West German presidential election, 1959

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West German presidential election, 1959
Germany
1954 ←
1 July 1959
→ 1964

  Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1994-034-22A, Heinrich Lübke.jpg Stamp Germany 1996 Briefmarke Carlo Schmid.jpg
Nominee Heinrich Lübke Carlo Schmid Max Becker
Party CDU SPD FDP
Electoral vote 517 (1st round)
526 (2nd round)
385 (1st round)
386 (2nd round)
104 (1st round)
99 (2nd round)

President before election

Theodor Heuss
FDP

Elected President

Heinrich Lübke
CDU

An indirect presidential election was held in West Germany on 1 July 1959. For the first time in the Federal Republic, the incumbent president, Theodor Heuss, was not eligible for reelection. In the build up to the election, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer initially declared his candidacy, but then withdrew for political reasons. The Christian Democratic Union instead nominated Heinrich Lübke. The Social Democrats nominated Carlo Schmid who had been the party's caucus chair at the Parliamentary Council. The Free Democratic Party nominated the chair of its Bundestag caucus, Max Becker. Like the first contested presidential election ten years prior, it took two rounds to determine a winner. Heinrich Lübke fell two vote short of the absolute majority in the first round, winning the election with 526 votes in the second.

Composition of the Federal Convention[edit]

The President is elected by the Federal Convention consisting of all the members of the Bundestag and an equal number of delegates representing the states. These are divided proportionally by population to each state, and each state's delegation is divided among the political parties represented in its parliament so as to reflect the partisan proportions in the parliament.

By Party By State
Party Members State Members
CDU/CSU 517 Bundestag 519
SPD 386 Baden-Württemberg 70
FDP 82 Bavaria 88
DP 24 Berlin 21
GB/BHE 20 Bremen 6
BP 6 Hamburg 17
DPS 3 Hesse 44
Total 1038 Lower Saxony 62
North Rhine-Westphalia 147
Rheinland-Palatinate 32
Saarland 10
Schleswig-Holstein 22
Total 1038

Source: Eine Dokumentation aus Anlass der Wahl des Bundespräsidenten am 18. März 2012

Results[edit]

Candidate Parties First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Heinrich Lübke CDU/CSU, DP 517 49.8 536 50.7
Carlo Schmid SPD 385 37.1 386 37.2
Max Becker FDP 104 10.0 99 9.5
Abstentions 25 2.4 22 2.1
Invalid votes 0 0 0 0
Not present 7 0.7 5 0.5
Total 1,031 99.3 1,033 99.5
Source: Bundestag

References[edit]