November 1932 German federal election

← July 1932 6 November 1932 (1932-11-06) Mar 1933 →

All 584 seats in the Reichstag
293 seats needed for a majority
Registered44,374,085 Increase 0.4%
Turnout35,758,259 (80.6%) Decrease 3.5pp
  First party Second party Third party
Adolf Hitler 1932 (cropped).jpg
SPD 1932 leadership.jpg
Ernst Thälmann 1932.jpg
Leader Adolf Hitler Otto Wels
Arthur Crispien
Hans Vogel
Ernst Thälmann
Last election 37.3%, 230 seats 21.6%, 133 seats 14.3%, 89 seats
Seats won 196 121 100
Seat change Decrease 34 Decrease 12 Increase 11
Popular vote 11,737,021 7,247,091 5,980,239
Percentage 33.1% 20.4% 16.9%
Swing Decrease 4.2pp Decrease 1.2pp Increase 2.6pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Ludwig Kaas Konkordatsunterzeichnung mini.jpg
AlfredHugenberg1933 (cropped).jpeg
Heinrich Held, 1933 (cropped).jpg
Leader Ludwig Kaas Alfred Hugenberg Heinrich Held
Party Centre DNVP BVP
Last election 12.4%, 75 seats 5.9%, 37 seats 3.2%, 22 seats
Seats won 70 51 20
Seat change Decrease 5 Increase 14 Decrease 2
Popular vote 4,230,545 2,959,053 1,094,597
Percentage 11.9% 8.3% 3.1%
Swing Decrease 0.5pp Increase 2.4pp Decrease 0.1pp

German federal election, November 1932.svg
German Federal Election, November, 1932.svg

November 1932 German federal election by District.svg
Results by district and independent city. Black lines delineate states and Prussian provinces.

Chancellor before election

Franz von Papen

Chancellor after election

None (Schleicher appointed shortly afterward)

Federal elections were held in Germany on 6 November 1932.[1] The Nazi Party saw its vote share fall by four percentage points, while there were slight increases for the Communist Party of Germany and the national conservative German National People's Party. The results were a great disappointment for the Nazis, who lost 34 seats and again failed to form a coalition government in the Reichstag. The elections were the last free and fair all-German election before the Nazi seizure of power in 1933.


Previously Chancellor Franz von Papen, a former member of the Catholic Centre Party, had governed without parliamentary support by relying on legislative decrees promulgated by President Paul von Hindenburg under Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution. However, on 12 September 1932 Papen had to ask Hindenburg to dissolve parliament in order to pre-empt a motion of no confidence introduced by the Communist Party, which was expected to pass since the Nazis were also expected to support it due to their desire for fresh elections.


Nazi Party11,737,02133.09−4.18196−34
Social Democratic Party7,247,90120.43−1.15121−12
Communist Party of Germany5,980,23916.86+2.54100+11
Centre Party4,230,54511.93−0.5170−5
German National People's Party2,959,0538.34+2.4351+14
Bavarian People's Party1,094,5973.09−0.1420−2
German People's Party660,8891.86+0.6811+4
Christian Social People's Service403,6661.14+0.155+2
German State Party336,4470.95−0.062−2
German Farmers' Party149,0260.42+0.053+1
Reich Party of the German Middle Class110,3090.31−0.091−1
Agricultural League105,2200.30+0.0420
German-Hanoverian Party63,9660.18+0.051+1
Radical Middle Class60,2460.17+0.1500
Thuringian Agricultural League60,0620.17New1New
Christian-National Peasants' and Farmers' Party46,3820.13−0.120−1
People's Justice Party46,2020.13+0.020−1
Socialist Workers' Party of Germany45,2010.13−0.0700
Poland List32,9880.090.0000
For Hindenburg and Pope27,7520.08New0New
Kleinrentner, Inflationsgeschädigte und Vorkriegsgeldbesitzer15,7270.040.0000
Free Economy Party of Germany11,0020.030.0000
Schicksalsgemeinschaft deutscher Erwerbslosen, Kleinhandel und Gewerbe9,2500.03New0New
Social Republican Party of Germany8,3950.02New0New
Handwerker, Handels- und Gewerbetreibende5,1890.010.0000
Radical Democratic Party3,7890.01New0New
Workers' and Farmers' Struggle Community3,3080.010.0000
National Social Party of the Middle Class3,0520.01New0New
Enteigneter Mittelstand2,7370.010.0000
National Freedom Party of Germany1,8100.01+0.0100
Schleswig Home1,6940.000.0000
Greater German People's Party (Schmalix List)1,3110.000.0000
Interessengemeinschaft der Kleinrentner und Inflationsgeschädigten1,0860.00–0.0100
Nationalist Party5880.00New0New
People's Socialists5180.00New0New
Haus- und Landwirtepartei4610.00New0New
National Communist Party of Germany3810.00New0New
German Social Monarchist Party3550.000.0000
German Reform Party3520.000.0000
German Workers Party3080.000.0000
Unitarianist Union of Germany2900.000.0000
Greater German Middle Class Party for Middle Class Dictatorship2860.00New0New
German National Citizen Bloc1920.00New0New
Party for the Unemployed for Work and Bread1400.000.0000
National German Catholic Reich Party1370.00New0New
German Socialist Struggle Movement1010.000.0000
German Reich against Interest Rate Movement970.00New0New
Freiheitsbewegung Schwarz-Weiß-Rot920.00New0New
Middle Class Party850.00New0New
Kampfbund der Lohn- und Gehaltsabgebauten630.00New0New
Valid votes35,470,78899.20
Invalid/blank votes287,4710.80
Total votes35,758,259100.00
Registered voters/turnout44,374,08580.58


After the election, Papen urged Hindenburg to continue to govern by emergency decree. However, on 3 December, he was replaced by Defence Minister Kurt von Schleicher, who held talks with the left wing of the Nazi Party led by Gregor Strasser in an attempt at a Third Position (Querfront) strategy. The plans failed when Hitler disempowered Strasser and approached Papen for coalition talks. Papen obtained Hindenburg's consent to form the Hitler cabinet on 30 January 1933.

The elections were the last free and fair all-German election before the Nazi seizure of power on 30 January 1933 since the elections in March 1933 saw massive suppression, especially against Communist and Social Democratic Party politicians. The next free national elections were not held until 1949 in West Germany and 1990 in East Germany. The next free all-German elections took place in December 1990, after reunification two months earlier.


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p762 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7