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1958 Italian general election

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1958 Italian general election

← 1953 25 May 1958 1963 →

All 596 seats in the Chamber of Deputies
246 seats in the Senate
Turnout93.8%
  Majority party Minority party Third party
 
Leader Amintore Fanfani Palmiro Togliatti Pietro Nenni
Party Christian Democracy Communist Party Socialist Party
Leader since 1954 1938 1931
Leader's seat Tuscany Lazio Milan
Seats won 273 C / 123 S 140 C / 59 S 84 C / 35 S
Seat change 17 C / 7 S 3 C / 7 S 9 C / 9 S
Popular vote 12,520,207 C
10,780,954 S
6,704,454 C
5,700,952 S
4,206,726 C
3,682,945 S
Percentage 42.4% (C)
41.2% (S)
22.7% (C)
21.8% (S)
14.2% (C)
14.1% (S)
Swing 2.3% C
1.4% S
0.1% C
1.6% S
1.5% C
2.2% S

Results of the election in the Chamber and Senate.

Prime Minister before election

Adone Zoli
Christian Democracy

Elected Prime Minister

Amintore Fanfani
Christian Democracy

General elections were held in Italy on Sunday 25 May 1958, to select the Third Republican Parliament.[1] The number of MPs to be elected was calculated upon the population's size for the last time.

1958 Italian general election Intro articles: 2

Electoral system

Minor changes were made to the electoral law in 1958, creating a system which would remain unchanged until its abrogation in 1993.

The pure party-list proportional representation was definitely adopted for the Chamber of Deputies. Italian provinces were united in 32 constituencies, each electing a group of candidates. At constituency level, seats were divided between open lists using the largest remainder method with Imperiali quota. Remaining votes and seats were transferred at national level, where they were divided using the Hare quota, and automatically distributed to best losers into the local lists.

For the Senate, 237 single-seat constituencies were established, even if the assembly had 9 more members. The candidates needed a landslide victory of two thirds of votes to be elected: only 5 hoping senators reached this goal. All remained votes and seats were grouped in party lists and regional constituencies, where a D'Hondt method was used: inside the lists, candidates with the best percentages were elected.

1958 Italian general election Electoral system articles: 7

Historical background

After De Gasperi's retirement in 1953 Fanfani emerged as the anticipated successor, a role confirmed by his appointment as party secretary from 1954-1959.[2] He reorganized and rejuvenated the national party organization of the Christian Democrats after the dependence on the church and the government which had typified the De Gasperi period.[3]

However, his activist and sometimes authoritarian style, as well as his reputation as an economic reformer, ensured that the moderates within the DC, who opposed the state’s intrusion into the country’s economic life, regarded him with distrust. His indefatigable energy and his passion for efficiency carried him far in politics, but he was rarely able to exploit fully the opportunities that he created. "Fanfani has colleagues, associates, acquaintances and subordinates," one politician once remarked. "But I have never heard much about his friends."

Parties and leaders

Party Ideology Leader
Christian Democracy (DC) Christian democracy Amintore Fanfani
Italian Communist Party (PCI) Communism Palmiro Togliatti
Italian Socialist Party (PSI) Democratic socialism Pietro Nenni
Italian Social Movement (MSI) Neo-fascism Arturo Michelini
Italian Democratic Socialist Party (PSDI) Social democracy Giuseppe Saragat
Italian Liberal Party (PLI) Conservative liberalism Giovanni Malagodi
People's Monarchist Party (PMP) National conservatism Achille Lauro
Monarchist National Party (PNM) National conservatism Alfredo Covelli
Italian Republican Party (PRI) Social liberalism Oronzo Reale

Results

Seat distribution by constituency for the Chamber of Deputies (left) and Senate (right).

The election gave similar results of five years before and, consequently, the same problems of political instability of the centrist formula. Christian Democracy was polarized by a fraction which liked more leftist politics, and another one which urged for a rightist route. Party's secretary Amintore Fanfani was in the first field, and called for a dialogue with the Italian Socialist Party, which had frozen its relationships with the Italian Communist Party after the Hungarian Revolution. Fanfani led a year-term government, but the reaction of the conservative fraction gave the power to Antonio Segni, followed by Fernando Tambroni who received a decisive vote of confidence by the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement. The MSI had been banned by any type of political power since its birth under the theory of the Constitutional Arch, which stated that any government or opposition party which had voted the Italian Constitution, had to refuse any relationship with fascist and monarchist forces, seen as anti-constitutional groups. Strikes and revolts causing some casualties erupted through the country, and Tambroni had to resign. Fanfani returned to the premiership, this time with an openly centre-left programme supported by the socialist abstention. The government created the middle school for workers' sons, and the ENEL after the electric energy nationalisation.

