June 1946 French legislative election
This article does not cite any sources. (January 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Legislative elections were held in France on 2 June 1946 to elect the second post-war Constituent Assembly designated to prepare a new constitution. The ballot system used was proportional representation.
All 586 seats to the French National Assembly
294 seats were needed for a majority
PCF 153, SFIO 129, RGR 52, Mod. 78, MRP 166, Misc. 9
After the Second World War, three parties dominated the political scene due to their participation in the Resistance to the German occupation: the French Communist Party (PCF), the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO, socialist party) and the Popular Republican Movement (MRP) Christian democratic party. They formed a provisional government led by General Charles de Gaulle.
General de Gaulle advocated a strong presidential government. He felt that the "regime of the parties" under the French Third Republic's system of parliamentary government (characterised by its political instability and ever-changing coalitions) was a cause of the 1940 collapse. However, the three main parties considered parliamentary democracy to be inseparable from the ideology of French republicanism. To them, de Gaulle's project appeared to be a rebirth of Bonapartism. In January 1946, de Gaulle resigned from the Cabinet.
The socialist Félix Gouin succeeded him. A first constitutional draft was approved by the National Assembly. It was supported by the Communists and the Socialists. It concentrated power in a unicameral Assembly and abolished the Senate of France. The Christian-Democrats campaigned for the "No" with de Gaulle and the opponents to a constitutional change (the classical Right and the Rally of the Republican Lefts dominated by the Radical Party).
The "No" coalition warned the voters against the danger of a "dictatorship" of an Assembly dominated by the Marxists, which could question the existence of private property. In the "Yes" coalition, the SFIO refused the Communist proposition of a common campaign. Finally, the "No"s won by 53% of the votes (May 1946 French constitutional referendum).
Consequently, a new National Assembly was elected in order to elaborate a new constitutional draft. The MRP, which led the "No" coalition, became the largest party with more votes and seats than the PCF. The Communists and the Socialists no longer formed a majority, so the MRP was a necessary partner for the writing of a constitutional text. Its leader Georges Bidault took the lead role in the provisional government.
|Parties and coalitions||Abbr.||Votes||%||Seats|
|Popular Republican Movement (Mouvement républicain populaire)||MRP||5,589,213||28.22||166|
|French Communist Party (Parti communiste français)||PCF||5,145,325||25.98||153|
|French Section of the Workers International (Section française de l'Internationale ouvrière)||SFIO||4,187,747||21.14||128|
|Total "Three-parties alliance"||14,922,285||75.34||447|
|Moderates (Right-wing and UDMA) (Modérés)||PRL/CNI||2,538,167||12.82||78|
|Rally of the Republican Lefts (Rassemblement des gauches républicaines)||RGR||2,299,963||11.61||52|
|This French elections-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|