1928 Argentine general election

The Argentine general election of 1928 was held on 1 April, with a turnout of 80.9%.

1928 Argentine general election

1 April 1928
Nominee Hipólito Yrigoyen Leopoldo Melo
Party Radical Civic Union Antipersonalista Radical Civic Union
Home state Buenos Aires Entre Rios
Running mate Francisco Beiró
(Died before taking office, replaced by Enrique Martínez)
Vicente Gallo
Electoral vote 245 71
States carried 13 + CF 1
Popular vote 839.140 365,080
Percentage 61.6% 26.8%

Most voted party by province.

President before election

Marcelo T. de Alvear

Elected President

Hipólito Yrigoyen


Former President Hipólito Yrigoyen's differences with his successor and erstwhile ally, Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear, persuaded him to campaign for the presidency again. Doing so meant overcoming a host of obstacles, however: his "Antipersonalist" opposition within the UCR, though divided, eroded his allies' majority in Congress from 91 seats (out of 158) to 72 in 1924 and 60 in 1926,[1] and he himself was 78 and in declining health.

These developments encouraged not only the Antipersonalists, but also conservatives, who united behind Julio A. Roca's Rightist Confederation. The Governor of the important Córdoba Province, Roca was the son of General Julio Roca, who had dominated the country politically between 1880 and 1906 and, in the minds of their supporters, recalled a certain nostagia for the pastoral Argentina of the time. President Alvear's Antipersonalist UCR nominated the leader of the 1924 dissension that created the movement, Senator Leopoldo Melo. Melo underscored the conservative bent of his campaign by naming Senator Vicente Gallo as his running mate; Gallo was a founding member of the paramilitary Argentine Patriotic League, and had resigned as President Alvear's Interior Minister after unsuccessfully lobbying to have a pro-Yrigoyen governor removed.[2]

The Socialists, who vied for the majority in the Buenos Aires City Legislature (but had little following elsewhere), themselves balked at the possibility of victory in 1928 and split during their 1927 convention over Senator Juan B. Justo's intransigent leadership of the party. Senator Justo died suddenly in January 1928, and the party presented two tickets: the Authentic Socialists, led by Congressman Mario Bravo and running only in the City of Buenos Aires, and the more conservative Independent Socialists, led Justo's running-mate, former University of La Plata Director José Nicolás Matienzo.[3]

Election night was a referendum on the charismatic Yrigoyen, as well as on the largely positive memories voters had of 1916—22 term. Yrigoyen had further built on this sentiment by focusing debate in the closing days of the campaign on the future of YPF, thereby presenting himself as its best defense against the oil concern's chief antagonist, Standard Oil. His ticket swept the polls, recovering the majority it enjoyed in the Lower House in the early 1920s (with 53 of 79 seats at stake), and winning 5 of 10 contested Senate seats. His faction won majorities in all major districts: the City of Buenos Aires, and in Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Santa Fe Provinces (the latter two had been in opposition hands since 1920 and 1918, respectively). Mendoza Province, which remained in the reformist former Governor Carlos Washington Lencinas' Dissident UCR column, continued to be denied its two Senators by the body, itself.[4]

Bravo's Authentic Socialists lost to Matienzo's splinter ticket (though only an endorsement by San Juan Governor Federico Cantoni gave the latter 3 electoral votes).[3] Roca's Unified Front, which lost in their home province of Córdoba, had endorsed the Antipersonalist UCR Melo-Gallo ticket, and pledged their 20 electors to the latter in a symbolic alliance. Minor and provincial parties, for their part, opted instead to abstain from casting most of their combined 84 electoral votes, thereby creating the largest such deficit in the history of the Argentine Electoral College (abolished in 1994 by the constitutional convention held that year). Yrigoyen's running mate, Francisco Beiró, died before taking office, and Córdoba Governor Enrique Martínez was elected to the post by the electoral college.[5] Yrigoyen was sworn in on October 12, 1928.



Party/Electoral Alliance Votes Percentage Electoral
Radical Civic Union (UCR) 839,140 61.7% 245
Antipersonalist UCR a 155,371 11.4% 71
Unified Front a 89,249 6.4%
Conservative a 73,048 5.4%
Socialist Party 65,660 4.5%
Unified UCR a
(Santa Fe Province)
47,412 3.5%
Independent Socialist Party 6,001 0.4% 3
Others 84,468 6.2%
Positive votes 1,360,349 93.1% 319
blank or nullified votes 101,256 6.9% 57 b
Total votes 1,461,605 100.0% 376

a) Parties nominating the Leopoldo Melo-Vicente Gallo ticket. b) Abstentions.


Argentine Chamber of Deputies

Party/Electoral Alliance Seats Change % of votes
UCR 92 32 61.7%
Conservative 14 1 5.4%
Unified UCR
(Santa Fe Province)
9 7 3.5%
Independent Socialist 6 6 4.8%
(Corrientes Province)
6 1 2.0%
Antipersonalist UCR 5 2 9.9%
Authentic Socialist
(Buenos Aires)
4 15 ~
Lencinist UCR 2 = 1.5%
UCR Bloc
(San Juan Province)
1 1 1.2%
Unified Front 1 1 6.4%
Others 18 3.6%
Invalid votes 6.9%
Total 158 100.0%


Argentine Senate

Party/Electoral Alliance New Seats Total
UCR 5 8
Antipersonalist UCR 1 8
Provincial Union
(Salta Province)
0 2
Socialist 0 1
Liberal Party of San Luis 0 2
Liberal Party of Corrientes 2 2
Autonomist Party of Corrientes 0 1
Democratic Party
(Córdoba Province)
0 1
Popular Concentration
(Santiago del Estero Province)
0 1
Liberal Party of Tucumán 0 1
Seats left vacant 4 *
Total 10 30


(*): Barred by the Senate for political reasons; seats vacant until 1931.


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