1920 Greek referendum

A referendum on the return of King Constantine I was held in Greece on Sunday, 5 December 1920 (22 November o.s.) [1][2][3] It followed the death of his son, King Alexander. The proposal was approved by nearly 99% of voters.[4] The anti-Venizelist parties had recently won the elections of 1920. However the referendum is considered rigged by modern Greek historians.

1920 Greek referendum
State Flag of Greece (1863-1924 and 1935-1973).svg
Votes %
Yes 999,954 98.97%
No 10,383 1.03%
Valid votes 1,010,337 99.80%
Invalid or blank votes 2,000 0.20%
Total votes 1,012,337 100.00%

The result ensured and affirmed the dominance of the anti-Venizelist camp in the country. Constantine returned, albeit questioned by the supporters of the Liberal Party, while Liberal leader Eleftherios Venizelos maintained his silence, being in voluntary exile abroad. Constantine returned from Venice with the Greek cruiser Georgios Averof.[citation needed]

The return of Constantine I was opposed by the Entente powers (United Kingdom and France) because of his pro-German stance during World War I (see National Schism) and applied an economic blockade to Greece.[citation needed]

France began to support the Kemalists in the war against Greece, while Britain maintained a passive stance with only diplomatic support to the Greek kingdom. So his enthusiastic return was short-lived as a result of the disastrous military events that followed in the Asia Minor Campaign of 1922.[citation needed]. Constantine I abdicated on September 27, 1922 in favour of his eldest son, George II.


Valid votes1,010,33799.80
Invalid/blank votes2,0000.20
Total votes1,012,337100.00
Source: Nohlen & Stöver


  1. ^ "Greeks Will Hold Plebiscite Today", The New York Times, 5 December 1920, p5; The date is sometimes listed as 22 November, the date on the Julian calendar that was still in use in Greece before 1923, when it adopted the Gregorian calendar in use in most of the rest of the world
  2. ^ "Ex-Greek King Would Return Despite Allies— Plebiscite to Be Held Today— Premier Protests Entente Course", Pittsburgh Gazette Times, 5 December 1920, pIII-10
  3. ^ A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East, Volume V, ed. by Spencer C. Tucker (ABC-CLIO, 2010) p1824
  4. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p838