Argentine general election, 1922

Argentine general election, 1922
2 April 1922

Nominee Marcelo T. de Alvear Norberto Piñero
Party Radical Civic Union National Concentration
Home state Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Running mate Elpidio González Rafael Núñez
Electoral vote 235 66
Popular vote 406.304 123.691
Percentage 49.0% 14.9%

President before election

Hipólito Yrigoyen
Radical Civic Union

Elected President

Marcelo T. de Alvear
Radical Civic Union

The Argentine general election of 1922 was held on 2 April. With a turnout of 55.2%, it produced the following official results:


Party/Electoral Alliance Votes Percentage Electoral
Radical Civic Union (UCR) 406,304 49.1% 235
National Concentration 64,942 7.8% 60
Democratic Progressive Party 63,147 7.7% 10
Socialist Party 54,813 6.6% 22
Dissident UCR parties (6) 58,749 7.1% 6
Others 180,196 21.7% 3
Positive votes 828,151 94.5% 336
blank or nullified votes 48,203 5.5% 40 a
Total votes 876,354 100.0% 376



Argentine Chamber of Deputies

Party/Electoral Alliance Seats Change % of votes
UCR 91 Increase7 49.1%
Democratic Progressive 14 Decrease5 7.6%
Conservative 14 = 7.5%
Socialist 10 = 6.6%
(Corrientes Province)
3 = 2.8%
Dissident UCR 3 = 5.4%
Provincial Union
(Salta Province)
3 = 2.0%
National Concentration 2 Increase2 7.8%
Others 11 5.7%
Invalid votes 7a 5.5%
Total 158 100.0%


Notes: a) seats left vacant.

Argentine Senate

Party/Electoral Alliance New Seats Total
UCR 4 15 *
Dissident UCR 3 3
Provincial Union
(Salta Province)
0 2
Liberal Party of San Luis 0 2
Autonomist Party of Corrientes 1 1
Conservative 0 1
Socialist 0 1
Popular Concentration
(Santiago del Estero Province)
0 1
Republican Party of Jujuy 1 0 *
Civic Concentration
(San Juan Province)
0 2
Seats left vacant 3
Total 10 30

[2] (*): Seat left vacant until April 1923 or later.


Hipólito Yrigoyen's presidency, the first elected via the universal ballot was marked by massive contradictions. One of the founders in 1891 of Argentina's first successful pluralist party, the Radical Civic Union (UCR), Yrigoyen filled 5 of his 8 cabinet positions with conservatives from the party that had monopolized power since 1874, the National Autonomists. He expounded on the virtues of "true suffrage," but removed 18 willful governors - including 4 of the UCR's own.[3] He mediated numerous labor conflicts; but proved unable to control police and military brutality against striking workers. The resulting wave of violence was compounded by the creation of the paramilitary Argentine Patriotic League by a reactionary faction in the Argentine upper class, while Yrigoyen (and the courts) remained largely silent on these developments. Over two thousand strikers perished - some burned alive in silos.[4]

Still, he advanced an array of reforms, including the country's first meaningful pension, collective bargaining and land reform laws, as well as expanded access to higher education and the creation of the first significant State enterprise (the oil concern, YPF). Argentina's economy rebounded strongly from World War I-related shortages of goods and credit, and Yrigoyen's vigorous labor policy helped translate this into record living standards.[5]

Striking Santa Cruz Province sheep ranch workers, prior to their illegal execution in 1921. Yrigoyen's unwillingness to prosecute these abuses did not prevent his UCR from a second, landslide victory amid an economic boom.

Yrigoyen prepared to leave office, though not the reins of power; beset by growing rivalries within the UCR itself, he turned to one of the co-founders of the UCR: the Ambassador to France, Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear. The scion of one of Argentina's traditional landed families, the well-mannered Alvear placated Yrigoyen's fears of losing control over his Radical Civic Union, a risk Yrigoyen insured himself against by placing his personal friend and former Buenos Aires Police Chief Elpidio González as Alvear's running mate.[6] The conservative opposition in Congress that had dogged Yrigoyen early in his tenure had largely been overcome by 1920 through a string of electoral victories. The Senate, however, which was indirectly elected at the time, firmly entrenched in conservative hands only by a series of removal decrees that left 9 vacancies by 1922.[7]

Most other important parties followed suit and, rather than put forth their paramount figures as candidates, they fell back on backbenchers with a reformist bent. Conservatives formed an alliance, the National Concentration, but did not nominate their most prominent figure, former Buenos Aires Province Governor Marcelino Ugarte. They instead nominated instead a respected reformer, criminal law attorney, named Norberto Piñero. Piñero had helped a needed overhaul of Argentina's penal code in 1890, a record his backers hoped could, in voters' minds, separate the hastily formed National Concentration from its ties to the violent Argentine Patriotic League.[4] An increasingly respected Lisandro de la Torre who had been unable to promote his Democratic Progressive Party into an effective centrist alternative to the UCR, chose former Education Minister Dr. Carlos Ibarguren as the nominee. Argentine Socialists, led by Senator Juan B. Justo, nominated one of his closest collaborators, and, a leader in Argentina's cooperative movement, the respected Deputy Nicolás Repetto.[6]

The abbreviated campaign resulted in another, landslide victory for the UCR. The party retained the Presidency overwhelmingly, and won 53 of the 82 Congressional seats at stake, losing only in two provinces controlled by provincial parties, and two controlled by dissident UCR groups; the only Senate race, that of the City of Buenos Aires, was again won by the UCR, as well, and the party ended with 15 of 27 sitting Senators (protracted vacancies excluded). Ambassador Alvear, for his part, did not campaign at all - receiving news for the April 2 results precisely where he received President Yrigoyen's phone call offering him the nomination: in the Argentine Ambassador's residence in Paris.[6]


  1. 1 2 Nohlen, Dieter. Elections in the Americas. Oxford University Press, 2005.
  2. Senado de la Nación: Histórico de Senadores (Spanish)
  3. Intervenciones federales durante la primera presidencia de Hipólito Yrigoyen (Spanish)
  4. 1 2 Rock, David. Authoritarian Argentina. University Press of California, 1992.
  5. Todo Argentina: Yrigoyen (Spanish)
  6. 1 2 3 Todo Argentina: 1922 (Spanish)
  7. Luna, Félix. Yrigoyen, el templario de la libertad. Buenos Aires: Raigal, 1954.
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