1974 West German presidential election

← 1969 23 May 1974 1979 →
Nominee Walter Scheel Richard von Weizsäcker
Electoral vote 530 498

President before election

Gustav Heinemann

Elected President

Walter Scheel

An indirect presidential election (officially the 6th Federal Convention) was held in West Germany on 23 May 1974. Though not term limited, incumbent Gustav Heinemann chose not to seek a second term. The government parties (SPD and FDP) nominated Vice-Chancellor Walter Scheel; the Christian Democratic Union nominated Richard von Weizsäcker. Scheel won the election by 32 votes on the first ballot. He served as president until 1979. Weizsäcker would later serve as president from 1984 to 1994.

Composition of the Federal Convention

The president is elected by the Federal Convention consisting of all the members of the Bundestag and an equal number of delegates representing the states. These are divided proportionally by population to each state, and each state's delegation is divided among the political parties represented in its parliament so as to reflect the partisan proportions in the parliament.

By Party By State
Party Members State Members
CDU/CSU 501 Bundestag 518
SPD 470 Baden-Württemberg 75
FDP 65 Bavaria 91
Total 1036 Berlin 17
Bremen 6
Hamburg 15
Hesse 46
Lower Saxony 62
North Rhine-Westphalia 143
Rhineland-Palatinate 33
Saarland 10
Schleswig-Holstein 22
Total 1036

Source: Eine Dokumentation aus Anlass der Wahl des Bundespräsidenten am 18. März 2012


Candidate Parties Votes %
Walter Scheel FDP, SPD 530 51.2
Richard von Weizsäcker CDU/CSU 498 48.1
Abstentions 5 0.5
Invalid votes 0 0.0
Not present 3 0.3
Total 1,036 100
Source: Bundestag