1994 Italian general election
All 630 seats in the Chamber of Deputies
315 seats in the Senate
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A new electoral system was introduced in these elections, after a referendum in 1993 which repealed the "supermajority clause" concerning Senate elections.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.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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
|Portrait||Name||Most recent position||Refs|
President of Forza Italia
Leader of the Segni Pact
At the election Berlusconi's coalition won a decisive victory over the progressive one, becoming the first centre-right alliance to win a general election in Italy since the end of the Second World War. The 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 also able to win in all provinces of Sicily, while in the South the National Alliance received more votes. The Alliance of Progressive confirmed its predominance in the "Red Belt" regions of central Italy, and in the South.
Chamber of Deputies
|Pole of Freedoms –
Pole of Good Government
|Forza Italia (FI)||8,136,135||21.01||30[f]||17,746,612||46.09||87||111[g]||New|
|Christian Democratic Centre (CCD)||21||27||New|
|National Alliance (AN)||5,214,133||13.47||23[h]||87||110||+75|
|Northern League (LN)||3,235,248||8.36||11[i]||107||118||+62|
|Alliance of Progressives||Democratic Party of the Left (PDS)||7,881,646||20.36||38[j]||12.632,680||32.81||87||125[k]||+17|
|Communist Refoundation Party (PRC)||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[l]||−77|
|The Network (LR)||719,841||1.86||0||8||8||−4|
|Democratic Alliance (AD)||456,114||1.18||0||16||16||New|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
Senate of the Republic
|Pole of Freedoms –
Pole of Good Government
|Northern League (LN)||13,342,940[m]||40.34[n]||128||28||60||+35|
|National Alliance (AN)||48||+32|
|Forza Italia (FI)||36[o]||New|
|Christian Democratic Centre (CCD)||12||New|
|Alliance of Progressives||Democratic Party of the Left (PDS)||10,881,320||32.90||96||26||76[p]||+12|
|Communist Refoundation Party (PRC)||18||−2|
|Italian Socialist Party (PSI)||9[q]||−40|
|Federation of the Greens (FdV)||7||+3|
|Democratic Alliance (AD)||6||New|
|The Network (LR)||6||+3|
|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|
|1994 Italian general election (C): Rome Centre|
|Silvio Berlusconi||Pole of Good Government||FI||34,354||46.29|
|Luigi Spaventa||Alliance of Progressives||PDS||29,914||40.10|
|Alberto Michelini||Pact for Italy||PS||9,566||12.82|
|Source: Ministry of the Interior|
|1994 Italian general election (C): Bologna – Borgo Panigale|
|Achille Occhetto||Alliance of Progressives||PDS||52,997||59.77|
|Pier Ferdinando Casini||Pole of Good Government||CCD||17,925||20.22|
|Maria Gualandi||Pact for Italy||PPI||7,133||8.04|
|Source: Ministry of the Interior|
|1994 Italian general election (C): Sassari|
|Carmelo Porcu||Pole of Good Government||AN||30,623||36.14|
|Mario Segni||Pact for Italy||PS||26,776||31.60|
|Gavino Angius||Alliance of Progressives||PDS||17,570||20.73|
|Source: Ministry of the Interior|
Contrary to its success in the Chamber, the Pole of Freedoms failed to win a majority in the Senate. Nevertheless, the Berlusconi I Cabinet obtained a vote of confidence also in the Senate, thanks to the abstention of four PPI senators (Vittorio Cecchi Gori, Stefano Cusumano, Luigi Grillo and Tomaso Zanoletti), who decided not to take part 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.
- 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.
- "As Italy Votes, Golden Career Of Berlusconi Is at Crossroads". Wall Street Journal. 30 March 2006.
- "Italian Election, The Prelude". The American. 1 April 2006. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
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
- "Elezioni della Camera dei Deputati del 27 Marzo 1994" (in Italian). Italian Chamber of Deputies. Archived from the original on 2009-06-12.
- Berlusconi scende in campo
- I manifesti elettorali di Silvio Berlusconi dal 1994 ad oggi
- Berlusconi contro Occhetto
- Braccio di Ferro 1994
- L'ultima scommessa di Segni
- Biografia di Mariotto Segni – Treccani
- Il Sole 24 Ore - Nel 1994 decisivi per Berlusconi tre senatori a vita
- Pole of Good Government only
- Pole of Freedoms only
- Confederation with Forza Italia
- Running with the Democratic Party of the Left
- Running with the Italian Socialist Party
- 6 out of the 30 MPs elected on the Forza Italia list were members of the Christian Democratic Centre.
- Including 6 deputies of the Reformers, 4 deputies of the Union of the Centre (UdC) and 2 deputies of the Liberal Democratic Pole (PLD).
- Emiddio Novi, elected in Campania for National Alliance, was member of Forza Italia, and he joined his party after the election.
- Andrea Merlotti, elected in Lombardy for the Northern League, was member of Forza Italia, and he joined his party after the election.
- Fabiano Crucianelli, elected in Latium for the PDS, was member of the Communist Refoundation Party, and he joined his party after the election.
- Including 8 deputies of the Social Christians party.
- Including 1 deputy of the Socialist Rebirth.
- 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)
- 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
- Including 2 senators of the Union of the Centre and 1 senator of the Reformers.
- Including 6 senators of the Social Christians party.
- Including 1 senator of the Socialist Rebirth.