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
 
Adenauer Bouserath2 (cropped).jpg
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-21272-0001, Erich Ollenhauer.jpg
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-P001512, Franz Blücher 2.jpg
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

Bundestagswahl 1953 - Ergebnisse Wahlkreise.png
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

1953 German federal election - composition chart.svg
PartyParty-listConstituencySeats
Votes%SeatsVotes%SeatsElectedWest BerlinTotal+/–
Christian Democratic Union10,016,59436.36619,577,65934.801301916197+80
Social Democratic Party7,944,94328.841068,131,25729.554515111162+26
Free Democratic Party2,629,1639.54342,967,56610.7814485530
Christian Social Union2,427,3878.81102,450,2868.904252052+28
All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights1,616,9535.87271,613,2155.86027027New
German Party896,1283.2551,073,0313.901015015−2
Communist Party607,8602.210611,3172.220000−15
Bavaria Party465,6411.690399,0701.450000−17
All-German People's Party318,4751.160286,4651.040000New
Deutsche Reichspartei295,7391.070204,7250.740000−5
Centre Party217,0780.79255,8350.201303−7
Dachverband der Nationalen Sammlung70,7260.26078,3560.280000New
South Schleswig Voters' Association44,5850.16044,3390.160000−1
Schleswig-Holstein Farmers and Farmworkers Democracy6,2690.020000New
Patriotic Union2,5310.010000New
Party of the Good Germans6540.000000New
Independents and voter groups17,1850.060000−3
Total27,551,272100.0024527,519,760100.0024248722509+99
Valid votes27,551,27296.7427,519,76096.63
Invalid/blank votes928,2783.26959,7903.37
Total votes28,479,550100.0028,479,550100.00
Registered voters/turnout33,120,94085.9933,120,94085.99
Source: Bundeswahlleiter

Results by state

Constituency seats

State Total
seats
Seats won
CDU SPD CSU FDP DP DZP
Baden-Württemberg 33 29 2 2
Bavaria 47 3 42 2
Bremen 3 3
Hamburg 8 3 1 2 2
Hesse 22 7 10 5
Lower Saxony 34 13 11 2 8
North Rhine-Westphalia 66 51 13 1 1
Rhineland-Palatinate 15 13 2
Schleswig-Holstein 14 14 14
Total 242 130 59 42 14 10 1

List seats

State Total
seats
Seats won
SPD CDU FDP GB/
BHE
CSU DP DZP
Baden-Württemberg 34 14 9 7 3 1
Bavaria 44 22 4 8 10
Bremen 3 2 1
Hamburg 10 6 4
Hesse 22 6 8 4 3 1
Lower Saxony 32 10 12 3 7
North Rhine-Westphalia 72 34 21 11 3 1 2
Rhineland-Palatinate 16 7 5 4
Schleswig-Holstein 12 7 1 3 1
Total 245 106 61 34 27 10 5 2

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