Swiss federal election, 1917

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 1917. The Free Democratic Party retained its majority in the National Council.[1] They were the last elections held under the majoritarian system; following a referendum in 1918 in which two-thirds of voters voted for the introduction of proportional representation, the electoral system was changed and early elections held in 1919.

Electoral system

The 189 members of the National Council were elected in 49 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]


Voter turnout was highest in Schaffhausen (where voting was compulsory) at 86.8% and lowest in Uri at 23.4%.

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Free Democratic Party210,32340.8103–9
Social Democratic Party158,45030.820+2
Conservative People's Party84,78416.442+5
Liberal Democratic Party25,1884.912–4
Democratic Group16,8183.37+3
Party of Farmers, Traders and Independents19,4593.84+3
Other parties1+1
Invalid/blank votes32,630
Registered voters/turnout915,55259.8
Source: Mackie & Rose,[3] 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
  3. Thomas T Mackie & Richard Rose (1991) The International Almanac of Electoral History, Macmillan
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