1994 Italian General Election
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1994 Italian General Election
1994 Italian general election

← 1992 27-28 March 1994 1996 →

All 630 seats in the Chamber of Deputies
316 seats needed for a majority
315 seats in the Senate
164 seats needed for a majority[a]
Turnout86.3%
  Berlusconi94.jpg Achille Occhetto.jpg Mariotto Segni 1994.jpg
Leader Silvio Berlusconi Achille Occhetto Mariotto Segni
Alliance Pole of Freedoms & Good Government Alliance of Progressives Pact for Italy
Leader's seat Rome Centre Bologna West Sassari (lost)
Seats won 366 C / 156 S 213 C / 122 S 46 C / 31 S
Coalition vote 16,585,516 C
14,110,705 S
13,308,244 C
10,881,320 S
6,098,986 C
5,519,090 S
Percentage 42.8% (C)
42.6% (S)
34.3% (C)
32.9% (S)
15.8% (C)
16.7% (S)

Italian 1994 elections.png
Election results maps for the Chamber of Deputies (on the left) and for the Senate (on the right). On the left, the color identifies the coalition which received the most votes in each province. On the right, the color identifies the coalition which won the most seats in respect to each Region. Blue denotes the Centre-right coalition, Red the Progressives and Gray regional parties.

A snap national general election was held in Italy on 27-28 March 1994 to elect members of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate for the 12th legislature. Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right alliance won a large majority in the Chamber, but just missed winning a majority in the Senate. The Italian People's Party, the renamed Christian Democrats, which had dominated Italian politics for almost half a century, was decimated. It took only 29 seats versus 206 for the DC two years earlier--easily the worst defeat a sitting government in Italy has ever suffered, and one of the worst ever suffered by a Western European governing party.

New electoral system

A new electoral system was introduced in these elections, after a referendum in 1993 which repealed the "supermajority clause" concerning Senate elections. The clause had meant that Senate elections were conducted using de facto using pure proportional representation. As a result of this change, the Senate now elected 75% of its seats via plurality voting system in single-member constituencies, with the remaining 25% assigned proportionally in a compensatory nature. Parliament passed a new electoral law for the Chamber of Deputies to bring it more in line with the Senate, assigning 75% of the seats via plurality voting, with the remaining 25% assigned proportionally in a supplementary manner using a minimum threshold of 4% of the vote. The new electoral system was nicknamed the Mattarellum, after Sergio Mattarella, who was the official proponent.

Historical background

In 1992, the five pro-western governing parties, Christian Democracy, the Italian Socialist Party, the Italian Social-Democratic Party, the Italian Republican Party and the Italian Liberal Party, lost much of their electoral strength almost overnight due to a large number of judicial investigations concerning the financial corruption of many of their foremost members. This led to a general expectation that upcoming elections would be won by the Democratic Party of the Left, the heirs to the former Italian Communist Party, and their Alliance of Progressives coalition unless there was an alternative.

Berlusconi during a Forza Italia rally.

On 26 January 1994, the media magnate Silvio Berlusconi announced his decision to enter politics, ("enter the field", in his own words) presenting his own political party, Forza Italia, on a platform focused on defeating the Communists. His political aim was to convince the voters of the Pentapartito, (i.e. the usual five governing parties) who were shocked and confused by Mani Pulite scandals, that Forza Italia offered both novelty and the continuation of the pro-western free market policies followed by Italy since the end of the 2nd World War.

Shortly after he decided to enter the political arena, investigators into the Mani Pulite affair were said to be close to issuing warrants for the arrest of Berlusconi and senior executives of his business group. During his years of political career Berlusconi has repeatedly stated that the Mani Pulite investigations were led by communist prosecutors who wanted to establish a soviet-style government in Italy.[1][2]

In order to win the election Berlusconi formed two separate electoral alliances: Pole of Freedoms (Polo delle Libertà) with the Northern League (Lega Nord) in northern Italian districts, and another, the Pole of Good Government (Polo del Buon Governo), with the post-fascist National Alliance (Alleanza Nazionale; heir to the Italian Social Movement) in central and southern regions.[3] In a shrewd pragmatic move, he did not ally with the latter in the North because the League disliked them. As a result, Forza Italia was allied with two parties that were not allied with each other.

Berlusconi launched a massive campaign of electoral advertisements on his three TV networks. He subsequently won the elections, with Forza Italia garnering 21% of the popular vote, the highest percentage of any single party.[4] One of the most significant promises that he made in order to secure victory was that his government would create "one million more jobs".

