1979 European Parliament election in Italy
The first elections for the European Parliament in Italy were held on 10 June 1979.
All 81 Italian seats in the European Parliament
European election results map. Red denotes those with a Communist plurality, White denotes provinces with a Christian Democratic plurality, Gray denotes those with an Autonomist plurality.
A week before Italy had voted for its general election: the lack of matching between the two elections caused much controversy for wasting public money.
The pure party-list proportional representation was the traditional electoral system of the Italian Republic since its foundation in 1946, so it was naturally adopted to elect the Italian representatives to the European Parliament. Two levels were used: a national level to divide seats between parties, and a constituency level to distribute them between candidates. Italian regions were united in 5 constituencies, each electing a group of deputies. At national level, seats were divided between party lists using the largest remainder method with Hare quota. All seats gained by each party were automatically distributed to their local open lists and their most voted candidates.
This election taking place just a week after the general election, it obviously gave a similar result. However, the minor importance of the European ballot caused a lower turnout, which particularly punished the two major parties, the Christian Democracy and the Italian Communist Party. The small Italian Liberal Party had a breath of fresh air from this vote, doubling its percentage compared to seven days before.
|National party||EP group||Main candidate||Votes||%||+/–||Seats||+/–|
|Christian Democracy (DC)||EPP||Emilio Colombo||12,774,320||36.45||—||29||—|
|Italian Communist Party (PCI)||COM||Enrico Berlinguer||10,361,344||29.57||—||24||—|
|Italian Socialist Party (PSI)||SOC||Bettino Craxi||3,866,946||11.03||—||9||—|
|Italian Social Movement (MSI)||NI||Giorgio Almirante||1,909,055||5.45||—||4||—|
|Italian Democratic Socialist Party (PSDI)||SOC||Antonio Cariglia||1,514,272||4.32||—||4||—|
|Radical Party (PR)||TGI||Marco Pannella||1,285,065||3.67||—||3||—|
|Italian Liberal Party (PLI)||LD||Enzo Bettiza||1,271,159||3.63||—||3||—|
|Italian Republican Party (PRI)||LD||Susanna Agnelli||896,139||2.56||—||2||—|
|Proletarian Unity Party (PdUP)||TGI||Luciana Castellina||406,656||1.16||—||1||—|
|Proletarian Democracy (DP)||TGI||Mario Capanna||252,342||0.72||—||1||—|
|South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP)||EPP||Joachim Dalsass||196,373||0.56||—||1||—|
|Federalism (Valdostan Union–Others)||None||166,393||0.47||—||0||—|
|National Democracy (DN)||None||142,537||0.41||—||0||—|
|Blank and invalid votes||1,105,579||3.06|
|Electorate (eligible voters) and voter turnout||42,203,405||85.65||—|
|Source: Italian Ministry of the Interior|