28
Tetuanist Conservatives (T)1 12 +3
Republican Fusion (FR) 11 –7
Liberal Reformist Party (PLR) 4 –2
Independent Republicans (Rep.i) New 3 +3
Federal Democratic Republican Party (PRDF) 2 +2
Independent Catholics (Cató.i) 2 +1
Blasquist Republicans (Blasq.rep) New 1 +1
Independents 6 –1
Total 100.00 402 +1
Votes cast / turnout
Registered voters



  1. ^ "Real decreto declarando disueltos el Congreso de los Diputados y la parte electiva del Senado, de 16 de marzo de 1899" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  2. ^ "El Senado en la historia constitucional española" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2016-12-26. 
  3. ^ "Ley electoral, de 26 de junio de 1890" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 2016-12-26. 
  4. ^ "Ley electoral de Senadores, de 8 de febrero de 1877" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 2016-12-27. 
  5. ^ "Constitución de 1876" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 2016-12-27. 

External links[edit]