Swiss federal election, 1857

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The 49 electoral districts

Federal elections were held in Switzerland on 28 October 1857. The Radical Left remained the largest group in the National Council, winning 80 of the 120 seats.[1]

Electoral system

The 120 members of the National Council were elected in 49 single- and multi-member constituencies; there was one seat for every 20,000 citizens, with seats allocated to cantons in proportion to their population.[2] The elections were held using a three-round system; candidates had to receive a majority in the first or second round to be elected; if it went to a third round, only a plurality was required. Voters could cast as many votes as there were seats in their constituency.[2] In six cantons (Appenzell Innerrhoden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Glarus, Nidwalden, Obwalden and Uri), National Council members were elected by the Landsgemeinde.

Compulsory voting was introduced in the Canton of Schaffhausen for the elections, with the canton seeing the highest turnout at 86.4% compared to the 46.5% figure nationally.


Party Votes % Seats +/–
Radical Left 60.4800
Catholic Right 16.820+6
Liberal Centre 15.915–1
Evangelical Right 4.35–1
Democratic Left 2.00–2
Independents 0.600
Registered voters/turnout526,69346.5
Source: BFS


  1. Elections to the National Council 1848–1917: Distribution of seats by party or political orientation BFS
  2. 1 2 Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1886 ISBN 9783832956097
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