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Italian general election, 1958

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Italian general election, 1958

Italian general election, 1958

May 25, 1958 (1958-05-25)

All 596 seats to the Italian Chamber of Deputies
and 246 (of the 253) seats to the Italian Senate
Turnout 93.8%
  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 XVII - South Tuscany XX - Latium IV - Milan
Last election 263 & 116 seats, 40.1% 143 & 56 seats, 22.6% 75 & 30 seats, 12.7%
Seats won 273 (H)
123 (S)
140 (H)
60 (S)
84 (H)
36 (S)
Seat change 17 1 15
Popular vote 12,520,207 6,704,454 4,206,726
Percentage 42.4% 22.7% 14.2%
Swing 2.3% 0.1% 1.5%

Legislative election results map. Light Blue denotes provinces with a Christian Democratic plurality, Red denotes those with a Communist plurality, Gray denotes those with an Autonomist plurality.

Prime Minister before election

Adone Zoli
Christian Democracy

New Prime Minister

Amintore Fanfani
Christian Democracy

General elections were held in Italy on Sunday May 25, 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.


  • Electoral system 1
  • Parties and leaders 2
  • Results 3
    • Chamber of Deputies 3.1
    • Senate of the Republic 3.2
  • References 4

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 was 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.

Parties and leaders

Party Ideology Leader
Christian Democracy (DC) Christian democracy, Popularism Amintore Fanfani
Italian Communist Party (PCI) Communism, Marxism-Leninism Palmiro Togliatti
Italian Socialist Party (PSI) Socialism, Democratic socialism Pietro Nenni
Italian Social Movement (MSI) Neo-Fascism, Italian nationalism Arturo Michelini
Italian Democratic Socialist Party (PSDI) Social democracy, Centrism Giuseppe Saragat
Italian Liberal Party (PLI) Liberalism, Conservatism Giovanni Malagodi
People's Monarchist Party (PMP) Monarchism, Populism Achille Lauro
Monarchist National Party (PNM) Monarchism, Conservatism Alfredo Covelli
Italian Republican Party (PRI) Republicanism, Social liberalism Oronzo Reale


Regional pluralities in Senate

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

Composition of the Chamber of Deputies after the election.
Party Votes % Seats +/–
Christian Democracy 12,520,207 42.35 273 +10
Italian Communist Party 6,704,454 22.68 140 –3
Italian Socialist Party 4,206,726 14.23 84 +9
Italian Social Movement 1,407,718 4.76 24 –5
Italian Democratic Socialist Party 1,345,447 4.55 22 +3
Italian Liberal Party 1,047,081 3.54 17 +4
People's Monarchist Party 776,919 2.63 14 New
Monarchist National Party 659,997 2.23 11 –29
Italian Republican PartyRadical Party 405,782 1.37 6 +1
Community Movement 173,227 0.59 1 New
South Tyrolean People's Party 135,491 0.46 3
Movement for Piedmontese Regional Autonomy 70,589 0.24 0 New
Valdostan Union 30,596 0.10 1 New
Others 76,035 0.26 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

Senate of the Republic

Composition of the Senate after the election.
Party Votes % Seats +/–
Christian Democracy 10,780,954 41.23 123 +10
Italian Communist Party 5,700,952 21.80 59 +8
Italian Socialist Party 3,682,945 14.08 35 +9
Italian Democratic Socialist Party 1,164,280 4.45 5 +1
Italian Social Movement 1,150,051 4.40 8 –1
Italian Liberal Party 1,012,610 3.87 4 +1
People's Monarchist Party 774,242 2.96 5 New
Monarchist National Party 565,045 2.16 2 –14
Italian Republican PartyRadical Party 363,462 1.39 0
MSIPNM 291,359 1.11 2
PCIPSI 185,557 0.71 2
Community Movement 142,897 0.55 0 New
South Tyrolean People's Party 120,068 0.46 2
Movement for Piedmontese Regional Autonomy 61,088 0.23 0 New
PSIPSDI 43,191 0.17 0
For The Autonomy of Aosta Valley 28,141 0.11 1 +1
Sardinian Action Party 25,923 0.10 0
Others 57,237 0.22 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


  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1048 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
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