1958 Italian general election

The 1958 Italian general election was held in Italy on Sunday 25 May 1958.[1] The number of MPs to be elected was calculated upon the population's size for the last time.

1958 Italian general election

← 1953 25 May 1958 1963 →

All 596 seats in the Chamber of Deputies  · 246 seats in the Senate
Registered32,434,852 (C· 29,183,501 (S)
Turnout30,434,681 (C· 93.8% (Steady0.0 pp)
27,425,843 (S· 93.9% (Decrease0.1 pp)
  Majority party Minority party Third party
 
Amintore Fanfani daticamera.jpg
Palmiro Togliatti Official (cropped).jpg
Pietro Nenni 1963.jpg
Leader Amintore Fanfani Palmiro Togliatti Pietro Nenni
Party DC PCI PSI
Leader since 16 July 1954 15 May 1943[b] 16 May 1949[a]
Leader's seat Arezzo (C) Rome (C) Milan (C)
Seats won 273 (C) / 123 (S) 140 (C) / 59 (S) 84 (C) / 35 (S)
Seat change Increase17 (C) / Increase7 (S) Decrease3 (C) / Increase7 (S) Increase9 (C) / Increase9 (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 Increase2.3 pp (C)
Increase1.4 pp (S)
Increase0.1 pp (C)
Increase1.6 pp (S)
Increase1.5 pp (C)
Increase2.2 pp (S)

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
 
Arturo Michelini (cropped).jpg
Giuseppe Saragat daticamera (cropped).jpg
Giovanni Malagodi 1972.jpg
Leader Arturo Michelini Giuseppe Saragat Giovanni Malagodi
Party MSI PSDI PLI
Leader since 10 October 1954 11 April 1957[c] 4 April 1954
Leader's seat Rome (C) Turin (C) Milan (C)
Seats won 24 (C) / 8 (S) 22 (C) / 5 (S) 17 (C) / 4 (S)
Seat change Decrease5 (C) / Decrease1 (S) Increase3 (C) / Increase1 (S) Increase4 (C) / Increase1 (S)
Popular vote 1,407,718 (C)
1,150,051 (S)
1,345,447 (C)
1,164,280 (S)
1,047,081 (C)
1,012,610 (S)
Percentage 4.8% (C)
4.4% (S)
4.6% (C)
4.5% (S)
3.5% (C)
3.9% (S)
Swing Decrease1.0 pp (C)
Decrease1.7 pp (S)
Increase0.1 pp (C)
Increase0.2 pp (S)
Increase0.5 pp (C)
Increase1.0 pp (S)

1958 Italian general election - Results.svg
Results of the election in the Chamber and Senate.

Prime Minister before election

Adone Zoli
DC

Prime Minister after the election

Amintore Fanfani
DC

Electoral systemEdit

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.

Historical backgroundEdit

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 leadersEdit

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

ResultsEdit

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 DeputiesEdit

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 RepublicEdit

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%

MapsEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

  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[permanent dead link], Time Magazine, 26 May 1958
  1. ^ Nenni also served as secretary from 1933 to 1939 and from 1943 to 1945.
  2. ^ Togliatti also served as secretary of the Communist Party of Italy from 1926 to 1934 and from 1938 to 1943.
  3. ^ Saragat also served as secretary from 1949 to 1952 and from 1952 to 1954.