1965 West German federal election

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1965 West German federal election

← 1961 19 September 1965 (1965-09-19) 1969 →

All 496 seats in the Bundestag[a]
249 seats needed for a majority
Registered38,510,395 Increase 2.9%
Turnout33,416,207 (86.8%) Decrease 0.9 pp
  First party Second party Third party
  Einde bezoek bondskanselier dr Ludwig Erhard en gaf persconferentie in het Haag, Bestanddeelnr 916-1330.jpg Willy Brandt.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 183-87989-0060, Erich Mende.jpg
Leader Ludwig Erhard Willy Brandt Erich Mende
Party CDU/CSU SPD FDP
Leader since 16 October 1963[c] 16 February 1964 29 January 1960
Leader's seat Ulm Berlin North Rhine-Westphalia
Last election 45.3%, 242 seats 36.2%, 190 seats 12.8%, 67 seats
Seats won 245[d] 202[e] 49[b]
Seat change Increase 3 Increase 12 Decrease 18
Popular vote 15,524,068 12,813,186 3,096,739
Percentage 47.6% 39.3% 9.5%
Swing Increase 2.2 pp Increase 3.1 pp Decrease 3.3 pp

Bundestagswahl 1965 - 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

First Erhard cabinet
CDU/CSUFDP

Government after election

Second Erhard cabinet
CDU/CSUFDP

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 19 September 1965 to elect the members of the 5th Bundestag. The CDU/CSU remained the largest faction, while the Social Democratic Party remained the largest single party in the Bundestag, winning 217 of the 518 seats (including 15 of the 22 non-voting delegates for West Berlin).

Campaign[edit]

Federal Chancellor Ludwig Erhard was initially popular as the acclaimed "father" of West Germany's economic miracle of the 1950s and early 1960s. West Germany's economy still seemed solid in 1965, and thus not enough West German voters wanted to change the party of Federal Chancellor. To ensure his victory in this Bundestag election, Erhard promised to cut income tax and to increase social program spending.[1][2]

Results[edit]

Summary of the 19 September 1965 German Bundestag election results
Bundestag 1965.svg
Parties Constituency Party list Total seats
Votes % +/− Seats +/− Votes % +/− Seats +/− Seats +/− %
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 12,998,474 40.1 +3.6 94 +3 12,813,186 39.3 +3.1 108 +9 202 +12 40.7
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 12,631,319 38.9 +2.6 118 +4 12,387,562 38.0 +2.2 78 ±0 196 +4 39.5
Christian Social Union (CSU) 3,204,648 9.9 +0.2 36 −6 3,136,506 9.6 ±0.0 13 +5 49 −1 9.9
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 2,562,294 7.9 −4.2 0 ±0 3,096,739 9.5 −3.3 49 −18 49 −18 9.9
National Democratic Party (NPD) 587,216 1.8 +1.8 0 ±0 664,193 2.0 +2.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
German Peace Union (DFU) 386,900 1.2 −0.6 0 ±0 434,182 1.3 −0.6 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Action Community of Independent Germans (AUD) 46,146 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 52,637 0.2 +0.2 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Christian People's Party (CVP) 11,978 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 19,832 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Free Social Union (FSU) 6,287 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 10,631 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Independent Workers' Party (UAP) 1,127 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 3,959 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
European Federalist Party (EFP) 1,015 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Electoral groups and independents 660 0.0 ±0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Valid votes 32,437,049 97.1 –0.3 32,620,442 97.6 +1.6
Invalid/blank votes 979,158 2.9 +0.3 795,765 2.4 –1.6
Total votes 33,416,207 100.0 ±0.0 248 +1 33,416,207 100.0 ±0.0 248 −4 496 −3 100.0
Registered voters/turnout 38,510,395 86.8 –0.9 38,510,395 86.8 –0.9
Source: Bundeswahlleiter
^† — excludes the non-voting delegates for West Berlin (15 SPD, 6 CDU, 1 FDP).


245 49 202
CDU/CSU FDP SPD
Popular Vote
CDU/CSU
47.59%
SPD
39.28%
FDP
9.49%
NPD
2.04%
DFU
1.33%
Other
0.27%
Bundestag seats
CDU/CSU
49.40%
SPD
40.73%
FDP
9.88%

Aftermath[edit]

The coalition between the CDU/CSU and the FDP returned to government, with Ludwig Erhard as Chancellor. In 1966, the FDP left the coalition over budget issues, and Erhard resigned. Kurt Georg Kiesinger (also CDU) formed a new grand coalition between the CDU/CSU and the SPD which lasted until the next election.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As well as the 22 non-voting delegates for West Berlin, elected by the West Berlin Legislature.
  2. ^ As well as the 1 non-voting delegates for West Berlin.
  3. ^ Erhard succeeded Konrad Adenauer as federal Chancellor on 16 October 1963; he did not become leader of the CDU until 1966.
  4. ^ As well as the 6 non-voting delegates for West Berlin.
  5. ^ As well as the 15 non-voting delegates for West Berlin.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bjöl, Erling. "Erhard's Victory and Fall". Grimberg's History of the Nations, volume 23: The Rich West. p. 339.
  2. ^ Bark, Dennis L.; Gress, David R. (1989). A History of West Germany, volume 2: Democracy and Its Discontents, 1963–1988. London, UK: Basil Blackwell.