1898 Belgian general election

← 1896 22 May 1898 1900 →

75 of the 152 seats in the Chamber of Representatives
  First party Second party
  Paul de Smet de Naeyer.jpg No image.png
Leader Paul de Smet de Naeyer Grégoire Serwy
Party Catholic Labour
Leader since Candidate for PM 1893
Seats before 108 seats 27 seats
Seats won 36 15
Seats after 108 15
Seat change Steady Decrease 12
Popular vote 377,275 213,511
Percentage 38.49% 21.78%

  Third party Fourth party
  No image.png No image.png
Leader N/A
Party Liberal LSK
Leader since N/A
Seats before 11 seats 4 seats
Seats won 12 8
Seats after 13 12
Seat change Increase 2 Increase 8
Popular vote 177,802 91,947
Percentage 18.14% 9.38%

Government before election

de Smet de Naeyer I

Elected Government

de Smet de Naeyer I

Paul de Smet de Naeyer, re-elected representative for Ghent and incumbent head of government

Partial legislative elections were held in Belgium on 22 May 1898, with run-off elections held on 29 May.[1] Under the alternating system, elections for the Chamber of Representatives were held in only four out of the nine provinces: Hainaut, Limburg, Liège and East Flanders. Thus, only 75 seats out of the 152 seats in the Chamber of Representatives were up for election. The Catholic Party retained their absolute majority.[2]

Notably, Adolf Daens, who was elected in 1894 for Aalst and served one term, was convinced not to run for re-election. His fight for a social Christian Democratic party was opposed by conservative Catholics, especially fellow Aalst MP Charles Woeste. None of the other "Daensists" (Christene Volkspartij) who ran were elected.

A special election in Bastogne was held on 24 July 1898. Henry Delvaux de Fenffe (d) was elected to replace Emile Van Hoorde (d), who became provincial senator.

They were the last regular legislative elections under a majority system; the next elections in 1900 saw the introduction of a proportional system.

The newly elected legislature met in regular session on 8 November 1898.


Chamber of Representatives

Party Votes % Seats won Total seats +/–
Catholic Party 377,275 38.49 36 108 0
Belgian Labour Party 213,511 21.78 15 15 –12
Liberal Party 177,802 18.14 12 13 +2
Liberal-Socialist Kartels 91,947 9.38 8 12 +8
Christian Democratic Party 22,962 2.34 1 1 0
Gauche Liberal Kartels 17,724 1.81 1 1 +1
Other parties 78,926 8.05 2 2 +1
Invalid/blank votes 0 -
Total 980,147 100 75 152 0
Source: Belgian Elections


Party Votes % Seats
Catholic Party 147,160 51.5
Liberal Party 134,437 47.0
Other parties 4,202 1.5
Invalid/blank votes
Total 285,799 100
Source: Nohlen & Stöver


Province Arrondissement Chamber Won by
Limburg Hasselt 3 Catholic hold (unopposed re-election)
Maaseik 1 Catholic hold
Tongeren 2 Catholic hold
East Flanders Aalst 4 Catholic hold
Oudenaarde 3 Catholic hold
Gent 9 Catholic hold
Eeklo 1 Catholic hold (unopposed re-election)
Dendermonde 3 Catholic hold
Sint-Niklaas 4 Catholic hold
Hainaut Tournai 4 Catholic hold
Ath 2 Liberal gain from Catholic
Charleroi 8 Socialist hold
Thuin 3 Socialist gain (from 1 Catholic, 1 liberal and 1 socialist)
Mons 6 Socialist hold
Soignies 3 Socialist hold
Liège Huy 2 1 liberal hold, 1 socialist gain from liberal
Waremme 2 Catholic hold
Liège 11 Socialist (6) and liberal (5) hold
Verviers 4 Catholic gain from socialist

Liberals gained two seats from Catholics in Ath, socialists gained a seat from Catholics and a seat from liberals in Thuin, socialists gained a seat from liberals in Huy and Catholics gained four seats from socialists in Verviers, resulting in a total of one seat changing from socialists to Catholics.


  1. ^ Nohlen, Dieter; Stöver, Philip (31 May 2010). Elections in Europe: A data handbook. Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. p. 289. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7.
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p307

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