1961 West German Federal Election
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1961 West German Federal Election

1961 West German federal election

← 1957 17 September 1961 (1961-09-17) 1965 →

All 499 seats in the Bundestag[a]
250 seats needed for a majority
Registered37,440,715 Increase 5.8%
Turnout32,849,624 (87.7%) Decrease 0.1pp
  First party Second party Third party
  Adenauer Bouserath2 (cropped).jpg Willy Brandt.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 183-87989-0060, Erich Mende.jpg
Candidate Konrad Adenauer Willy Brandt Erich Mende
Party CDU/CSU SPD FDP
Last election 50.2%, 270 seats 31.8%, 169 seats 7.7%, 41 seats
Seats won 242[b] 190[c] 67
Seat change Decrease 28 Increase 21 Increase 26
Popular vote 14,298,372 11,427,355 4,028,766
Percentage 45.3% 36.2% 12.8%
Swing Decrease 4.9pp Increase 4.4pp Increase 5.1pp

Bundestagswahl 1961 - 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.

Government before election

Third Adenauer cabinet
CDU/CSU

Government after election

Fourth Adenauer cabinet
CDU/CSU-FDP

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 17 September 1961 to elect the members of the fourth Bundestag. CDU/CSU remained the largest faction, winning 242 of the 499 seats.

Campaign

Election posters

For the first time, the SPD announced a Chancellor candidate who was not chairman of the party: Willy Brandt, the Governing Mayor of West Berlin. After the building of the Berlin Wall, he gained more and more sympathy, while chancellor Konrad Adenauer was criticised for not showing enough support for the people of West Berlin. Adenauer had to save the absolute majority of CDU and CSU, but, considering his age and his long term as chancellor, there were big doubts if he should lead the country in a fourth term.

Results

Bundestag 1961.svg
PartyParty-listConstituencySeats
Votes%SeatsVotes%SeatsElectedWest BerlinTotal+/-
Social Democratic Party11,427,35536.229911,672,05736.479119013203+22
Christian Democratic Union11,283,90135.767811,622,99536.321141929201-21
Free Democratic Party4,028,76612.77673,866,26912.08067067+24
Christian Social Union3,014,4719.5583,104,7429.704250050-5
All-German Party870,7562.760859,2902.680000-17
German Peace Union609,9181.930587,4881.8400000
Deutsche Reichspartei262,9770.830242,6490.7600000
German Community27,3080.09021,0830.0700000
South Schleswig Voters' Association25,4490.08024,9510.0800000
Electoral Group for a Neutral Germany7780.000000New
Independents and voter groups2,1640.0100000
Total31,550,901100.0025232,004,466100.0024749922521+2
Valid votes31,550,90196.0532,004,46697.43
Invalid/blank votes1,298,7233.95845,1582.57
Total votes32,849,624100.0032,849,624100.00
Registered voters/turnout37,440,71587.7437,440,71587.74
Source: Bundeswahlleiter

Results by state

Constituency seats

State Total
seats
Seats won
CDU SPD CSU
Baden-Württemberg 33 27 6
Bavaria 47 5 42
Bremen 3 3
Hamburg 8 8
Hesse 22 3 19
Lower Saxony 34 15 19
North Rhine-Westphalia 66 41 25
Rhineland-Palatinate 15 10 5
Saarland 5 5
Schleswig-Holstein 14 13 1
Total 247 114 91 42

List seats

State Total
seats
Seats won
SPD CDU FDP CSU
Baden-Württemberg 33 16 5 12
Bavaria 39 23 8 8
Bremen 2 1 1
Hamburg 10 1 6 3
Hesse 23 2 14 7
Lower Saxony 26 6 11 9
North Rhine-Westphalia 89 35 35 19
Rhineland-Palatinate 16 6 6 4
Saarland 4 3 1
Schleswig-Holstein 10 7 3
Total 252 99 78 67 8

Aftermath

The absolute majority was lost by the conservative union due to the gains of the liberal FDP under Erich Mende. From 1961 on, the Union, SPD and FDP established an electoral "triopoly" in the Bundestag that would last until 1983.

Konrad Adenauer remained Chancellor, building a coalition between the CDU/CSU-FDP. In 1962 he had to announce a fifth cabinet: The FDP had temporarily left the coalition after the secretary of defense, Franz Josef Strauß (CSU), had ordered the arrest of five journalists for publishing a memo detailing alleged weaknesses in the German armed forces (known as the Spiegel scandal). In 1963 Adenauer finally retired; Ludwig Erhard took over his position as head of the coalition government.

Further reading

  • Barnes, Samuel H.; Grace, Frank; Pollock, James K.; Sperlich, Peter W. (1962). "The German Party System and the 1961 Federal Election". American Political Science Review. 56 (4): 899-914. doi:10.2307/1952792.

Notes

  1. ^ As well as the 22 non-voting delegates for West Berlin, elected by the West Berlin Legislature.
  2. ^ As well as 9 non-voting delegates for West Berlin.
  3. ^ As well as 13 non-voting delegates for West Berlin.

References

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

1961_West_German_federal_election
 



 



 
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