The Dissident Left (Italian: Sinistra dissidente), commonly named The Pentarchy (Italian: La Pentarchia) for its five leaders, was a progressive and radical parliamentary group active in Italy during the last decades of the 19th century.[1]

Dissident Left
Sinistra dissidente
LeadersGiuseppe Zanardelli
Francesco Crispi
Benedetto Cairoli
Giovanni Nicotera
Alfredo Baccarini
Founded1877; 147 years ago (1877)
Dissolved1887; 137 years ago (1887)
Split fromHistorical Left
Merged intoHistorical Left
HeadquartersPalazzo Montecitorio, Rome
Political positionLeft-wing



It emerged in 1880 from the left-wing of the two dominant parliamentary groups, the Historical Left, in opposition to the trasformismo of Agostino Depretis. In the 1880 general election, the party won 19.7% of the vote and 119 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.[2]

The Pentarchy was a group formed led by Francesco Crispi and composed also by Giuseppe Zanardelli, Benedetto Cairoli, Giovanni Nicotera, Agostino Magliani, Alfredo Beccarini and Gabriele D'Annunzio. Initially split from the Left in 1880, this group re-merged in to the Left in 1887.[3]



The Dissident Left supported statist and progressive internal policies, expansionism and Germanophile foreign policies, as well as protectionist economy policies. Most of these policies were to be implemented by Francesco Crispi when he became Prime Minister in the 1890s.[4]

Electoral results

Chamber of Deputies
Election year Votes % Seats +/− Leader
1880 70,479 (3rd) 19.7
119 / 508
Giuseppe Zanardelli
1882 45,282 (4th) 3.7
19 / 508
Giuseppe Zanardelli
1886 71,632 (4th) 5.1
26 / 508
Giuseppe Zanardelli


  1. ^ "Giuseppe Zanardelli – Biografia" Archived 2012-06-06 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Dieter Nohlen; Philip Stöver (2010). Elections in Europe: A Data Handbook. p. 1047. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7.
  3. ^ Denis Mack Smith (1997). Storia d'Italia dal 1861 al 1897.
  4. ^ Simone Oldani. "La politica di Crispi" Archived 2017-02-11 at the Wayback Machine.