European Parliament election, 2004 (Italy)

Italian election of European Parliament, 2004
13 June 2004

78 seats to the European Parliament
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Romano Prodi Silvio Berlusconi Gianfranco Fini
Party The Olive Tree Forza Italia National Alliance
Leader since 14 February 2004 26 January 1994 6 July 1991
Last election 32.6% 25.2%
Seats before 28 22 8
Seats won 24 16 9
Seat change Decrease4 Decrease6 Increase1
Popular vote 10,105,836 6,806,245 3,736,606
Percentage 31.1% 20.9% 11.5%
Swing Decrease1.5% Decrease4.3%

Major parties in each Province

Elections to the European Parliament were held in Italy on 12 and 13 June 2004.

Italy's highly fragmented party system made it hard to identify an overall trend, but the results were generally seen as a defeat for Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and a victory for the centre-left opposition coalition identified with Romano Prodi, who was President of the European Commission until 2004, and was widely expected to re-enter Italian politics at the next election.

The common list of The Olive Tree, comprising mainly the Democrats of the Left and Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy became the largest list, with an important psychological effect. However, expectations for this list were originally somewhat larger, and Massimo D'Alema had proclaimed that "If the unity list reaches 33%, the government has to go".

While the Olive Tree's performance was not as phenomenal as it had hoped, the test indicated a somewhat reduced support for the centre-right coalition. However, in European elections, Italians tend to vote in a more candidate-oriented way, giving their vote more easily to a candidate outside their usual party; this generally reduces the significance of these elections.

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.


Party European group Main candidate Votes % +/– Seats +/–
The Olive Tree
Lilli Gruber 10,105,836 31.08 1.53 Decrease 24
Forza Italia EPP-ED Silvio Berlusconi 6,806,245 20.93 4.23 Decrease 16 6 Decrease
National Alliance UEN Gianfranco Fini 3,736,606 11.49 9 1 Increase
Communist Refoundation Party GUE/NGL Fausto Bertinotti 1,969,776 6.06 1.79 Increase 5 1 Increase
Union of Christian and Centre Democrats EPP-ED Salvatore Cuffaro 1,914,726 5.89 1.14 Increase 5 1 Increase
Lega Nord IND/DEM Umberto Bossi 1,613,506 4.96 0.48 Increase 4 0 Steady
Federation of the Greens Greens/EFA Sepp Kusstatscher 803,356 2.47 0.71 Increase 2 0 Steady
Party of Italian Communists GUE/NGL Oliviero Diliberto 787,613 2.42 0.42 Increase 2 0 Steady
Bonino List ALDE Emma Bonino 731,536 2.25 6.20 Decrease 2 5 Decrease
Italy of Values ALDE Antonio Di Pietro 695,179 2.14 New 2 New
United Socialists for Europe NI Gianni De Michelis 664,463 2.04 New 2 New
Popular Alliance – UDEUR EPP-ED Clemente Mastella 419,173 1.29 0.32 Increase 1 0 Steady
Social Alternative NI Alessandra Mussolini 400,626 1.23

1 New
Pensioners' Party EPP-ED Carlo Fatuzzo 374,343 1.15 0.40 Increase 1 0 Steady
Tricolour Flame NI Luca Romagnoli 237,058 0.73 0.87 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Italian Republican PartyThe Liberals-Sgarbi
233,144 0.72 0 1 Decrease
Segni-Scognamiglio Pact None 172,556 0.53 0 1 Decrease
Lombard Autonomy LeagueVeneto Front LeagueSardinian Action PartyUnion for South Tyrol None 160,101 0.49 0 0 Steady
Consumers' List None 160,066 0.49 New 0 New
Abolizione Scorporo (Greens GreensFederalist Greens) None 158,988 0.49 New 0 New
South Tyrolean People's Party[1] EPP-ED Michl Ebner 146,357 0.45 0.05 Decrease 1 0 Steady
New Country None 78,003 0.24 New 0 New
No Euro None 70,220 0.22 New 0 New
Social Idea Movement None 47,171 0.15 New 0 New
Federalism (Valdostan Union – others)[2] None 29,598 0.09 0.04 Decrease 0 0 Steady
Valid votes 32.516.246 91.04
Blank and Invalid votes 3,201,256 8.96
Totals 35,717,655 100.00 78
Electorate and voter turnout 49,804,087 71.72
Source: Ministry of the Interior
Popular vote


The five constituencies for European elections

Seats are allocated to party lists on a national basis using an electoral quota, with the residue given to the lists with the largest excess over whole quotas. An electoral quota is then calculated for each list and used to allocate seats to each list in each of the five electoral regions.

Electoral RegionAdministrative RegionsSeats
North-WestAosta Valley, Liguria, Lombardy, Piedmont23
North-EastEmilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Veneto15
CentralLatium, Marche, Tuscany, Umbria16
SouthernAbruzzo, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise17
IslandsSardinia, Sicily7


  1. List connected with The Olive Tree
  2. List connected with The Olive Tree

See also

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