Swiss federal election, 1890

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The 52 electoral districts

Federal elections were held in Switzerland on 26 October 1890. The Radical Left narrowly retained its majority in the National Council.[1]

Electoral system

The 147 members of the National Council were elected in 52 single- and multi-member constituencies 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] There was one seat for every 20,000 citizens, with seats allocated to cantons in proportion to their population.[2]

The elections were held under the new Federal law concerning the elections of National Council members passed on 20 June 1890. Following the 1888 census (which had been brought forward from 1890 in order to redraw the constituencies prior to the elections) the number of seats was increased from 145 to 147, whilst the number of constituencies was increased from 49 to 52; Basel-Stadt, St. Gallen and Zürich all gained one seat, whilst Ticino lost a seat.


Voter turnout was highest in Schaffhausen (where voting was compulsory) at 94.3% and lowest in Schwyz at 35.6%.

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Radical Left 40.974+1
Catholic Right 25.6350
Liberal Centre 15.720+1
Democratic Group 10.415+1
Social Democratic Party 3.61+1
Evangelical Right 2.42–2
Independents 1.400
Registered voters/turnout664,14462.5
Source: BFS (seats)


  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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