West German federal election, 1961

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Election for the 4th German Federal Diet[1]
West Germany
1957 ←
17 September 1961 (1961-09-17)[1]
→ 1965

All 521 seats in the Bundestag
261 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 87.7%
  First party Second party Third party
  Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F078072-0004, Konrad Adenauer.jpg Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F057884-0009, Willy Brandt.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 183-87989-0060, Erich Mende.jpg
Leader Konrad Adenauer Willy Brandt Erich Mende
Party CDU/CSU SPD FDP
Seats before 277 181 44
Seats won 251 203 67
Seat change Decrease26 Increase22 Increase23
Popular vote 14,298,372 11,427,355 4,028,766
Percentage 45.4% 36.2% 12.8%
Swing Decrease4.8% Increase4.4% Increase5.1%

West German Federal Election - Party list vote results by state - 1961 & 1965.png

Party list election results by state: the lighter blue denotes states where CDU/CSU had the plurality of votes; darker blue denotes states where CDU/CSU had the absolute majority of the votes; and pink denotes states where the SPD had the plurality of votes

Chancellor before election

Konrad Adenauer
CDU/CSU

Elected Chancellor

Konrad Adenauer
CDU/CSU

Election posters
Coat of arms of Germany.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Germany
Foreign relations

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 17 September 1961. CDU/CSU remained the largest faction, while the Social Democratic Party narrowly became the largest individual party in the Bundestag, winning 203 of the 521 seats.

Campaign[edit]

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[edit]

e • d Summary of the 17 September 1961 German Bundestag election results
Parties Constituency Party list Total seats
Votes  % +/− Seats +/− Votes  % +/− Seats +/− Seats +/−  %
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 11,672,057 36.5 +4.5 91 +45 11,427,355 36.2 +4.4 99 −24 203 +22 39.0
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 11,622,995 36.3 −3.4 114 −33 11,283,901 35.8 −3.9 78 +10 201 −21 38.6
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 3,866,269 12.1 +4.6 0 −1 4,028,766 12.8 +5.1 67 +27 67 +23 12.9
Christian Social Union (CSU) 3,104,742 9.7 −0.9 42 −5 3,014,471 9.6 −0.9 8 ±0 50 −5 9.6
All-German Party (GDP) 859,290 2.7 −5.2 0 −6 870,756 2.8 −5.2 0 −11 0 −17 0
German Peace Union (DFU) 587,488 1.8 +1.8 0 ±0 609,918 1.9 +1.9 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
German Reich Party (DRP) 242,649 0.8 −0.2 0 ±0 262,977 0.8 −0.2 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
South Schleswig Voter Federation (SSW) 24,951 0.1 ±0 0 ±0 25,449 0.1 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
German Community (DG) 21,083 0.1 ±0 0 ±0 27,308 0.1 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Electoral Group for a Neutral Germany (WGnD) 778 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Electoral groups and independents 2,164 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Invalid/blank votes 845,158 1,298,723
Totals 32,849,624 100 ±0.0 247 ±0 32,849,624 100 ±0.0 252 +2 521 +2 ±0
Registered voters/turnout 37,440,715 87.7 37,440,715 87.7
Source: Federal Returning Officer
^† — includes the non-voting delegates for West Berlin (13 SPD, 9 CDU).
^‡ — merger of the German Party and the All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights.


Popular Vote
CDU/CSU
  
45.32%
SPD
  
36.22%
FDP
  
12.77%
GDP
  
2.76%
DFU
  
1.93%
Other
  
1.00%
Bundestag seats
CDU/CSU
  
48.50%
SPD
  
38.08%
FDP
  
13.43%

Aftermath[edit]

The absolute majority was lost by the conservative union due to the gains of the liberal FDP under Erich Mende.

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 resigned; Ludwig Erhard took over his position as head of the coalition and government.

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]