Spanish general election, 1910

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Spanish general election, 1910
← 1907 8–22 May 1910 1914 →

All 404 seats in the Congress of Deputies and 180 (of 360) seats in the Senate
203 seats needed for a majority in the Congress of Deputies
Registered 4,721,480
(3,383,070 in constituencies where elections were held)
Turnout 2,494,082 (73.7%)
  First party Second party Third party
  José Canalejas b (cropped).jpg Antonio Maura 1917 (cropped).jpg Benito Pérez Galdós 1915 (cropped).jpg
Leader José Canalejas Antonio Maura Benito Pérez Galdós
Party Liberal Conservative CRS
Leader since 1910 1905 1909
Leader's seat Ferrol Palma Madrid
Last election 82 seats 249 seats 7 seats
Seats won 215 115 27
Seat change Green Arrow Up Darker.svg133 Red Arrow Down.svg134 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg20

Prime Minister before election

José Canalejas

Elected Prime Minister

José Canalejas

The 1910 Spanish general election was held on Sunday, 8 May and on Sunday, 22 May 1910, to elect the 14th Restoration Cortes of the Kingdom of Spain. All 404 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 1910 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]

The 1890 electoral law was amended and replaced in 1907 by a new law that introduced compulsory voting, as well as stricter requirements for fielding candidates and a clause allowing for some candidates to be automatically elected under some circumstances.

For the Congress of Deputies, 90 seats were allocated to 28 multi-member constituencies and awarded using a partial block voting, with the remaining 314 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; in those with more than eight seats and up to ten, for up to three less; and for up to four less in multi-member constituencies electing ten seats or more. Candidates winning a plurality of votes in each constituency were elected. In single-member districts were candidates ran unopposed, and in multi-member districts where the number of candidates was equal or less than the number of seats to be filled, candidates were automatically proclaimed without an election. The overall number of seats was determined by the population count, with one seat per each 50,000 inhabitants. Voting was compulsory and on the basis of universal manhood suffrage, with males over twenty-five and at least a two-year residency in a municipality required to vote. Only those above seventy years old, first instance judges, public notaries and the clergy were exempt from voting. Concurrently, secular males at least twenty-five years old were eligible for the Congress if meeting one of these requirements: (1) having previously held the position of deputy; (2) having been proposed by at least two senators or former senators, two deputies or former deputies for the same province, or three provincial or former provincial deputies within the constituency; Or (3) having been proposed by at least 0.05% of registered electors in the district.[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 8 May 1910 Congress of Deputies election results
Party Popular vote Seats
Votes  % ±pp Won +/−
Liberal Party (PL)1 215 +133
Liberal Conservative Party (PLC)2 115 –134
Republican Nationalist Federal Union (UFNR)5 11 –14
Regionalist League (LR) 10 –4
Traditionalist Communion (CT)2 10 –4
Independent Catholics (Cató.i) 3 –1
Integrist Party (PI)2 2 ±0
Autonomist Republican Union Party (PURA) 2 ±0
Independent Catalan Nationalists ( 1 –1
Independent Republicans (Rep.i) 1 ±0
Independent Traditionalists (Trad.i) 0 –1
Independents 4 +3
Non-established 3 +3
Total 2,494,082 100.00 404 ±0
Votes cast / turnout 2,494,082 73.72
Abstentions 888,988 26.28
Registered voters (in constituencies where elections were held) 3,383,070 71.65
Registered voters (total) 4,721,480
Source(s): Spanish Statistical Annuary,



  1. ^ "Real decreto declarando disueltos el Congreso de los Diputados y la parte electiva del Senado, de 14 de abril de 1910" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 2016-12-31. 
  2. ^ "El Senado en la historia constitucional española" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2016-12-26. 
  3. ^ "Ley electoral, de 8 de agosto de 1907" (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]