1918 Swiss referendums

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Two referendums were held in Switzerland during 1918.[1] The first was held on 2 June on introducing a direct federal tax, and was rejected by a majority of voters and cantons.[1] The second was held on 13 October 1918 on introducing proportional representation for National Council elections, and was approved by a majority of voters and cantons.[1] As a result, proportional representation was introduced in the 1919 elections.[2]


Both referendums were popular initiatives,[1] which required a double majority; a majority of the popular vote and majority of the cantons.[3] The decision of each canton was based on the vote in that canton.[3] Full cantons counted as one vote, whilst half cantons counted as half.[3]


Federal tax

Choice Popular vote Cantons
Votes % Full Half Total
For 276,735 45.9 6 3 7.5
Against 325,814 54.1 13 3 14.5
Blank votes 4,332
Invalid votes 5,290
Total 612,171 100 19 6 22
Registered voters/turnout 936,096 65.4
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

Proportional representation

Choice Popular vote Cantons
Votes % Full Half Total
For 299,550 66.8 17 5 19.5
Against 149,035 33.2 2 1 2.5
Blank votes 8,892
Invalid votes 5,825
Total 463,304 100 19 6 22
Registered voters/turnout 936,336 49.5
Source: Nohlen & Stöver


  1. ^ a b c d Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1907 ISBN 9783832956097
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p1886
  3. ^ a b c Nohlen & Stöver, p1891
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