Italian general election, 1987

Italian general election, 1987

14 June 1987

All 630 seats in the Italian Chamber of Deputies
315 (of the 323) seats in the Italian Senate
Turnout 88.8%

  First party Second party Third party
 
Leader Ciriaco De Mita Alessandro Natta Bettino Craxi
Party Christian Democracy Communist Party Socialist Party
Leader since 1982 1984 1976
Leader's seat XXIV - Eastern Campania III - Ligury III - Milan
Seats won 234 C / 125 S 177 C / 101 S 94 C / 36 S
Seat change 9 C / 5 S 21 C / 6 S 21 C / 2 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 1.4% C
1.2% S
3.3% C
2.5% S
2.9% C
0.5% S

Election results maps for the Chamber of Deputies (on the left) and for the Senate (on the right). Light Blue denotes provinces with a Christian Democratic plurality, Red denotes those with a Communist plurality, Gray denotes those with an Autonomist plurality.

PM before election

Amintore Fanfani
Christian Democracy

Elected PM

Giovanni Goria
Christian Democracy

General elections were held in Italy on 14 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, and this fact 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 North 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

Party Ideology Leader
Christian Democracy (DC) Christian democracy Ciriaco De Mita
Italian Communist Party (PCI) Communism Alessandro Natta
Italian Socialist Party (PSI) Social democracy Bettino Craxi
Italian Social Movement (MSI) Neo-fascism Giorgio Almirante
Italian Republican Party (PRI) Social liberalism Giorgio La Malfa
Italian Democratic Socialist Party (PSDI) Social democracy Franco Nicolazzi
Radical Party (PR) Radicalism Marco Pannella
Green Lists (LV) Green politics Gianni Mattioli
Italian Liberal Party (PLI) Conservative liberalism Renato Altissimo
Proletarian Democracy (DP) Communism Mario Capanna

Results

Chamber of Deputies

Summary of the 14 June 1987 Chamber of Deputies election results
Party Votes % Seats +/−
Christian Democracy13,233,62034.31234+9
Italian Communist Party10,250,64426.58177−21
Italian Socialist Party5,501,69614.2694+21
Italian Social Movement2,281,1265.9135−7
Italian Republican Party1,428,6633.7021−8
Italian Democratic Socialist Party1,140,2092.9617−6
Radical Party987,7202.5613+2
Green List969,2182.5113New
Italian Liberal Party809,9462.1011−5
Proletarian Democracy641,9011.668+1
Liga VenetaUnited Pensioners298,4020.770±0
South Tyrolean People's Party202,0220.523±0
Lega Lombarda186,2550.481New
Sardinian Action Party169,9780.442+1
Piedmont Regional Autonomy72,0640.190New
Piedmont61,7010.160New
Hunting, Fishing, Environment55,9770.140New
Aosta Valley41,7070.111±0
Others238,2720.630±0
Invalid/blank votes2,015,065
Total40,586,573100630±0
Registered voters/turnout45,692,41788.83
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%
LV
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%
LV
2.06%
PLI
1.75%
DP
1.27%
Others
1.11%

Senate of the Republic

Summary of the 14 June 1987 Senate of the Republic election results
Party Votes % Seats +/−
Christian Democracy10,897,03633.62125+5
Italian Communist Party9,181,57928.33101−6
Italian Socialist Party3,535,45710.9136−2
Italian Social Movement2,121,0266.5416−2
Italian Republican Party1,248,6413.858−2
PSIPSDIPR962,2152.979±0
Italian Democratic Socialist Party764,3702.365−3
Italian Liberal Party700,3302.163–3
Green List634,1821.961New
Radical Party572,4611.773+2
Proletarian Democracy493,6671.521+1
Liga VenetaUnited Pensioners298,5520.920−1
South Tyrolean People's Party171,5390.532−1
Lega Lombarda137,2760.421New
Sardinian Action Party124,2660.381±0
Secular-Socialist Alliance84,8830.261New
Piedmont Regional Autonomy60,7420.190New
PSIPSDIPRGreens58,5010.181±0
Pensioners Popular Alliance51,7900.160New
Piedmont51,3400.160New
Molisean Democratic Alliance49,2970.150New
Hunting, Fishing, Environment41,1350.130New
Aosta Valley35,8300.111±0
Others137,7460.430±0
Invalid/blank votes2,007,369
Total34,421,230100315±0
Registered voters/turnout38,951,48588.37
Source: Ministry of the Interior
Popular vote
DC
33.62%
PCI
28.33%
PSI
10.91%
MSI
6.54%
PRI
3.85%
PSIPSDIPR
2.97%
PSDI
2.36%
PLI
2.16%
LV
1.96%
PR
1.77%
DP
1.52%
Others
3.62%
Seats
DC
39.68%
PCI
32.06%
PSI
11.43%
MSI
5.08%
PSIPSDIPR
2.86%
PRI
2.54%
PSDI
1.59%
PLI
0.95%
PR
0.95%
LV
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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