On the other side, the center-left Alliance of Progressive led by Achille Occhetto, also called the Joyful War Machine, was composed by the two party born from the dissolution of the Italian Communist Party: the Democratic Party of the Left and Communist Refoundation Party. Since the alliance was sure of victory, based his campaign accusing the communicative power of Silvio Berlusconi.

Main coalitions and parties

Coalitions' leaders

Portrait Name Most recent position Refs
Berlusconi94.jpg
President of Forza Italia
(1994-incumbent)

[5][6]
Achille Occhetto.jpg
[7][8]
Mariotto Segni 1994.jpg
Leader of the Segni Pact
(1993-incumbent)

[9][10]

Results for the Chamber of Deputies

Overall results

Italian Chamber of Deputies, 1994.svg
Coalition Party Proportional First-past-the-post Total
seats
+/-
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
Pole of Freedoms -
Pole of Good Government
Forza Italia (FI) 8,136,135 21.01 30[g] 17,746,612 46.09 87 111[h] New
Christian Democratic Centre (CCD) 21 27 New
National Alliance (AN) 5,214,133 13.47 23[i] 87 110 +75
Northern League (LN) 3,235,248 8.36 11[j] 107 118 +62
Total seats 64 302 366 -
Alliance of Progressives Democratic Party of the Left (PDS) 7,881,646 20.36 38[k] 12.632,680 32.81 87 125[l] +17
2,343,946 6.05 11 27 38 +4
Federation of the Greens (FdV) 1,047,268 2.70 0 11 11 -5
Italian Socialist Party (PSI) 849,429 2.19 0 15 15[m] -77
The Network (LR) 719,841 1.86 0 8 8 -4
Democratic Alliance (AD) 456,114 1.18 0 16 16 New
Total seats 49 164 213 -
Pact for Italy Italian People's Party (PPI) 4,287,172 11.07 29 6,019,038 15.63 4 33 -146
Segni Pact (PS) 1,811,814 4.68 13 0 13 New
Total seats 42 4 46 -
South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) 231,842 0.60 0 188,017 0.49 3 3 ±0
Southern Action League (LAM) 59,873 0.15 0 46,820 0.13 1 1 +1
Aosta Valley (VdA) N/A N/A 0 43,700 0.11 1 1 ±0
Total 630 -

Proportional

Local plurality party
Party Votes % Seats
Forza Italia (FI) 8,136,135 21.01 30
Democratic Party of the Left (PDS) 7,881,646 20.36 38
National Alliance (AN) 5,214,133 13.47 23
Italian People's Party (PPI) 4,287,172 11.07 29
Northern League (LN) 3,235,248 8.36 11
Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) 2,343,946 6.05 11
Segni Pact (PS) 1,811,814 4.68 13
Pannella List (LP) 1,359,283 3.51 0
Federation of the Greens (FdV) 1,047,268 2.70 0
Italian Socialist Party (PSI) 849,429 2.19 0
The Network (LR) 719,841 1.86 0
Democratic Alliance (AD) 456,114 1.18 0
South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) 231,842 0.60 0
Social Democracy for Freedoms (PSDI-FDS) 179,495 0.46 0
Program Italy (PI) 151,328 0.39 0
Lombard Alpine League (LAL) 136,782 0.35 0
Venetian Autonomy League (LAV) 103,764 0.27 0
Southern Action League (LAM) 59,873 0.15 0
Others 517,780 1.34 0
Total 38,720,893 100.00 155
Popular vote (Proportional)
FI-CCD
21.01%
PDS
20.36%
AN
13.47%
PPI
11.07%
LN
8.36%
PRC
6.05%
Segni
4.68%
Pannella
3.51%
FdV
2.70%
PSI
2.19%
Rete
1.86%
AD
1.18%
Others
3.56%

First-past-the-post

Winning candidates in the constituencies
Parties and coalitions Votes % Seats
Alliance of Progressives (AdP) 12.632,680 32.81 164
Pole of Freedoms (PdL) 8,767,720 22.77 164
Pact for Italy (PpI) 6,019,038 15.63 4
Pole of Good Government (PdBG) 5,732,890 14.89 129
National Alliance (AN) 2,566,848 6.67 8
Forza Italia (FI) 679,154 1.76 1
Pannella List (LP) 432,667 1.12 0
South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) 188,017 0.49 3
Social Democracy for the Freedoms (PSDI-FDS) 147,493 0.38 0
Southern Action League (LAM) 46,820 0.13 1
Aosta Valley (VdA) 43,700 0.11 1
Others 1,247,131 3.24 0
Total 38,504,158 100.00 475
Popular vote (First-past-the-post)
PdL-PdBG
37.66%
AdP
32.81%
PpI
15.63%
AN
6.67%
FI
1.76%
Pannella
1.12%
Others
4.35%

