Davide Tabor

The people at the urns. An analysis of electoral behaviour in Turin between the end of the 19th century and the Great War

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This article deals with the relation between political organizations and their social bases. There is still much to be explored on this subject as historiography has thus far privileged the analysis of leaders and their ideas. In order to interpret the relation between parties and society, reference has often been made to the traditional «class» paradigm according to which people's political choices basically derive from their social and professional condition. Through a study of the elections and electoral body of Turin in the late Liberal regime, this essay shows how the effect of campaigning depended on the capacity of political parties to interpret a specific context and to interact with the whole range of identities present. The strength of a political message and its penetration could vary as a function of political parties' capacity to identify a combination of identities linked not only to work, but also to geographical origins, family background, possible migration, generation, gender and age.

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