Argentine general election, 1931

Argentine general election, 1931
8 November 1931

Nominee Agustín P. Justo Lisandro de la Torre
Party National Democratic Party Democratic Progressive Party
Alliance Concordance Civi Alliance
Home state Entre Ríos Buenos Aires
Running mate Julio Argentino Pascual Roca Nicolás Repetto
Electoral vote 237 122
Popular vote 607.765 436.125
Percentage 43.2% 31.0%

President before election

José F. Uriburu

Elected President

Agustín P. Justo
National Democratic Party

The Argentine presidential election of 1931 was held on 8 November. With a turnout of 73.4%, it produced the following official results:

Party/Electoral Alliance Votes Percentage Electoral
National Democratic Party
Lista Única
Liberal Party of Corrientes-Antipersonalist UCR alliance
Concordance 607,765 43.2% 237
Alianza Civíl
(Socialist-Democratic Progressive Party alliance)
436,125 31.0% 122
Radical Civic Union (unofficial tickets) 156,904 11.2% 12
Others 203,981 14.6%
Valid votes 1,404,775 90.4% 371
blank or nullified votes 149,662 9.6% 5 a
Total votes 1,554,437 100.0% 376



Argentine Chamber of Deputies

Party/Electoral Alliance Seats Change % of votes
National Democratic
58 Increase58 43.2%
Democratic Progressive Party
Civil Alliance 57 31.0%
Antipersonalist UCR 17 Increase14 4.0%
Independent Socialist
11 Decrease4 6.2%
(Corrientes Province)
5 Increase1 1.9%
Unified UCR 4 = 1.9%
UCR Bloc
(San Juan Province)
2 = 1.3%
Others 4 10.5%
Invalid votes 9.7%
Total 158 100.0%


Argentine Senate

Party/Electoral Alliance New Seats Total
National Democratic 5 12
Antipersonalist UCR 1 5
Unified UCR
(Santiago del Estero Province)
0 2
Socialist 0 2
Autonomist Party of Corrientes 1 2
Popular Party of Jujuy 1 2
UCR Bloc
(San Juan Province)
1 2
Democratic Progressive 0 2
Provincial Defense
(Tucumán Province)
1 1
Total 10 30



Following months of protest triggered in part by the onset of the great depression, a quiet coup d'état deposed the aging Hipólito Yrigoyen in September 1930. His country's first leader elected via universal suffrage (though without the participation of women), Yrigoyen had strained alliances within his own centrist Radical Civic Union (UCR) through frequent interventions against willful governors and had set business powerhouses such as Standard Oil against him through his support of YPF, the state oil concern founded in 1922.[4] Staging its first coup since 1861, the Argentine military, then dominated by conservative, rural interests, called on José Félix Uriburu, a retired general and member of the Supreme War Council, to assume the role of Provisional President. Uriburu, the nephew of former President José Evaristo Uriburu, had no taste for politics and was in ailing health.[5]

He nevertheless set down an ambitious agenda, entrusting his Interior Minister, Matías Sánchez Sorondo, to replace the 1912 Sáenz Peña Law (which provided for universal male suffrage and the secret ballot) with one promoting a single, ruling party not unlike the one that kept the landowner-oriented National Autonomist Party (PAN) in power from 1874 to 1916. Aligning themselves beind the relatively moderate National Democratic Party, conservatives were defeated in gubernatorial polls in the paramount Province of Buenos Aires in April 1931. The results not only raised hopes for the centrist, urban-oriented UCR, it also persuaded Uriburu that Sanchez Sorondo's "electoral reform" would not keep conservatives in power, in and of itself.

The UCR turned to Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear for leadership ahead of the November 1931 elections. The scion of one of Argentina's traditional landed families and President from 1922 to 1928, Alvear's alliance with Yrigoyen soured as he challenged the latter's personality cult (hence his creation of a splinter, "Antipersonalist" UCR). The seasoned Alvear, however, took care to assuage the still-popular Yrigoyen's objections by naming former Salta Province Governor Adolfo Güemes (a staunch Yrigoyen supporter) as his running mate.[2]

Concordance candidate Agustín Justo (left) and his benefactor, dictator José Félix Uriburu.

Facing a recovered and nearly-unified UCR, President Uriburu dispensed with his previous pledge to restore constitutional order and annulled the Buenos Aires Province elections. He also promoted the Argentine Civic Legion, an armed fascist organization entrusted to intimidate the opposition.[6] Alvear's establishment of a Renewal Junta helped lead to a violent July 20 clash with Uriburu's forces in Corrientes Province, which gave the President the pretext for ordering Alvear's deportation, a few days later. Deprived of their candidate, the UCR boycotted the 1931 election, though party committees in a number of provinces participated in the November polls.[5]

The support of UCR Senator Leopoldo Melo (the leader of the anti-Yrigoyen faction of the party) and Uriburu for retired General Agustín Justo as candidate resulted in the Concordance. This new, conservative alliance heeded Uriburu's sage advice during their nominating convention, sidestepping imposing landowners in favor of Justo, who had been President Alvear's War Minister in the 1920s, They picked former Córdoba Governor Julio Roca as his running mate; Roca, the son of the late PAN leader, Julio A. Roca, had led the Democratic Party of Córdoba.[5]

A National Democratic Party ballot.

The Democratic Progressive Party (PDP), known for its anti-corruption platform, nominated Senator Lisandro de la Torre, who also earned the endorsement of the Socialist Party of Argentina, a party in search of leadership following the passing of Juan B. Justo, in 1928. The alliance alienated conservatives in the PDP, however, who instead endorsed the aging Francisco A. Barroetaveña, a former Senator who ran on a UCR ticket limited to his Entre Ríos Province. Barroetaveña, who helped found the UCR in 1890, broke with Yrigoyen during the 1920s and hoped to rally the exiled Alvear's supporters behind him.

Ultimately, voter intimidation and widespread irregularities helped give the National Democratic-led Concordance a sizable victory on election night. The electoral college, however, which counted the conservatives' ad hoc Lista Única (Unified List) separately, was far more closely divided: 135 for Justo, 124 for de la Torre, and 117 for the numerous UCR tickets who defied Alvear's boycott (including Barroetaveña's). As most of these splinter UCR tickets were led by conservative figures opposed to the muck-raking Senator de la Torre, their pledge of most of their 117 electors handed Justo the Presidency.[2]


  1. 1 2 Nohlen, Dieter. Elections in the Americas. Oxford University Press, 2005.
  2. 1 2 3 Todo Argentina: Fraude Patriotico (Spanish)
  3. Senado de la Nación: Histórico de Senadores (Spanish)
  4. Todo Argentina: Yrigoyen (Spanish)
  5. 1 2 3 Todo Argentina: Uriburu (Spanish)
  6. Rock, David. Authoritarian Argentina. University of California Press, 1993.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 2/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.