Belgian general election, 1848

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Belgian general election, 1848

← 1847 13 June 1848 (1848-06-13) 1850 →

All 108 seats in the Chamber of Representatives
55 seats needed for a majority

  First party Second party
Party Liberal Catholic
Last election 55 seats 53 seats
Seats won 83 25
Seat change Increase28 Decrease28
State Coat of Arms of Belgium.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Foreign relations

Full general elections were held in Belgium on 13 June 1848.[1] They followed an equalisation of the tax qualifications for voters, which widened the franchise from 1.0% of the population to 1.8%.[2] Unlike the previous rules which had favoured Conservatives and Catholics (as the requirements were lower in the countryside),[2] this benefitted the Liberal Party and damaged the Catholics, who lost more than half their seats.[2][3]


The existing electoral law differentiated in tax requirements between cities and countryside; cities (where Liberals were stronger) had to pay higher taxes in order to vote, compared to the countryside (where Catholics were stronger).

The Liberal Party held its founding congress two years earlier, on 13 June 1846, where it approved a proposal to lower the tax requirements in order to expand suffrage. By 1848, in the context of the Revolutions of 1848, reform was unavoidable. On the proposal of Liberal head of government Charles Rogier, the Parliament approved the law of 12 March 1848, which equalised and lowered the tax requirements to its constitutional minimum.

The new law benefited the Liberals, leading them to victory in these elections. The Liberals would retain their dominant position for the most part until 1884.


One Chamber seat was uncontested, and won by the Liberal Party.[4]


Chamber of Representatives[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Liberal Party 30,806 59.5 83 +28
Catholics 13,122 29.6 25 –28
Others 383 0.9 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 8,644
Total 52,955 100 108 0
Registered voters/turnout 79,076 56.0
Sternberger et al., Mackie & Rose

The vote figures do not include the constituency of Oudenaarde.[4]


Party Votes % Seats +/–
Liberal Party 31 +11
Catholics 22 –10
Others 1 –1
Total 54 0
Sternberger et al.


  1. ^ Codebook Constituency-level Elections Archive, 2003
  2. ^ a b c Nohlen, Dieter; Stöver, Philip (31 May 2010). Elections in Europe: A data handbook. Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. pp. 271–271. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7. 
  3. ^ Sternberger, D, Vogel, B & Nohlen, D (1969) Die Wahl der Parlamente: Band I: Europa - Erster Halbband, p105
  4. ^ a b Thomas T Mackie & Richard Rose (1991) The International Almanac of Electoral History, Macmillan, p46