Chamber of Deputies

Summary of the 25 May 1958 Chamber of Deputies election results
Party Votes % Seats +/−
Christian Democracy (DC) 12,520,207 42.35 273 +10
Italian Communist Party (PCI) 6,704,454 22.68 140 −3
Italian Socialist Party (PSI) 4,206,726 14.23 84 +9
Italian Social Movement (MSI) 1,407,718 4.76 24 −5
Italian Democratic Socialist Party (PSDI) 1,345,447 4.55 22 +3
Italian Liberal Party (PLI) 1,047,081 3.54 17 +4
People's Monarchist Party (PMP) 776,919 2.63 14 New
Monarchist National Party (PNM) 659,997 2.23 11 −29
Italian Republican PartyRadical Party (PRI–PR) 405,782 1.37 6 +1
Community Movement (MC) 173,227 0.59 1 New
South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) 135,491 0.46 3 ±0
Movement for Piedmontese Regional Autonomy (MARP) 70,589 0.24 0 New
Valdostan Union (UV) 30,596 0.10 1 New
Others 76,035 0.26 0 ±0
Invalid/blank votes 874,412
Total 30,434,681 100 596 +6
Registered voters/turnout 32,434,852 93.83
Source: Ministry of the Interior
Popular vote
DC
42.35%
PCI
22.68%
PSI
14.23%
MSI
4.76%
PSDI
4.55%
PLI
3.54%
PMP
2.63%
PNM
2.23%
PRIPR
1.37%
Others
1.64%
Seats
DC
45.81%
PCI
23.49%
PSI
14.09%
MSI
4.03%
PSDI
3.69%
PLI
2.85%
PMP
2.35%
PNM
1.85%
PRIPR
1.01%
Others
0.84%

Senate of the Republic

Summary of the 25 May 1958 Senate of the Republic election results
Party Votes % Seats +/−
Christian Democracy (DC) 10,780,954 41.23 123 +10
Italian Communist Party (PCI) 5,700,952 21.80 59 +8
Italian Socialist Party (PSI) 3,682,945 14.08 35 +9
Italian Democratic Socialist Party (PSDI) 1,164,280 4.45 5 +1
Italian Social Movement (MSI) 1,150,051 4.40 8 −1
Italian Liberal Party (PLI) 1,012,610 3.87 4 +1
People's Monarchist Party (PMP) 774,242 2.96 5 New
Monarchist National Party (PNM) 565,045 2.16 2 −14
Italian Republican PartyRadical Party (PRI–PR) 363,462 1.39 0 ±0
MSIPNM 291,359 1.11 0 ±0
PCIPSI 185,557 0.71 2 ±0
Community Movement (MC) 142,897 0.55 0 New
South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) 120,068 0.46 2 ±0
Movement for Piedmontese Regional Autonomy (MARP) 61,088 0.23 0 New
PSIPSDI 43,191 0.17 0 ±0
Left-wing Independents 28,141 0.11 1 +1
Sardinian Action Party (PSd'Az) 25,923 0.10 0 ±0
Others 57,237 0.22 0 ±0
Invalid/blank votes 1,239,240
Total 27,391,239 100 246 +9
Registered voters/turnout 29,174,858 93.9
Source: Ministry of the Interior
Popular vote
DC
41.23%
PCI
21.80%
PSI
14.08%
PSDI
4.45%
MSI
4.40%
PLI
3.87%
PMP
2.96%
PNM
2.16%
PRIPR
1.39%
Others
3.66%
Seats
DC
50.00%
PCI
23.98%
PSI
14.23%
MSI
3.25%
PSDI
2.03%
PMP
2.03%
PLI
1.63%
PNM
0.81%
Others
2.03%

1958 Italian general election Parties and leaders articles: 31

References

  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1048 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Young Initiative, Time Magazine, 12 July 1954
  3. ^ Out for the Big Win, Time Magazine, 26 May 1958