1984 European Parliament election in Italy

The second elections for the European Parliament in Italy were held on 17 June 1984.

European Parliament election in Italy, 1984

 1979 17 June 1984 1989 

All 81 Italian seats to the European Parliament
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Alessandro Natta Ciriaco De Mita Bettino Craxi
Party Communist Party Christian Democracy Socialist Party
Alliance COM EPP SOC
Leader since 1984 1982 1976
Leader's seat Northwest Italy Southern Italy Northwest Italy
Last election 24 seats, 29.6% 29 seats, 36.5% 9 seats, 11.0%
Seats won 27 26 9
Seat change 3 3
Popular vote 11,714,428 11,583,767 3,940,445
Percentage 33.3% 33.0% 11.2%
Swing 3.7% 3.5% 0.2%

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.

The election took place just a week after the death of Communist leader Enrico Berlinguer: this fact greatly influenced the vote, producing a historical result.

Electoral system

The pure party-list proportional representation was the traditional electoral system of the Italian Republic since its foundation in 1946, so it had been adopted to elect the Italian representatives to the European Parliament too. 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.


The public emotion caused by Berlinguer's death resulted in an extraordinary strength for the PCI: for the first time in Western Europe since the French election of 1956, and for the first time ever in Italian history, a Communist party received a plurality by a democratic vote.

However, in opposition, this result reinforced the moderate government ruling the country: the Socialist Party of Prime Minister Bettino Craxi had maintained its vote, and its major ally, the defeated Christian Democracy, did not want to take any chances of a political crisis that could lead to dangerous general election.

Summary of the 17 June 1984 European Parliament election results in Italy
National party EP group Main candidate Votes  % +/– Seats +/–
Italian Communist Party (PCI) COM Enrico Berlinguer 11,714,428 33.33 3.76 27 3
Christian Democracy (DC) EPP Ciriaco De Mita 11,583,767 32.96 3.49 26 3
Italian Socialist Party (PSI) SOC Carlo Tognoli 3,940,445 11.21 0.18 9 0
Italian Social Movement (MSI) ER Giorgio Almirante 2,274,556 6.47 1.02 5 1
Italian Liberal PartyItalian Republican Party (PLI–PRI) LD Sergio Pininfarina 2,140,501 6.09 2.46 5 2
Italian Democratic Socialist Party (PSDI) SOC Giovanni Moroni 1,225,462 3.49 0.83 3 1
Radical Party (PR) NI Enzo Tortora 1,199,876 3.67 0.26 3 0
Proletarian Democracy (DP) RBW Emilio Molinari 506,753 1.44 0.72 1 0
South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) EPP Joachim Dalsass 198,220 0.56 0 1 0
Federalism (UVPSd'Az–Others) RBW Michele Columbu 193,430 0.55 0.08 1 1
Venetian League (ŁV) None 164,115 0.47 0 0
Valid votes 35,141,553 94.80
Blank and invalid votes 1,928,073 5.20
Totals 37,069,626 100.00 81
Electorate (eligible voters) and voter turnout 44,948,253 82.47 2.91
Source: Italian Ministry of the Interior
Popular vote

See also