1917 Russian Constituent Assembly election
Tauride Palace where the assembly convened.
1917 Nov 25

1917 Russian Constituent Assembly election


Elections to the Russian Constituent Assembly were held on 25 November 1917, although some districts had polling on alternate days, around two months after they were originally meant to occur, having been organized as a result of events in the February Revolution. They are generally recognised to be the first free elections in Russian history.

Various academic studies have given alternative results. However, all clearly indicate that the Bolsheviks were clear winners in the urban centres, and also took around two-thirds of the votes of soldiers on the Western Front. Nevertheless, the Socialist-Revolutionary party topped the polls, winning a plurality of seats (no party won a majority) on the strength of support from the country's rural peasantry, who were for the most part one-issue voters, that issue being land reform.

The elections, however, did not produce a democratically-elected government. The Constituent Assembly only met for a single day the following January before being dissolved by the Bolsheviks. All opposition parties were ultimately banned, and the Bolsheviks ruled the country as a one-party state.