Results for the Senate of the Republic

Italian Senate, 1994.svg
Coalition Party First-past-the-post Proportional
(Seats)
Total
seats
+/-
Votes % Seats
Pole of Freedoms -
Pole of Good Government
Northern League (LN) 13,342,940[n] 40.34[o] 128 28 60 +35
National Alliance (AN) 48 +32
Forza Italia (FI) 36[p] New
Christian Democratic Centre (CCD) 12 New
Total seats 156 -
Alliance of Progressives Democratic Party of the Left (PDS) 10,881,320 32.90 96 26 76[q] +12
18 -2
Italian Socialist Party (PSI) 9[r] -40
Federation of the Greens (FdV) 7 +3
Democratic Alliance (AD) 6 New
The Network (LR) 6 +3
Total seats 122 -
Pact for Italy (PpI) 5,519,090 16.69 3 28 31 -64
Pannella List (LP) 767,765 2.32 0 1 1 +1
Pensioners' Party (PP) 250,637 0.76 0 0 0 ±0
Lombard Alpine League (LAL) 246,046 0.74 0 1 1 ±0
South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) 217,137 0.66 3 0 3 ±0
Venetian Autonomy League (LAV) 165,370 0.50 0 0 0 -1
Federalist Greens (VF) 100,418 0.30 0 0 0 ±0
Sardinian Action Party (PSd'Az) 88,225 0.27 0 0 0 -1
Natural Law Party (PLN) 86,579 0.26 0 0 0 New
Social Democracy for Freedoms (PSDI-FDS) 80,264 0.24 0 0 0 -3
The League of Angela Bossi 72,455 0.22 0 0 0 New
Greens Greens (VV) 68,218 0.21 0 0 0 ±0
Veneto Autonomous Region Movement (MVRA) 64,149 0.19 0 0 0 ±0
Magris List (Magris) 61,400 0.19 1 0 1 New
Southern Action League (LAM) 54,395 0.16 0 0 0 ±0
League for Piedmont 49,505 0.15 0 0 0 New
Aosta Valley (VdA) 27,493 0.08 1 0 1 ±0
Others 931,143 2.82 0 0 0 -17
Total 33,074,549 100.00 232 83 315 -
Popular vote
PdL-PdBG
33.61%
AdP
32.90%
PpI
16.69%
AN
6.28%
Pannella
2.32%
Others
8.20%

Results

On election day, Berlusconi's coalition won a decisive victory over Occhetto's one, becoming the first center-right coalition to win general election since the Second World War. In the popular vote, Berlusconi's coalition outpolled the Alliance of Progressive by over 5.1 million votes. Pole of Freedoms won in the main regions of Italy: in the North the strongest parties were the regionalist Northern League and Forza Italia, which was able to win in all province of Sicily, while in the South National Alliance received more votes. Alliance of Progressive reconfirmed itself in the ex-communist regions in the Center and in the South.

Instead of it had done in the Chamber, Pole of Freedoms failed in winning a majority in the Senate. Although, the Berlusconi I Cabinet obtained a vote of confidence also in the Senate, thanks to the defection of four PPI senators (Vittorio Cecchi Gori, Stefano Cusumano, Luigi Grillo and Tomaso Zanoletti), who decided not to participate in the vote.

The vote of the Senators for life was not decisive, as three (Gianni Agnelli, Francesco Cossiga and Giovanni Leone) voted in favour of the government, three were absent (Carlo Bo, Norberto Bobbio and Amintore Fanfani) and five voted against (Giulio Andreotti, Francesco De Martino, Giovanni Spadolini and Paolo Emilio Taviani and Leo Valiani).

