1990 German federal election

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East 1990
2 December 1990 (1990-12-02) 1994 →

All 662 seats in the Bundestag
332 seats needed for a majority
Registered60,436,560 Increase 33.3%
Turnout46,995,915 (77.8%) Decrease 6.5pp
  First party Second party Third party
 
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F074398-0021 Kohl (cropped).jpg
Oskar Lafontaine (1990).jpg
Otto Graf Lambsdorff (1990).jpg
Candidate Helmut Kohl Oskar Lafontaine Otto Graf Lambsdorff
Party CDU/CSU SPD FDP
Last election 44.3%, 223 seats 37.0%, 186 seats 9.1%, 46 seats
Seats before 305 226 57
Seats won 319 239 79
Seat change Increase 14 Increase 13 Increase 22
Popular vote 20,358,096 15,545,366 5,123,233
Percentage 43.8% 33.5% 11.0%
Swing Decrease 0.5pp Decrease 3.5pp Increase 1.9pp

  Fourth party Fifth party
 
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1990-1202-011, Berlin, Bundestagswahl, Gregor Gysi (cropped).jpg
B90
Candidate Gregor Gysi none[a]
Party PDS B90
Last election Did not exist Did not exist
Seats before 24 0[b]
Seats won 17 8
Seat change Decrease 7 Increase 8
Popular vote 1,129,578 559,207
Percentage 2.4% 1.2%[c]
Swing New party New party

1990 German federal election - Results by constituency.svg
The left side shows constituency winners of the election by their party colours. The right side shows party list winners of the election for the additional members by their party colours.

Government before election

Third Kohl cabinet
CDU/CSUFDP

Government after election

Fourth Kohl cabinet
CDU/CSUFDP

Federal elections were held in Germany on 2 December 1990 to elect the members of the 12th Bundestag. This was the first all-German election since the Nazi show election in April 1938, the first multi-party all-German election since that of March 1933, which was held after the Nazi seizure of power and was subject to widespread suppression, and the first free and fair all-German election since November 1932. The result was a comprehensive victory for the governing coalition of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union and the Free Democratic Party, which was reelected to a third term. The second vote result of the CDU/CSU, 20,358,096 votes, remains the highest ever total vote count in a democratic German election.

Campaign

This was the first election conducted after German reunification which took place on 3 October. Previously, the Volkskammer had selected 144 of its members which were then co-opted as Members of the German Bundestag and served until the end of the 11. Bundestag.

Almost 150 seats had been added to represent the re-established eastern states of Germany without reducing the number of western members. The euphoria following the reunification gave the ruling CDU/CSU–FDP coalition a dramatic advantage in both Western and Eastern Germany throughout the campaign.

It was the one election for which the 5% threshold was applied not nationwide but separately for the former East Germany (including East Berlin) and former West Germany (including West Berlin). As a result, while the Western Greens did not gain representation, their ideologically-similar Eastern Alliance 90 did, with both merging to form Alliance 90/The Greens in 1993. The combined vote of the two lists totals over 5%, but as the two lists would not merge until 1993, it thus did not entitle the East German party to any elected members from the former West Germany, unlike the PDS, who managed to elect Ulla Jelpke.

The German Social Union under leader Hansjoachim Walther, a right-wing party modelled after the Bavarian CSU running only in former East Germany, failed to achieve the separate 5% threshold, only receiving around 1% of the vote in the eastern states, mostly in the southeast. As part of the co-option, the DSU had previously had eight Members of the Bundestag, who sat as guests in the CDU/CSU caucus. The CSU, which had had tried to convince the CDU to stand down in several single-member constituency to enable the DSU to enter the Bundestag separate from the 5% threshold, severed its ties in 1993 and the party fell into irrelevancy.

Results

All change figures are relative to the pre-existing West German Bundestag.

Bundestag 1990.svg
PartyParty-listConstituencyTotal
seats
+/–
Votes%SeatsVotes%Seats
Christian Democratic Union17,055,11636.717617,707,57438.27192268+83
Social Democratic Party15,545,36633.4614816,279,98035.1891239+46
Free Democratic Party5,123,23311.03783,595,1357.77179+31
Christian Social Union3,302,9807.1183,423,9047.404351+2
The Greens (West)1,788,2003.8502,037,8854.4000−44
Party of Democratic Socialism1,129,5782.43161,049,2452.27117New
The Republicans987,2692.130767,6521.6600New
Alliance 90/Greens – Citizens' Movement (East)559,2071.208552,0271.1908New
The Grays – Gray Panthers385,9100.830218,4120.4700New
Ecological Democratic Party205,2060.440243,4690.53000
National Democratic Party145,7760.310190,1050.41000
German Social Union89,0080.190131,7470.2800New
Christian League39,6400.0908,6670.0200New
Christian Centre36,4460.0809,8240.0200New
Bavaria Party31,3150.07010,8360.02000
The Women12,0770.0301,4330.00000
Patriots for Germany4,6870.0107460.00000
Eco-Union4,6610.0101,1060.00000
Union of Working Groups for Employee Politics and Democracy4,5300.0107040.0000New
Communist Party of Germany1,6300.0000New
Spartacist Workers' Party of Germany1,6100.0001240.0000New
Federation of German Democrats1,0090.0004740.0000New
Federation of Socialist Workers8260.0002140.0000New
Responsible Citizens4920.000720.00000
European Federalist Party2660.0000New
Independents and voter groups43,3240.09000
Total46,455,772100.0033446,274,925100.00328662+143
Valid votes46,455,77298.8546,274,92598.47
Invalid/blank votes540,1431.15720,9901.53
Total votes46,995,915100.0046,995,915100.00
Registered voters/turnout60,436,56077.7660,436,56077.76
Source: Bundeswahlleiter
Seat results – SPD in red, combined Greens in green, PDS in purple, FDP in yellow, CDU/CSU in black
Seat results – SPD in red, combined Greens in green, PDS in purple, FDP in yellow, CDU/CSU in black
Winners by single-member constituency – SPD in red, PDS in purple, FDP in yellow, CDU/CSU in black
Winners by single-member constituency – SPD in red, PDS in purple, FDP in yellow, CDU/CSU in black

