1928 German Federal Election
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1928 German Federal Election

1928 German federal election

←  20 May 1928 (1928-05-20) 1930 →

All 491 seats in the Reichstag
246 seats needed for a majority
Registered41,224,678 Increase 5.7%
Turnout31,165,789 (75.6%) Decrease 3.2pp
  First party Second party Third party
Arthur Crispien on the street.jpg
Kuno von Westarp.jpg Reichskanzler Wilhelm Marx (cropped).jpg
Leader Hermann Müller
Otto Wels
Arthur Crispien
Kuno von Westarp Wilhelm Marx
Party SPD DNVP Centre
Leader since 1919 1924 1922
Last election 26.0%, 131 seats 20.5%, 103 seats 13.6%, 69 seats
Seats won 153 73 61
Seat change Increase 22 Decrease 30 Decrease 8
Popular vote 9,152,979 4,381,563 3,712,152
Percentage 29.8% 14.3% 12.1%
Swing Increase 3.8pp Decrease 6.2pp Decrease 1.5pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Ernst Thälmann 1932.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1989-040-27, Gustav Stresemann.jpg Erich Koch-Weser circa 1920.jpg
Leader Ernst Thälmann
& Philipp Dengel
Gustav Stresemann Erich Koch-Weser
Leader since October 1925 1919 1924
Last election 8.9%, 45 seats 10.1%, 51 seats 6.3%, 32 seats
Seats won 54 45 25
Seat change Increase 9 Decrease 6 Decrease 7
Popular vote 3,264,793 2,679,703 1,479,374
Percentage 10.6% 8.7% 4.8%
Swing Increase 1.7pp Decrease 1.4pp Decrease 1.5pp

German Federal Election, 1928.svg
Electoral results by constituencies

Chancellor before election

Wilhelm Marx

Chancellor after election

Hermann Müller

Federal elections were held in Germany on 20 May 1928.[1][2] The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) remained the largest party in the Reichstag after winning 153 of the 491 seats.[3] Voter turnout was 75.6%.[4]

The only two parties to gain significantly were the SPD, which received almost a third of the vote, and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), which completed a thorough victory of the left wing. However, the SPD still failed to win a clear majority, resulting in another coalition government, led by Hermann Müller.[5] Following his appointment as Chancellor, Müller, who had previously held the post for four months in 1920, created a grand coalition of members of the SPD, the German Democratic Party, the Centre Party and the German People's Party. However, the coalition was plagued by internal divisions right from the beginning, with each party more concerned with their own interests than the interests of the government. As a result, Müller asked German President Paul von Hindenburg for emergency powers, but when Hindenburg refused, he resigned, marking the end of the "last genuinely democratic government of the Weimar Republic" on 27 March 1930.[6]

The recently reformed Nazi Party contested the elections after the ban on the party had been lifted in 1925. However, the party received less than 3% of the vote and won only 12 seats in the Reichstag. Adolf Hitler, who had been incarcerated in Landsberg prison for his involvement in the Beer Hall Putsch until Christmas 1924,[7] had concentrated on re-establishing himself as the leader of the Nazi Party after his release rather than on his party's electability.


German Reichstag composition, 1928.svg
Social Democratic Party9,152,97929.76+3.74153+22
German National People's Party4,381,56314.25-6.2473-30
Centre Party3,712,15212.07-1.5361-8
Communist Party of Germany3,264,79310.62+1.6854+9
German People's Party2,679,7038.71-1.3645-6
German Democratic Party1,479,3744.81-1.5325-7
Reich Party of the German Middle Class1,387,6024.51+2.2223+11
Bavarian People's Party945,6443.07-0.6717-2
Nazi Party810,1272.63-0.3712-2
Christian-National Peasants' and Farmers' Party571,8911.86New9New
Reich Party for Civil Rights and Deflation509,4711.66New2New
German Farmers' Party481,2541.56New8New
Völkisch-National Bloc266,3700.87New0New
Agricultural League199,5480.65-1.003-5
German-Hanoverian Party195,5550.64-0.2240
Saxon Peasants127,7000.42New2New
Christian Social Reich Party110,7040.36New0New
Left Communists80,4050.26New0New
Old Social Democratic Party of Germany65,7750.21New0New
Polish People's Party64,7530.21-0.0600
Evangelical Party of Germany52,4880.17New0New
German Social Party46,0470.15-0.3800
General People's Party37,3730.12New0New
German House and Property Owners' Party35,8460.12New0New
Independent Social Democratic Party20,8150.07-0.2600
Evangelical Community Spirit10,7090.03New0New
Christian National Middle Class Party9,9570.03New0New
Pastor Greber Party9,5270.03New0New
Revaluation and Construction Party8,5620.03New0New
German Reich Bloc of the Injured7,4370.02New0New
Reich Party for Crafts, Trade and Business6,6140.02New0New
People's Welfare Party6,0710.02New0New
Franconian Peasants3,4170.01New0New
Wendish People's Party3,1110.01-0.0100
Party for Justice and Tenant Protection2,8310.01New0New
Schleswig Club2,4350.01-0.0100
German Christian Folk Party9010.00New0New
Vital Interests of the Unmarried8730.00New0New
Masurian People's Party2950.00New0New
Lithuanian People's Party2890.00New0New
Valid votes30,753,24798.68
Invalid/blank votes412,5421.32
Total votes31,165,789100.00
Registered voters/turnout41,224,67875.60
Source: Gonschior.de

See also


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p762 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Pollock, James K. (1928). "The German Elections of 1928". American Political Science Review. 22 (3): 698-705. doi:10.2307/1945624. ISSN 0003-0554.
  3. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p790
  4. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p777
  5. ^ Evans, D. & Jenkins, J. (1999), Years of Weimar & the Third Reich, London: Hodder & Stoughton Educational, p. 83, ISBN 0-340-70474-8.
  6. ^ Evans & Jenkins 1999, p. 88.
  7. ^ Broszat, M. (1987), Hitler and the Collapse of Weimar Germany, Oxford: Berg Publishers, p. 9, ISBN 0-85496-509-2.

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