2001 Italian general election

A national general election was held in Italy on 13 May 2001 to elect members of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic. The 14th Parliament of the Italian republic was chosen.

2001 Italian general election

 1996 13 May 2001 2006 

All 630 seats in the Chamber of Deputies
315 seats in the Senate
Leader Silvio Berlusconi Francesco Rutelli
Alliance House of Freedoms The Olive Tree
Leader's seat Milan Centre Rome Praenestine
Seats won 368 C / 176 S 241 C / 128 S
Seat change 96 C / 33 S 82 C / 29 S
Coalition vote 18,398,246 C
14,406,519 S
13,023,651 C
13,106,860 S
Percentage 49.6% (C)
42.5% (S)
35.1% (C)
38.7% (S)

Results of the single-member constituencies in the Chamber of Deputies (left) and Senate (right).

Prime Minister before election

Giuliano Amato
The Olive Tree

Appointed Prime Minister

Silvio Berlusconi
House of Freedoms

The election was won by the centre-right coalition House of Freedoms led by Silvio Berlusconi, defeating Francesco Rutelli, former Mayor of Rome, and Prime Ministerial candidate of the centre-left coalition The Olive Tree, and rising back to power after Berlusconi's first victory, in the 1994 general election.

Electoral system

The intricate electoral system, called scorporo, provided 75% of the seats on the Chamber of Deputies (the Lower House) as elected by first-past-the-post system, whereas the remaining 25% was assigned on a proportional way with a minimum threshold of 4%.

The method used for the Senate was even more complicated: 75% of seats by uninominal method, and 25% by a special proportional method that assigned the remaining seats to minority parties. Formally, these were examples of additional member systems.

General election


For this election Berlusconi again ran as leader of the centre-right coalition the House of Freedoms (Italian: La Casa delle Libertà), which included the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats, the Northern League, the National Alliance and other parties.

On the television interviews programme Porta a Porta, during the last days of the electoral campaign, Berlusconi created a powerful impression on the public by undertaking to sign a so-called Contratto con gli Italiani (English: Contract with the Italians), an idea copied outright by his advisor Luigi Crespi from the Newt Gingrich's Contract with America introduced six weeks before the 1994 US Congressional election,[1] which was widely considered to be a creative masterstroke in his 2001 campaign bid for prime ministership. In this solemn agreement, Berlusconi claimed his commitment on improving several aspects of the Italian economy and life. Firstly, he undertook to simplify the complex tax system by introducing just two tax rates (33% for those earning over 100,000 euros, and 23% for anyone earning less than that figure: anyone earning less than 11,000 euros a year would not be taxed); secondly, he promised to halve the unemployment rate; thirdly, he undertook to finance and develop a massive new public works programme. Fourthly, he promised to raise the minimum monthly pension rate to 516 euros; and fifthly, he would suppress the crime wave by introducing police officers to patrol all local zones and areas in Italy's major cities.[2] Berlusconi undertook to refrain from putting himself up for re-election in 2006 if he failed to honour at least four of these five promises.

Main coalitions and parties

Coalition Party Main ideology Leader
House of Freedoms Forza Italia (FI) Liberal conservatism Silvio Berlusconi
National Alliance (AN) National conservatism Gianfranco Fini
Northern League (LN) Regionalism Umberto Bossi
White Flower (CCDCDU) Christian democracy Pier Ferdinando Casini
New Italian Socialist Party (NPSI) Social liberalism Gianni De Michelis
Italian Republican Party (PRI) Liberalism Giorgio La Malfa
Tricolour Flame (FT) Neo-fascism Pino Rauti
The Olive Tree Democrats of the Left (DS) Social democracy Massimo D'Alema
Democracy is Freedom (DL) Social liberalism Francesco Rutelli
The Sunflower (FdVSDI) Eco-socialism Enrico Boselli
Party of Italian Communists (PdCI) Communism Oliviero Diliberto
South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) Regionalism Luis Durnwalder
Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) Communism Fausto Bertinotti
Italy of Values (IdV) Anti-corruption politics Antonio Di Pietro
European Democracy (DE) Christian democracy Sergio D'Antoni
Bonino List (LB) Libertarianism Emma Bonino

Coalitions' leaders

Portrait Name Most recent position Refs
Silvio Berlusconi
(1936– )

Other positions
Francesco Rutelli
(1954– )
Mayor of Rome

Other positions
Fausto Bertinotti
(1940– )
Secretary of the Communist
Refoundation Party


Other positions
Antonio Di Pietro
(1950– )

Other positions
Sergio D'Antoni
(1946– )

Other positions
  • None
Emma Bonino
(1948– )

