1946 Argentine general election

The Argentine general election of 1946, the last for which only men were enfranchised, was held on 24 February. Voters chose both the President and their legislators and with a turnout of 83.4%, it produced the following results:

1946 Argentine general election

24 February 1946 (1946-02-24)
Candidate Juan Perón José Tamborini
Party Labour Party Radical Civic Union
Alliance Democratic Union
Home state Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Running mate Hortensio Quijano Enrique Mosca
Electoral vote 299 66
States carried 10 + CF 4
Popular vote 1.487.866 1,207,080
Percentage 52.84% 42.87%

Most voted party by province.

President of Argentina before election

Edelmiro Julián Farrell

Elected President

Juan Perón
Labour Party


Party/Electoral Alliance Votes Percentage Electoral
Labour Party 1,487,866 52.8% 299
Democratic Union (Alliance of the Radical Civic Union (UCR), Socialist Party, conservatives and Communist Party) 1,207,080 42.9% 66
National Democratic Party 43,499 1.5%
Others 77,307 2.7%
Positive votes 2,855,192 99.2% 365
Blank and nullified votes 23,735 0.8% 11 a
Total votes 2,878,927 100.0% 376


Argentine Chamber of Deputies

Party/Electoral Alliance Seats % of votes
Labour Party 101 43.7%
Radical Civic Union (UCR) 44 27.6%
Democratic Union (allied to the UCR) 5 13.9%
Others 8 14.8%
Total 158 100.0%



Conservative rule, maintained through electoral fraud despite a moderate record, was brought to an end in a June 1943 coup d'état. Barking "orders of the day" every morning on the radio, the new regime enjoyed little approval. The devastating 1944 San Juan earthquake presented an opportunity to regain lost goodwill and the regime moved quickly, involving the private sector through nationwide fund-raising, entrusted to the Labor Minister, Juan Perón. Perón enlisted celebrities for the effort, among which was a radio matinee star of middling talent, Eva Duarte, who introduced herself to the Labor Minister by remarking that "nothing's missing, except a touch of Atkinson's". The effort's success and the rise of his ally, Edelmiro Farrell, within the junta, led to Perón's appointment as vice-president, which he leveraged in support of Argentina's struggling labor unions, particularly the CGT.

Perón's sudden clout led to growing rivalry among his junta colleagues, who had him arrested on October 9, a surprise move outdone by CGT leaders like retail workers' leader Ángel Borlenghi, the slaughterhouses' Cipriano Reyes and Eva Duarte, herself. Organizing a mass (and, at times, violent) demonstration for his release on the Plaza de Mayo, their October 17, 1945, mobilization marked a turning point in Argentine history: the creation of the Peronist movement. Capitulating to the political winds, the junta bestowed presidential powers on Perón, who initiated his program of mass nationalizations of institutions such as the universities and Central Bank. Calling elections for February 1946, Perón's opposition hastily arranged an alliance, the Democratic Union. Many in the centrist Radical Civic Union were steadfastly opposed to this ad hoc union with conservatives and the left, an intrinsic burden compounded by a white paper scathingly critical of Perón released by the U.S. Ambassador, Spruille Braden. The report, accusing Perón of fascist ties, allowed him to marginalize the Democratic Union (and their distinguished, though disastrously-named nominees, José Tamborini and Enrique Mosca – the "tambourine and the fly"). He quickly reframed the argument as one between "Perón or Braden", making this his rallying cry and winning the 1946 elections handily.

Candidates for President


  1. Nohlen, Dieter. Elections in the Americas. Oxford University Press, 2005.

Online references

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