ITALY
Parliamentary Chamber: Senato della Repubblica

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1992

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Chamber:
  Senato della Repubblica


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  5 April 1992
6 April 1992


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the elective seats in Parliament following the dissolution of this body on 2 February 1992. Previous general elections had taken place in June 1987.


Background and outcome of elections:

  President of the Republic Francesco Cossiga announced the dissolution of Parliament on 2 February 1992 - approximately two months earlier than constitutionally due and following the longest uninterrupted parliamentary term in years, which observers credited to a large extent to the political skills of Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti (Christian Democratic Party - DC). The election dates were set the same day.

The four-party (DC, Socialist Unity Party (PSU), Social Democrat Party (PSDI) and Liberal Party (PLI) governing coalition was primarily challenged by the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS - the former Communist Party), led by Mr. Achille Occhetto, as well as by its offshoot, the newly founded Communist Refoundation Party (PRC). Also in the running were a number of regional parties, especially the Northern (Lombardy) League, which focused its campaign on attacking the political establishment and calling for more local autonomy. The ruling coalition countered by warning that political chaos would result if it were not backed. Altogether 9742 candidates and 50 different parties or groupings vied for the Chamber of Deputies’ 630 seats.

Following a generally lackluster campaign, polling results created what some qualified as an “earthquake”. The DC-PSU-PSDI-PLI alliance secured less than 50% of the total vote for the Chamber and narrowly retained its majority in the Senate. The centrist DC - which had experienced internal dissent - remained the largest single party but its share of the vote fell to an all-time low. On the contrary, the populist Northern League, led by Senator Umberto Bossi, emerged as the biggest gainer. This generally inconclusive result suggested an increasingly fragmented political scene, with many groups represented in Parliament and a further decline in support for long-standing parties of the left and right.

Prime Minister Andreotti announced his resignation on April 24, the day after the convening of the new legislature. Formation of a new Government took months. Prime Minister Giuliano Amato (PSU) heads the new Council of Ministers, which was sworn in on 28 June and comprises the same four coalition partners as before.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (April 1992): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 41,030,820
Voters 35,623,605 (86.82%)
Valid votes 33,328,581

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Christian Democratic Party 9,088,494 27.3
Democratic Party of the Left (PDS)* 5,682,888 17.1
Socialist Unity Party (PSU)** 4,523,873 13.6
Northern (Lombardy) League 2,732,461 8.2
Communist Refoundation Party (PRC)*** 2,171,950 6.5
Italian Social Movement - National Right (MSI-DN) 2,171,215 6.5
Republican Party (PRI) 1,565,142 4.7
Greens 1,027,303 3.1
Liberal Party (PLI) 939,159 2.8
Social Democrat Party (PSDI) 853,895 2.6
La Rete*** 239,868 0.7
Others 2,332,443 7.0

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Christian Democratic Party 107 -18
Democratic Party of the Left (PDS)* 64 -37
Socialist Unity Party (PSU)** 49 +13
Northern (Lombardy) League 25 +24
Communist Refoundation Party (PRC)*** 20 +20
Italian Social Movement - National Right (MSI-DN) 16 =
Republican Party (PRI) 10 +2
Greens 4 +3
Liberal Party (PLI) 4 +1
Social Democrat Party (PSDI) 3 -2
La Rete*** 3 +3
Others 10 -9

Comments:
    Elected Senators only.
* Communist Party (PCI) at previous (1987) general elections.
** Former Socialist Party (PSI), renamed in 1990.
*** New party.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 295
Women: 31


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Copyright 1992 Inter-Parliamentary Union