The Senate finally gave Berlusconi 159 votes in favour and 153 against.[11]

Close regions

Regions where coalition's margin of victory < 5% for the Chamber

  1. Molise, 1.5%
  2. Campania, 2.1%
  3. Lazio, 2.5%
  4. Liguria, 3.6%

Leaders' races

General Election 1994: Rome Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Pole of Freedoms Silvio Berlusconi 34,534 46.3
Alliance of Progressives Luigi Spaventa 29,914 40.1
Segni Pact Alberto Michelini 9,566 12.8
Independent Mirella Cece 593 0.8
Majority 4,620 6.2
Turnout 77,562 77.2
General Election 1994: Bologna West
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Alliance of Progressives Achille Occhetto 52,997 59.8
Pole of Freedoms Pier Ferdinando Casini 17,925 20.2
National Alliance Anselmo Ruocco 7,388 8.3
Segni Pact Maria Gualandi 7,133 8.0
Independent Oliviero Toscani 3,225 3.6
Majority 35,072 39.6
Turnout 91,571 95.0
General Election 1994: Sassari
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Pole of Freedoms Carmelo Porcu 30,623 36.1
Segni Pact Mariotto Segni 26,776 31.6
Alliance of Progressives Gavino Angius 17,570 20.7
Independent Giacomo Spissu 6,952 8.2
Independent Gavino Sale 1,185 1.4
Independent Giovanni Conoci 966 1.1
Independent Gianuario Pedoni 664 0.8
Majority 3,847 4.5
Turnout 89,504 86.0

Further reading

  • Carter, Nick (1998). Italy: The Demise of Post-War Partyocracy. Political Parties and the Collapse of the Old Orders. State University of New York Press. pp. 71-94.
  • Diamanti, Ilvo; Mannheimer, Renato, eds. (1994). Milano a Roma: guida all'Italia elettorale del 1994. Donzelli.
  • Parker, Simon (1996). Electoral reform and political change in Italy, 1991-1994. The New Italian Republic: From the Fall of the Berlin Wall to Berlusconi. Routledge. pp. 40-56.

References

  1. ^ "As Italy Votes, Golden Career Of Berlusconi Is at Crossroads". Wall Street Journal. 30 March 2006.
  2. ^ "Italian Election, The Prelude". The American. 1 April 2006. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved .
  3. ^ Griffin, Roger (1996). "The 'Post-Fascism' of the Alleanza Nazionale: A Case Study in Ideological Morphology". Journal of Political Ideologies. 1 (2): 123-145. doi:10.1080/13569319608420733. 'AN's ideological tap-root is still thrust deep into historical Fascism... retaining many Fascist core values
  4. ^ "Elezioni della Camera dei Deputati del 27 Marzo 1994" (in Italian). Italian Chamber of Deputies. Archived from the original on 2009-06-12.
  5. ^ Berlusconi scende in campo
  6. ^ I manifesti elettorali di Silvio Berlusconi dal 1994 ad oggi
  7. ^ Berlusconi contro Occhetto
  8. ^ Braccio di Ferro 1994
  9. ^ L'ultima scommessa di Segni
  10. ^ Biografia di Mariotto Segni - Treccani
  11. ^ Il Sole 24 Ore - Nel 1994 decisivi per Berlusconi tre senatori a vita.

Notes

  1. ^ The seats needed for majority take into account also the 11 life senators active at the time of the election.
  2. ^ Pole of Good Government only
  3. ^ Pole of Freedoms only
  4. ^ a b c Confederation with Forza Italia
  5. ^ Running with the Democratic Party of the Left
  6. ^ Running with the Italian Socialist Party
  7. ^ 6 out of the 30 MPs elected on the Forza Italia list were members of the Christian Democratic Centre.
  8. ^ Including 6 deputies of the Reformers, 4 deputies of the Union of the Centre (UdC) and 2 deputies of the Liberal Democratic Pole (PLD).
  9. ^ Emiddio Novi, elected in Campania for National Alliance, was member of Forza Italia, and he joined his party after the election.
  10. ^ Andrea Merlotti, elected in Lombardy for the Northern League, was member of Forza Italia, and he joined his party after the election.
  11. ^ Fabiano Crucianelli, elected in Latium for the PDS, was member of the Communist Refoundation Party, and he joined his party after the election.
  12. ^ Including 8 deputies of the Social Christians party.
  13. ^ Including 1 deputy of the Socialist Rebirth.
  14. ^ 6,570,468 votes for the Pole of Freedoms (in Northern Italy), 4,544,573 votes for the Pole of Good Government (in Southern Italy), 2,077,934 votes for National Alliance (in Northern Italy) and 149,965 votes for Forza Italia-CCD (in Abruzzo)
  15. ^ 19.87% of the votes for the Pole of Freedoms, 13.74% of the votes for the Pole of Good Government, 6.28% of the votes for National Alliance and 0.45% of the votes for Forza Italia-CCD
  16. ^ Including 2 senators of the Union of the Centre and 1 senator of the Reformers.
  17. ^ Including 6 senators of the Social Christians party.
  18. ^ Including 1 senator of the Socialist Rebirth.

External links



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