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Electoral system


The rules for elections to the Chamber of Deputies are laid down in several laws that were consolidated in Presidential Decree 361 of 30 March 1957.

The Consolidated Text was amended by Law 165 of 3 November 2017, which introduced a mixed electoral system under which some seats are assigned to single-member constituencies that use a first-past-the post system of voting, and others to multi-member constituencies that use proportional representation.

The electoral system of the Chamber of Deputies is based on the following main elements:

- the national territory is divided into 27 regional or sub-regional constituencies, the Valle d'Aosta region constituting one single-member district;

- 3/8 of the seats to be allocated nationally are assigned in single-member districts, established within the constituencies, with the first-past-the-post system, in which the candidate with the most votes is declared elected;

- the remaining seats - i.e. 5/8 of those to be allocated nationally - are distributed by proportional representation using the method of whole quotients and highest remainders;

- the initial stage of the distribution of seats takes place at a national level: at first among the lists and coalitions of lists that have exceeded the relevant thresholds; subsequently - within each coalition - among the lists above the threshold. Once the number of seats to be assigned to coalitions and lists at the national level has been determined, the proportional distribution of those seats is carried out within the constituencies, similarly to what happens at the national level: first among individual lists and coalitions, and then among the lists belonging to each coalition. The number of seats to be assigned to each list in each constituency is thus determined; seats are then assigned in multi-member districts in proportion to the votes obtained by the said lists in those districts;

- a 10 percent threshold of the valid votes at the national level applies to coalitions, in order to have access to the distribution of seats; for lists, whether self-standing or belonging to a coalition, the threshold is 3 per cent (specific provisions apply to lists representing linguistic minorities);

- each voter has a single vote, valid for the election of both the single-member district candidate and the multi-member district candidate;

- in each multi-member district, the candidates included in the district list are declared elected according to the order in which they were presented, within the limits of the number of seats to which each list is entitled;

- respect for gender balance is ensured by specific provisions: candidates in multi-member districts must be presented, in each list, in alternating order by gender; moreover, neither gender may exceed 60 per cent, nationally, of the candidates presented by lists and coalitions of lists in single-member districts and by lists in multi-member districts,

Law No. 52/2015 allows citizens who are temporarily abroad for study, work or medical treatment to vote by correspondence in the Overseas Constituency; likewise, voters belonging to the armed forces and law enforcement agencies engaged in international missions can vote by correspondence according to procedures jointly agreed by the relevant Ministers.

For more details

Go to the previous electoral legislation