1936 French legislative election

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1936 French legislative election

← 1932 26 April and 3 May 1936 1945 →

All 610 seats to the Chamber of Deputies
306 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout9,847,266 (83.5%)
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  Léon Blum 1937.jpg Édouard Daladier.jpg Louis Marin.jpg
Leader Léon Blum Édouard Daladier Louis Marin
Leader's seat Narbonne Orange Meurthe-et-Moselle
Last election 132 seats 160 seats 59 seats
Seats won 149 110 100
Seat change Increase 17 Decrease 50 Increase 41
Popular vote 1,955,306 1,422,611 1,475,793
Percentage 19.86% 14.45% 15.2%
Swing Decrease 0.65% Decrease 4.73% Decrease 2.89%

  Fourth party Fifth party
  Pierre-Étienne Flandin 1935.jpg Thorez.jpg
Leader Pierre-Étienne Flandin (AD) Maurice Thorez
Leader's seat Yonne Seine
Last election 121 seats 10 seats
Seats won 82 72
Seat change Decrease 39 Increase 62
Popular vote 2,089,166 1,502,404
Percentage 21.33% 15.26%
Swing Decrease 1.89% Increase 6.94%

French Legislative election 1936.svg

Government before election

Albert Sarraut II
PRRRS (Republican coalition)

Elected Government

Léon Blum I
SFIO (Popular Front)

Political poster (1936) claiming that the Popular Front was under Soviet control.

French legislative elections to elect the 16th legislature of the French Third Republic were held on 26 April and 3 May 1936. This was the last legislature of the Third Republic and the last election before World War II. The number of candidates set a record, with 4,807 people vying for 618 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. In the Seine Department alone, there were 1,402 candidates.[1]

The Popular Front, composed of the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO), the Radical-Socialists, the French Section of the Communist International (SFIC), and miscellaneous leftists, won power from the broad Republican coalitions that had governed since the 6 February 1934 crisis. Léon Blum became president of the council. Broad Republican coalitions had governed since the 6 February 1934 crisis: Government Gaston Doumergue II (Union Nationale, 272 days), Government Flandin I (204 days), Government Bouisson (3 days) and Government Laval IV (229 days).

For the first time, the Radical-Socialists were eclipsed on the left by the SFIO, while still keeping a considerable role in French politics.

Regional results[edit]

  • The SFIC, predecessor of the Communist Party, doubled its score from 11 SFIC and 9 Union Ouvrière deputies in 1932 to 72 in 1936. The party made gains in industrialized suburbs and working-class areas of major cities. They also progressed in rural central and southwestern France (e.g., Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne)
  • The Radicals lost votes to the SFIO and SFIC, but also to the right.
  • The SFIO declined slightly. In working-class suburbs, the party declined, but it gained votes in Brittany, to the dismay of the right.
  • Only 174 seats were elected in the first round, 424 were decided in a run-off. The right fared better in the second round.


Popular Vote[edit]

Summary of the popular vote in the 26 April and 3 May 1936 Chamber of Deputies election results
Alliance Votes % Party Abbr. Votes %
  Popular Front 5,628,321 57.17 French Section of the Workers' International (Section française de l'Internationale ouvrière) SFIO 1,955,306 19.86
French Communist Party (Parti communiste français) PCF 1,502,404 15.26
Republican, Radical and Radical-Socialist Party (Parti républicain, radical et radical-socialiste) PRRRS 1,422,611 14.45
Miscellaneous Left (Divers gauche) DVG 748,600 7.60
  Right and Centre 4,202,298 42.68
Democratic Alliance (Alliance démocratique), Independent Radicals (Radicaux indépendents), Popular Democrats (Démocrates populaires) AD-RI-PDP 2,536,294 25.76
Republican Federation (Fédération républicaine), Independents, Conservatives FR 1,666,004 16.92
Other parties Div 16,047 0.16
Total 9,846,666 100
Abstention: 17.75%
Popular vote
Popular vote (alliances)
Popular Front
Right and Centre

Parliamentary Groups[edit]

Affiliation Party Seats
  French Communist Party (PCF) 72
  Party of Proletarian Unity (PUP) 6
  French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) 149
  Socialist Republican Union (USR) 29
  Republican, Radical and Radical-Socialist Party (PRRRS) 110
  Radical-Socialist Party Camille Pelletan (PRS-CP) 3
  Frontist Party 2
  Party of the Young Republic (PJR) 4
  Independent Left 11
  Democratic and Independent Radical Left 39
  Alliance of Left Republicans and Independent Radicals 43
  Independents of Popular Action 16
  Popular Democrats 13
  Independent Republicans of Social Action and Agrarian Group 40
  Republican Federation and Independents of the National and Republican Union 60
  Republican Independents 13
Total 610
% vote for the Front Populaire in 1936

[2] [3]


External links[edit]