1953 West German federal election

← 1949 6 September 1953 (1953-09-06) 1957 →

All 487 seats in the Bundestag[a]
244 seats needed for a majority
Registered33,120,940 Increase 6.1%
Turnout28,479,550 (86.0%) Increase 7.5pp
  First party Second party Third party
 
Candidate Konrad Adenauer Erich Ollenhauer Franz Blücher
Party CDU/CSU SPD FDP
Last election 31.0%, 139 seats 29.2%, 131 seats 11.9%, 52 seats
Seats won 243[c] 151[d] 48[b]
Seat change Increase 104 Increase 20 Decrease 4
Popular vote 12,443,981 7,944,943 2,629,163
Percentage 45.2% 28.8% 9.5%
Swing Increase 14.2pp Decrease 0.4pp Decrease 2.4pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
 
GB/BHE
DP
Zentrum
Candidate Waldemar Kraft Heinrich Hellwege Johannes Brockmann
Party GB/BHE DP Centre
Last election Did not exist 4.0%, 17 seats 3.1%, 10 seats
Seats won 27 15 3
Seat change New party Decrease 2 Decrease 7
Popular vote 1,616,953 896,128 217,078
Percentage 5.9% 3.3% 0.8%
Swing New party Decrease 0.7pp Decrease 2.3pp

Results by constituency for the first votes. Grey denotes seats won by the CDU/CSU; red denotes seats won by the SPD; yellow denotes seats won by the FDP; light blue denotes seats won by the German Party; dark blue denotes the seat won by the Centre Party.

Government before election

First Adenauer cabinet
CDU/CSUFDPDP

Government after election

Second Adenauer cabinet
CDU/CSUFDPGB/BHEDP

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 6 September 1953 to elect the members of the second Bundestag. The Christian Democratic Union emerged as the largest party.

This election was the last before Saarland joined West Germany in 1957. It had been a separate entity, Saar protectorate, under French control since 1946.

Campaign

Federal Chancellor Adenauer (who was also the Christian Democratic leader) campaigned on his policies of economic reconstruction and growth, moderate conservatism or Christian democracy, and close relations with the United States. The new Social Democratic leader – Kurt Schumacher had died in 1952 – was Erich Ollenhauer, who was more moderate in his policies than Schumacher had been. He did not oppose, in principle, the United States' military presence in Western Europe. In fact, he later – in 1957 – supported a military alliance of most European countries, including Germany.[1][2] Adenauer managed to convince clearly more West German voters of his leadership abilities and economic and political success to easily win a second term, although he had to form a coalition government with the Free Democrats and the conservative German Party to gain a majority in the Bundestag.

Results

Party Constituency Party list Total
seatsa
+/–
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 9,577,659 34.8 130 10,016,594 36.4 61 191 +76
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 8,131,257 29.5 45 7,944,943 28.8 106 151 +20
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 2,967,566 10.8 14 2,629,163 9.5 34 48 −4
Christian Social Union (CSU) 2,450,286 8.9 42 2,427,387 8.8 10 52 +28
All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights (GB/BHE) 1,613,215 5.9 0 1,616,953 5.9 27 27 New
German Party (DP) 1,073,031 3.9 10 896,128 3.3 5 15 −2
Communist Party (KPD) 611,317 2.2 0 607,860 2.2 0 0 −15
Bavaria Party (BP) 399,070 1.5 0 465,641 1.7 0 0 −17
All-German People's Party (GVP) 286,465 1.0 0 318,475 1.2 0 0 New
Deutsche Reichspartei (DRP)b 204,725 0.7 0 295,739 1.1 0 0 −5
Centre Party (ZENTRUM) 55,835 0.2 1 217,078 0.8 2 3 −7
Dachverband der Nationalen Sammlung (DNS) 78,356 0.3 0 70,726 0.3 0 0 New
South Schleswig Voters' Association (SSW) 44,339 0.2 0 44,585 0.2 0 0 −1
Schleswig-Holsteinische Bauern- und Landarbeiterdemokratie (SHBLD) 6,269 0.0 0 0 New
Patriotic Union (VU) 2,531 0.0 0 0 New
Party of the Good Germans (PdgD) 654 0.0 0 0 New
Independents and voter groups 17,185 0.1 0 0 −3
Valid votes 27,519,760 96.6 27,551,272 96.7
Invalid/blank votes 959,790 3.4 928,278 3.3
Total votes 28,479,550 100.0 242 28,479,550 100.0 245 487 +85
Registered voters/turnout 33,120,940 86.0 33,120,940 86.0
Source: Bundeswahlleiter
^a – excludes the non-voting delegates for West Berlin (11 SPD, 6 CDU, 5 FDP).
^b – previously the Deutsche Rechtspartei (German Right Party).
243 48 27 15 151
CDU/CSU FDP GB/BHE DP SPD
Popular vote
CDU/CSU
45.17%
SPD
28.84%
FDP
9.54%
GB/BHE
5.87%
DP
3.25%
KPD
2.21%
BP
1.69%
Other
3.44%
Bundestag seats
CDU/CSU
49.90%
SPD
31.01%
FDP
9.86%
GB/BHE
5.54%
DP
3.08%
Zentrum
0.62%

Aftermath

Konrad Adenauer remained Chancellor, governing in a broad coalition (two-thirds majority) with most of the minor parties except for the SPD and Centre Party.

Notes

  1. ^ As well as the 22 non-voting delegates for West Berlin, elected by the West Berlin Legislature.
  2. ^ As well as 5 non-voting delegates for West Berlin.
  3. ^ As well as 6 non-voting delegates for West Berlin.
  4. ^ As well as 11 non-voting delegates for West Berlin.

References

  1. ^ Erling Bjöl, Grimberg's History of the Nations, volume 23: The Rich West, "A Giant Dwarf: West Germany," Helsinki: WSOY, 1985
  2. ^ Dennis L. Bark and David R. Gress, A History of West Germany: Volume 1: 1945–1963: From Shadow to Substance, London, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1989