Other positions


Chamber of Deputies

Overall results
Summary of the 13 May 2001 Chamber of Deputies election results
Coalition Party Proportional First-past-the-post Total
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
House of Freedoms Forza Italia (FI)10,923,43129.436216,915,51345.57132194[15]+71
National Alliance (AN)4,463,20512.02247599+6
Northern League (LN)1,464,3013.9403030−29
White Flower (CCDCDU)1,194,0403.2204040+10
New Italian Socialist Party (NPSI)353,2690.95033New
Sardinian Reformers (RS)N/AN/A011+1
New Sicily (NS)N/AN/A011New
Total seats86282368
The Olive Tree Democrats of the Left (DS)6,151,15416.573116,019,38843.15105136−36
Democracy is Freedom (DL)5,391,82714.52275683−12
The Sunflower (FdVSDI)805,3402.1701717
Party of Italian Communists (PdCI)620,8591.6701010New
South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP)200,0590.54033±0
With Illy for Trieste78,2840.21011New
Aosta Valley (VdA)N/AN/A025,5770.0711±0
Total seats58192251
Communist Refoundation Party (PRC)1,868,6595.0311N/AN/A011−24

In 2001 the proportional list exhausted before all the deputies - which the winning party was entitled to - were declared elected.[16]

Party Votes % Seats
Forza Italia (FI) 10,923,431 29.43 62
Democrats of the Left (DS) 6,151,154 16.57 31
Democracy is Freedom (DL) 5,391,827 14.52 27
National Alliance (AN) 4,463,205 12.02 24
Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) 1,868,659 5.03 11
Northern League (LN) 1,464,301 3.94 0
Italy of Values (IdV) 1,443,725 3.89 0
White Flower (CCDCDU) 1,194,040 3.22 0
European Democracy (DE) 888,269 2.39 0
Bonino List (LB) 832,213 2.24 0
The Sunflower (FdVSDI) 805,340 2.17 0
Party of Italian Communists (PdCI) 620,859 1.67 0
New Italian Socialist Party (NPSI) 353,269 0.95 0
South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) 200,059 0.54 0
Tricolour Flame (FT) 143,963 0.39 0
Venetian Front League (LFV) 74,353 0.20 0
Pensioners' Party (PP) 68,349 0.18 0
Sardinian Action PartySardinia Nation (PSd'Az–SN) 34,412 0.09 0
New Country 34,193 0.09 0
Abolizione Scorporo 26,917 0.07 0
Southern Action League (LAM) 23,779 0.06 0
National Social Front (FSN) 22,985 0.06 0
Greens Greens (VV) 18,262 0.05 0
New Force (FN) 13,622 0.04 0
Amadu List 11,517 0.03 0
European Republicans Movement (MRE) 7,997 0.02 0
We Sicilians (NS) 7,637 0.02 0
Movement of Freedoms 6,754 0.02 0
Free and Strong 6,722 0.02 0
Autonomist Socialists 6,492 0.02 0
It's enough! 6,332 0.02 0
Communism 5,244 0.01 0
Third Pole for Autonomy 2,915 0.01 0
Total 37,122,776 100.00 155
Invalid/blank/unassigned votes2,962,621
Registered voters/turnout49,256,29581.38
Source: Ministry of the Interior
Popular vote (Proportional)
Parties and coalitions Votes % Seats
House of Freedoms (CdL) 16,915,513 45.57 282
The Olive Tree (Ulivo) 16,019,388 43.15 183
Italy of Values (IdV) 1,487,287 4.01 0
European Democracy (DE) 1,310,119 3.53 0
Bonino List (LB) 457,117 1.23 0
South Tyrolean People's PartyThe Olive Tree (SVP–Ulivo) 190,556 0.51 5
South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) 173,735 0.47 3
Venetian Front League (LFV) 173,618 0.47 0
Tricolour Flame (FT) 121,527 0.33 0
With Illy for Trieste 78,284 0.21 1
La Bassa in Parliament 26,151 0.07 0
Aosta Valley (VdA) 25,577 0.07 1
Autonomist Socialists 24,341 0.07 0
Democrats of the Left (Aosta Valley) 20,452 0.06 0
Southern Action League (LAM) 19,366 0.05 0
Buonanno 19,046 0.05 0
National Social Front (FSN) 16,202 0.04 0
Forza Italia – Northern League (Aosta Valley) 16,049 0.04 0
European Republicans Movement (MRE) 15,600 0.04 0
European Populars 13,447 0.04 0
Greens Greens (VV) 13,220 0.04 0
Amadu List 12,233 0.03 0
New Italian Socialist Party (NPSI) 9,663 0.03 0
Movement of Freedoms 9,006 0.02 0
Camonica Valley – It's enough! 8,257 0.02 0
People's List 8,091 0.02 0
Communism 6,777 0.02 0
Alternative List 6,612 0.02 0
New Force (FN) 6,294 0.02 0
We Sicilians 6,121 0.02 0
National Alliance (Aosta Valley) 4,464 0.01 0
Third Pole for Autonomy 3,491 0.01 0
Upper Milanese People 1,409 0.00 0
Total 37,259,705 100.00 475
Popular vote (First-past-the-post)
Olive Tree

