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French legislative election, 1936

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Title: French legislative election, 1936  
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Subject: François Mitterrand, List of Prime Ministers of France, French Communist Party, Popular Front (France), Marcel Déat, Rhine Province, Popular Front (Senegal), French Social Party, Xavier Vallat, Democratic Republican Alliance
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French legislative election, 1936

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French legislative elections to elect the 16th legislature of the French Third Republic were held on 26 April and 3 May 1936. This was the last legislature of the Third Republic and the last election before the Second World War. The number of candidates set a record, with 4,807 people vying for 618 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. In the Seine Department alone, there were 1,402 candidates.[1]

The Popular Front, composed of the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO), the Radical-Socialists, the French Section of the Communist International (SFIC), and miscellaneous leftists, won power. Léon Blum became President of the Council.

For the first time, the Radical-Socialists were eclipsed on the left by the SFIO, while still keeping a considerable role in French politics.

Regional results

  • The SFIC, predecessor of the Communist Party, doubled its score from 11 SFIC and 9 Union Ouvrière deputies in 1932 to 72 in 1936. The party made gains in industrialized suburbs and working-class areas of major cities. They also progressed in rural central and southwestern France (e.g., Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne)
  • The Radicals lost votes to the SFIO and SFIC, but also to the right.
  • The SFIO declined slightly. In working-class suburbs, the party declined, but it gained votes in Brittany, to the dismay of the right.
  • Only 174 seats were elected in the first round, 424 were decided in a run-off. The right fared better in the second round.


Popular Vote[2]

e • d Summary of the popular vote in the April 26 and May 3, 1936 Chamber of Deputies election results
Alliance Votes % Party Abbr. Votes %
  Popular Front 5,628,321 57.17 French Section of the Workers' International (Section française de l'Internationale ouvrière) SFIO 1,955,306 19.86
French Communist Party (Parti communiste français) PCF 1,502,404 15.26
Republican, Radical and Radical-Socialist Party (Parti républicain, radical et radical-socialiste) PRRRS 1,422,611 14.45
Miscellaneous Left (Divers gauche) DVG 748,600 7.60
  Right and Centre 4,202,298 42.68
Democratic Alliance (Alliance démocratique), Independent Radicals (Radicaux indépendents), Popular Democrats (Démocrates populaires) AD-RI-PDP 2,536,294 25.76
Republican Federation (Fédération républicaine) FR 1,666,004 16.92
Other parties Div 16,047 0.16
Total 9,846,666 100
Abstention: 17.75%

Parliamentary Groups[3]

Affiliation Party Seats
  French Communist Party (PCF) 72
  Party of Proletarian Unity (PUP) 6
  French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) 149
  Socialist Republican Union (USR) 29
  Republican, Radical and Radical-Socialist Party (PRRRS) 110
  Radical-Socialist Party Camille Pelletan (PRS-CP) 3
  Frontist Party 2
  Party of the Young Republic (PJR) 4
  Independent Left 11
  Democratic and Independent Radical Left 39
  Alliance of Left Republicans and Independent Radicals 43
  Independents of Popular Action 16
  Popular Democrats 13
  Independent Republicans of Social Action and Agrarian Group 40
  Republican Federation and Independents of the National and Republican Union 60
  Republican Independents 13
Total 610


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