1987 Italian General Election
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1987 Italian General Election
1987 Italian general election

← 1983 14-15 June 1987 1992 →

All 630 seats in the Chamber of Deputies
315 seats in the Senate
Turnout88.8%
  First party Second party Third party
  Ciriaco De Mita 1987.jpg Alessandro Natta 1987.jpg Bettino Craxi 2.jpg
Leader Ciriaco De Mita Alessandro Natta Bettino Craxi
Party Christian Democracy Communist Party Socialist Party
Leader since 1982 1984 1976
Leader's seat Campania Liguria Milan
Seats won 234 C / 125 S 177 C / 101 S 94 C / 36 S
Seat change Increase9 C / Increase5 S Decrease21 C / Decrease6 S Increase21 C / Decrease2 S
Popular vote 13,241,188 C
10,897,036 S
10,254,591 C
9,181,579 S
5,505,690 C
3,535,457 S
Percentage 34.3% (C)
33.6% (S)
26.6% (C)
28.3% (S)
14.3% (C)
10.9% (S)
Swing Increase1.4% C
Increase1.2% S
Decrease3.3% C
Decrease2.5% S
Increase2.9% C
Decrease0.5% S

1987 Italian general election - Results.svg
Results of the election in the Chamber and Senate.

General elections were held in Italy on 14-15 June 1987, to select the Tenth Republican Parliament.[1] This election marked the final inversion of the trend of the entire republican history of Italy: for the first time, the distance between the Christian Democrats and the Communists grew significantly instead of decreasing. This was seen as the result of the deindustrialization of the country. The growth of the service sector of the economy, and the leadership of former PM Bettino Craxi, gave instead a new strength to the Socialists. A remarkable novelty was the rise of the new Green Lists, while a new party obtained its first two parliamentary seats: the Northern League.

Electoral system

The pure party-list proportional representation had traditionally become the electoral system 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 risen to 315 members. The candidates needed a landslide victory of two thirds of votes to be elected, a goal which could be reached only by the German minorities in South Tirol. 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 background

In the 1980s, for the first time since 1945, two governments were led by non-Christian Democrat Premiers: the republican Giovanni Spadolini and the socialist Bettino Craxi; the Christian Democracy remained however the main force supporting the government.

With the end of the Years of Lead, the Italian Communist Party gradually increased their votes under the leadership of Enrico Berlinguer. The Socialist party (PSI), led by Craxi, became more and more critical of the communists and of the Soviet Union; Craxi himself pushed in favour of US president Ronald Reagan's positioning of Pershing II missiles in Italy, a move the communists hotly contested.

In June 1984 Berlinguer, the charismatic Communist leader, suddenly left the stage during a speech at a public meeting in Padua: he had suffered a brain haemorrhage, and died three days later. More than a million citizens attended his funeral, one of the biggest in Italy's history. Alessandro Natta was appointed as new party's secretary. The public emotion caused by Berlinguer's death resulted in an extraordinary strength for the Communist Party in the 1984 European election: for the first time in Western Europe since the French election of 1956, and for the first time ever in Italian history, a Communist party received a plurality by a democratic vote.

In 1984, the Craxi government revised the 1927 Lateran Pacts with the Vatican, which concluded the role of Catholicism as Italy's state religion.

During this period, Italy became the fifth-largest industrial nation and gained entry into the G7.