Senate of the Republic

Summary of the 13 May 2001 Senate of the Republic election results
Coalition Party First-past-the-post Proportional
Votes % Seats
House of Freedoms Forza Italia (FI)16,915,51345.571522482+40
National Alliance (AN)45+2
White Flower (CCDCDU)29+4
Northern League (LN)17−10
Italian Republican Party (PRI)1+1
New Italian Socialist Party (NPSI)1New
Tricolour Flame (FT)[17]1±0
Total seats176
The Olive Tree[18] Democrats of the Left (DS)13,408,672[19]39.59[20]745164−38
Democracy is Freedom (DL)43−5
Federation of the Greens (FdV)8−6
Italian Democratic Socialists (SDI)6
South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP)3+1
Party of Italian Communists (PdCI)2New
Independent candidates4
Total seats130
Communist Refoundation Party (PRC)1,708,7075.04044−6
European Democracy (DE)1,066,9083.15022New
Italy of Values (IdV)1,140,4893.37011New
League for Autonomy – Lombard League (LAL)308,5590.91011+1
Tricolour Flame (FT)340,2211.00000
Bonino List (LB)677,7252.00000−1
Venetian Front League (LFV)138,1340.41000New
Va' pensiero Padania119,0580.35000New
National Social Front (FSN)98,1320.29000New
Autonomist Socialists – European Democracy (SA–DE)79,0020.23000New
Pensioners' Party (PP)39,5450.12000±0
New Force (FN)78,5720.23000New
Greens Greens (VV)35,7430.11000±0
Sardinian Action PartySardinia Nation (PSd'Az–SN)32,8220.10000−1
Aosta Valley (VdA)32,4290.10011±0
Filograna List for Salento21,8570.06000New
We Sicilians (NS)20,7610.06000±0
Southern Action League (LAM)19,9140.06000±0
It's enough!19,9130.06000New
Liberal Popular Party10,3010.03000New
Amadu List9,2030.03000New
Alternative List7,7040.02000New
Forza Chiappetta6,9320.02000New
Die Freiheitlichen (dF)5,3540.02000
Franco Greco List4,2840.01000New
Movement of Freedoms4,0230.01000New
Renato Fiorelli2,9240.01000New
Third Pole for Autonomy2,3920.01000New
Giuseppe Boscolo1,0580.00000New
Independent Parliamentarian9930.00000New
Justice and Progress9500.00000New
Grand Ducal Tuscany6250.00000New
Italian Constitutional Party (PACI)1750.00000New
Popular vote
Olive Tree


Results for the Chamber of Deputies (left) and Senate of the Republic (right) in single-member constituencies. The color corresponds to the party that won more votes in that area. Blue represents the House of Freedoms, red The Olive Tree, and turquois the Aosta Valley coalition.

Leaders' races

2001 Italian general election (C): Milan Centre
Candidate Coalition Party Votes %
Silvio Berlusconi House of Freedoms FI 42,098 53.66
Gianni Rivera The Olive Tree Dem 28,651 36.52
Benedetto Della Vedova LB 4,874 6.21
Adriano Ciccioni IdV 2,835 3.61
Total 78,458 100.0
Turnout 81,412 80.39
Centre-right hold
Source: Ministry of the Interior
2001 Italian general election (C): Rome – Praenestine
Candidate Coalition Party Votes %
Francesco Rutelli The Olive Tree DL 36,457 56.73
Elio Vito House of Freedoms FI 25,463 39.62
Pietro Tagliatesta IdV 2,348 3.65
Total 64,268 100.0
Turnout 66,479 77.44
Centre-left hold
Source: Ministry of the Interior


  1. Gingrich, Newt; Armey, Dick (1994). Contract With America: The Bold Plan.
  2. Ricolfi, Luca (2005). Dossier Italia: a che punto è il 'contratto con gli italiani. Il mulino.
  3. I manifesti elettorali di Silvio Berlusconi dal 1994 ad oggi
  4. Berlusconi: il contratto del 2001
  5. Rutelli ammette la sconfitta. "Ora opposizione dura"
  6. Politiche 2001: manifestazione di chiusura della campagna elettorale per il nord Italia con Francesco Rutelli
  7. Rutelli non convince Bertinotti. "Da soli alle elezioni"
  8. Elezioni, Bertinotti: "Non ci sarà desistenza con l'Ulivo"
  9. Elezioni 2001, navigando tra i siti della politica
  10. Ministero dell'Interno – Archivio Storico Elezioni
  11. Sergio D'Antoni – Enciclopedia Treccani
  12. Il centrodestra dilaga in Sicilia: 61 collegi su 61
  13. Radicali nelle istituzioni
  14. Emma Bonino – Biografia
  15. Including one deputy of the Italian Republican Party
  16. Buonomo, Giampiero (2001). "Cercansi candidati per 14 seggi. La speranza della (lista) civetta". Diritto&Giustizia Edizione Online. Archived from the original on 2016-03-24. Retrieved 2016-03-21.
  17. Tricolour Flame made electoral agreements with the House of Freedoms in some constituencies in Sicily
  18. Including the results of SVP and SVP–Olive Tree
  19. 13,106,860 votes for The Olive Tree, 175,635 votes for the SVP–Olive Tree and 126,177 votes for the SVP
  20. 38.70% of the votes for The Olive Tree, 0.52% of the votes for the SVP–Olive Tree and 0.37% of the votes for the SVP