Results by state

Second vote (Zweitstimme, or votes for party list)

State CDU/CSU SPD FDP Grüne PDS REP Others
 Baden-Württemberg 46.5 29.1 12.3 5.7 0.3 3.2 2.9
 Bavaria 51.9 26.7 8.7 4.6 0.2 5.0 2.9
 Berlin 39.4 30.6 9.1 7.2[d] 9.7 2.5 0.7
 Brandenburg 36.3 32.9 9.7 6.6 11.0 1.7 1.8
 Bremen 30.9 42.5 12.8 8.3 1.1 2.1 2.3
 Hamburg 36.6 41.0 12.0 5.8 1.1 1.7 1.8
 Hesse 41.3 38.0 10.9 5.6 0.4 2.1 1.7
 Lower Saxony 44.3 38.4 10.3 4.5 0.3 1.0 1.2
 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 41.2 26.5 9.1 5.9 14.2 1.4 1.7
 North Rhine-Westphalia 40.5 41.1 11.0 4.3 0.3 1.3 1.5
 Rhineland-Palatinate 45.6 36.1 10.4 4.0 0.2 1.7 2.0
 Saarland 38.1 51.2 6.0 2.3 0.2 0.9 1.3
 Saxony 49.5 18.2 12.4 5.9 9.0 1.2 3.8
 Saxony-Anhalt 38.6 24.7 19.7 5.3 9.4 1.0 1.3
 Schleswig-Holstein 43.5 38.5 11.4 4.0 0.3 1.2 1.1
 Thuringia 45.2 21.9 14.6 6.1 8.3 1.2 2.7
Old states (West) 44.3 35.7 10.6 4.8 0.3 2.3 2.0
New states (East) 41.8 24.3 12.9 6.2 11.1 1.5 2.3

Constituency seats

State Total
seats
Seats won
CDU SPD CSU FDP PDS
Baden-Württemberg 37 36 1
Bavaria 45 2 43
Berlin 13 8 4 1
Brandenburg 12 7 5
Bremen 3 3
Hamburg 7 1 6
Hesse 22 13 9
Lower Saxony 31 20 11
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 9 8 1
North Rhine-Westphalia 71 33 38
Rhineland-Palatinate 16 12 4
Saarland 5 5
Saxony 21 21
Saxony-Anhalt 13 12 1
Schleswig-Holstein 11 9 2
Thuringia 12 12
Total 328 192 91 43 1 1

List seats

State Total
seats
Seats won
SPD FDP CDU PDS CSU B90/Gr.
Baden-Württemberg 36 23 10 3
Bavaria 41 24 9 8
Berlin 15 5 3 4 2 1
Brandenburg 10 2 2 1 3 2
Bremen 3 1 2
Hamburg 7 2 5
Hesse 26 11 6 9
Lower Saxony 34 16 7 11
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 7 3 1 2 1
North Rhine-Westphalia 75 27 17 30 1
Rhineland-Palatinate 18 9 4 5
Saarland 6 1 1 4
Saxony 19 8 5 4 2
Saxony-Anhalt 13 6 4 2 1
Schleswig-Holstein 13 8 3 2
Thuringia 11 5 3 2 1
Total 334 148 78 76 16 8 8

Post-election

The governing CDU/CSU-FDP coalition was returned to office with a landslide majority, and Helmut Kohl remained chancellor. The CDU did exceptionally well in the former East Germany, which had been the heartland of the SPD before the Nazi era.

Notes

  1. ^ List Association of Alliance 90 and the East German Green Party.
  2. ^ As part of the Co-option of 144 members of the Volkskammer after German reunification, seven MdBs of Alliance 90 and the East German Green Party joined the Green Party faction.
  3. ^ Only ran in East Germany, where they received 6.2 % of the vote and thus passed the separate, special five percent threshold.
  4. ^ 3.9% West German Green Party, 3.3% East German Green Party/Alliance 90.

References

Sources