Parties and leaders

Results

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

Chamber of Deputies

Italian Chamber of Deputies 1987.svg
Party Votes % Seats +/-
Christian Democracy (DC) 13,233,620 34.31 234 +9
Italian Communist Party (PCI) 10,250,644 26.58 177 -21
Italian Socialist Party (PSI) 5,501,696 14.26 94 +21
Italian Social Movement (MSI) 2,281,126 5.91 35 -7
Italian Republican Party (PRI) 1,428,663 3.70 21 -8
Italian Democratic Socialist Party (PSDI) 1,140,209 2.96 17 -6
Radical Party (PR) 987,720 2.56 13 +2
Federation of Green Lists (FLV) 969,218 2.51 13 New
Italian Liberal Party (PLI) 809,946 2.10 11 -5
Proletarian Democracy (DP) 641,901 1.66 8 +1
Venetian League-United Pensioners (LV-PU) 298,402 0.77 0 ±0
South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) 202,022 0.52 3 ±0
Lombard League (LL) 186,255 0.48 1 New
Sardinian Action Party (PSd'Az) 169,978 0.44 2 +1
Piedmont - Regional Autonomy 72,064 0.19 0 New
Piedmont 61,701 0.16 0 New
Hunting, Fishing, Environment (CPA) 55,977 0.14 0 New
Aosta Valley (VdA) 41,707 0.11 1 ±0
Others 238,272 0.63 0 ±0
Invalid/blank votes 2,015,065 - - -
Total 40,586,573 100 630 ±0
Registered voters/turnout 45,692,417 88.83 - -
Source: Ministry of the Interior
Popular vote
DC
34.31%
PCI
26.58%
PSI
14.26%
MSI
5.91%
PRI
3.70%
PSDI
2.96%
PR
2.56%
FLV
2.51%
PLI
2.10%
DP
1.66%
Others
3.44%
Seats
DC
37.14%
PCI
28.10%
PSI
14.92%
MSI
5.56%
PRI
3.33%
PSDI
2.70%
PR
2.06%
FLV
2.06%
PLI
1.75%
DP
1.27%
Others
1.11%

Senate of the Republic

Italian Senate in 1987.svg
Party Votes % Seats +/-
Christian Democracy (DC) 10,897,036 33.62 125 +5
Italian Communist Party (PCI) 9,181,579 28.33 101 -6
Italian Socialist Party (PSI) 3,535,457 10.91 36 -2
Italian Social Movement (MSI) 2,121,026 6.54 16 -2
Italian Republican Party (PRI) 1,248,641 3.85 8 -2
PSI-PSDI-PR 962,215 2.97 9 ±0
Italian Democratic Socialist Party (PSDI) 764,370 2.36 5 -3
Italian Liberal Party (PLI) 700,330 2.16 3 -3
Federation of Green Lists (FLV) 634,182 1.96 1 New
Radical Party (PR) 572,461 1.77 3 +2
Proletarian Democracy (DP) 493,667 1.52 1 +1
Venetian League-United Pensioners (LV-PU) 298,552 0.92 0 -1
South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) 171,539 0.53 2 -1
Lombard League (LL) 137,276 0.42 1 New
Sardinian Action Party (PSd'Az) 124,266 0.38 1 ±0
Secular-Socialist Alliance 84,883 0.26 1 New
Piedmont - Regional Autonomy 60,742 0.19 0 New
PSI-PSDI-PR-Greens 58,501 0.18 1 ±0
Pensioners Popular Alliance 51,790 0.16 0 New
Piedmont 51,340 0.16 0 New
Molisean Democratic Alliance 49,297 0.15 0 New
Hunting, Fishing, Environment (CPA) 41,135 0.13 0 New
Aosta Valley (VdA) 35,830 0.11 1 ±0
Others 137,746 0.43 0 ±0
Invalid/blank votes 2,007,369 - - -
Total 34,421,230 100 315 ±0
Registered voters/turnout 38,951,485 88.37 - -
Source: Ministry of the Interior
Popular vote
DC
33.62%
PCI
28.33%
PSI
10.91%
MSI
6.54%
PRI
3.85%
PSI-PSDI-PR
2.97%
PSDI
2.36%
PLI
2.16%
FLV
1.96%
PR
1.77%
DP
1.52%
Others
3.62%
Seats
DC
39.68%
PCI
32.06%
PSI
11.43%
MSI
5.08%
PSI-PSDI-PR
2.86%
PRI
2.54%
PSDI
1.59%
PLI
0.95%
PR
0.95%
FLV
0.32%
DP
0.32%
Others
2.22%

References

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

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