1969 West German Federal Election
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1969 West German Federal Election

1969 West German federal election

← 1965 28 September 1969 (1969-09-28)[1] 1972 →

All 518 seats in the Bundestag
260 seats needed for a majority
Registered38,677,235 Increase 0.4%
Turnout33,523,064 (86.7%)[2]
Decrease 0.1%
  First party Second party Third party
  KAS-Kiesinger, Kurt Georg-Bild-4166-1 (cropped).jpg Willy Brandt01.jpg Walter Scheel 1971 (cropped).jpg
Leader Kurt Georg Kiesinger Willy Brandt Walter Scheel
Party CDU/CSU SPD FDP
Leader since 23 May 1967 16 February 1964 29 January 1968
Leader's seat Waldshut North Rhine-Westphalia[a] North Rhine-Westphalia
Last election 251 seats, 47.6% 217 seats, 39.3% 50 seats, 9.5%
Seats won 250 237 31
Seat change Decrease 1 Increase 20 Decrease 19
Popular vote 15,195,187 14,065,716 1,903,422
Percentage 46.1% 42.7% 5.8%
Swing Decrease 1.5% Increase 3.4% Decrease 3.7%

Bundestagswahl 1969 - 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

Kiesinger cabinet
CDU/CSU-SPD

Government after election

First Brandt cabinet
SPD-FDP

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 28 September 1969 to elect the members of the 6th Bundestag. The CDU/CSU remained the largest faction and the Social Democratic Party remained the largest single party in the Bundestag, winning 237 of the 518 seats. After the election, the SPD formed a coalition with the Free Democratic Party and SPD leader Willy Brandt became Chancellor.

Campaign

Upon the resignation of Chancellor Ludwig Erhard on 1 December 1966, a grand coalition of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats had governed West Germany under Federal Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger (CDU) with SPD chairman Willy Brandt as vice-chancellor and foreign minister.

Economics Minister Karl Schiller (SPD) had proposed revaluing (increasing the external value of) the Deutsche Mark, West Germany's currency, to reduce the country's inflation rate and the rate of growth of the country's businesses' income. He also wanted to reduce West Germany's economic dependence on the exports. However, his counterpart Finance Minister Franz-Josef Strauss (CSU) rejected the Deutsche Mark's revaluation, because his strong constituents, the Bavarian farmers, also opposed it. After all, the European Economic Community's foodstuffs prices were paid in US dollars, and the Deutsche Mark's revaluation would have made them less favourable for the West German farmers (i.e. more expensive for other Western Europeans to buy).

The coalition effectively ended already before the regular 1969 Bundestag elections, because of this revaluation conflict. In addition, enough West German voters were at last willing to give the Social Democratic leader, Foreign Minister Willy Brandt, a chance to govern West Germany. Brandt, who ran for the third time after 1961 and 1965, had shown sympathy towards those groups, like left-wing intellectuals and activists of German student movement, who had felt ignored by the Christian Democrat-led coalition governments. In addition, his clear intellect, remarkable self-control and straight essence (being) appealed to ordinary West Germans.[3][4][5]

Results

e o d Summary of the 28 September 1969 German Bundestag election results
Bundestag 1969.svg
Parties Constituency Party list Total seats
Votes % +/- Seats +/- Votes % +/- Seats +/- Seats+ +/- %
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 14,402,374 44.0 +3.9 127 +33 14,065,716 42.7 +3.4 97 -11 237 +20 45.8
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 12,137,148 37.1 -1.8 87 -31 12,079,535 36.6 -1.4 106 +28 201 -1 38.8
Christian Social Union (CSU) 3,094,176 9.5 -0.4 34 -2 3,115,652 9.5 -0.1 15 +2 49 ±0 9.5
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 1,554,651 4.8 -3.1 0 ±0 1,903,422 5.8 -3.7 30 -19 31 -19 6.0
National Democratic Party (NPD) 1,189,375 3.6 +1.8 0 ±0 1,422,010 4.3 +2.3 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Campaign for Democratic Progress (ADF) 209,180 0.6 +0.6 0 ±0 197,331 0.6 +0.6 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Bavaria Party (BP) 54,940 0.2 +0.2 0 ±0 49,694 0.2 +0.2 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
European Federalist Party (EFP) 20,927 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 49,650 0.2 +0.2 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
All-German Party (GDP) - - - - - 45,401 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Free Social Union (FSU) 10,192 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 16,371 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Centre Party (Zentrum) - - - - - 15,933 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Independent Workers' Party (UAP) 1,531 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 5,309 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
DV 461 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 - - - - - 0 ±0 0
Electoral groups and independents 38,561 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 - - - - - 0 ±0 0
Invalid/blank votes 809,548 -- -- -- -- 557,040 -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Totals 33,523,064 100 ±0.0 248 ±0 33,523,064 100 ±0.0 248 ±0 518 ±0 ±0
Registered voters/turnout 38,677,235 86.7 -- -- -- 38,677,235 86.7 -- -- -- -- -- --
Source: Federal Returning Officer
^+ -- includes the non-voting delegates for West Berlin (13 SPD, 8 CDU, 1 FDP).


?
237 31 250
SPD FDP CDU/CSU
Popular Vote
CDU/CSU
46.09%
SPD
42.67%
FDP
5.77%
NPD
4.31%
Other
1.15%
Bundestag seats
CDU/CSU
48.79%
SPD
45.16%
FDP
6.05%

Aftermath

Brandt speaks to the press on election night, 28 September

Willy Brandt, against the will of several party fellows like Herbert Wehner or Helmut Schmidt, chose to leave the grand coalition with the CDU/CSU, forming a social-liberal coalition with the Free Democratic Party (FDP) instead. On 21 October 1969 he was elected Chancellor of Germany, the first SPD chancellor in the postwar period, after the last Social Democrat holding this position had been Hermann Müller from 1928 to 1930. FDP chairman Walter Scheel succeeded Brandt as vice-chancellor and foreign minister. Brandt's government proceeded with the revaluation Schiller had proposed, raising the value of the mark by 9.3% in late October.[6]

Disappointed Kiesinger bitterly complained about the faithless liberals. Though he had again achieved the plurality of votes for the CDU, he had to lead his party into opposition. He was succeeded as chairman by Rainer Barzel in 1971.

However the Cabinet Brandt I could only rely on an absolute majority (Kanzlermehrheit) of twelve votes in the Bundestag. Several party switches in protest against Brandt's Ostpolitik of FDP and SPD members resulted in the snap election of 1972.

Notes

  1. ^ As Bundestag elections were not held in West Berlin, Brandt was elected via the SPD's list in North Rhine-Westphalia.

References

  1. ^ "Wahl zum 6. Deutschen Bundestag am 28. September 1969" (in German). Bundeswahlleiter. Archived from the original on 6 May 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ "Voter turnout by election year". Website of the Federal Returning Officer's Office. The Federal Returning Officer. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ Bjöl, Erling (1984). Grimberg's History of the Nations, volume 22: From Peace to the Cold War. Helsinki: WSOY. p. 491.
  4. ^ Bjöl, Erling. Grimberg's History of the Nations, volume 23: The Rich West. pp. 345-347.
  5. ^ Bark, Dennis L.; Gress, David R. (1989). A History of West Germany, volume 2: Democracy and Its Discontents, 1963-1988. London, UK: Basil Blackwell.
  6. ^ Brenner, Robert (2006). The Economics of Global Turbulence: The Advanced Capitalist Economies from Long Boom to Long Downturn, 1945-2005. p. 126. ISBN 9781859847305.

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

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