1930 German federal election

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1930 German federal election

← 1928 14 September 1930 July 1932 →

All 577 seats in the Reichstag
289 seats needed for a majority
Turnout82.0% Increase 6.4 pp
  First party Second party Third party
  Ottowelsportait.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S62600, Adolf Hitler.jpg Ernst Thälmann 1932.jpg
Leader Otto Wels Adolf Hitler Ernst Thälmann
Party SPD NSDAP KPD
Leader since 1919 28 July 1921 October 1925
Last election 153 seats, 29.8% 12 seats, 2.6% 54 seats, 10.6%
Seats won 143 107 77
Seat change Decrease10 Increase95 Increase23
Popular vote 8,575,244 6,379,672 4,590,160
Percentage 24.53% 18.25% 13.13%
Swing Decrease5.23% Increase15.69% Increase2.51%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Ludwig Kaas Konkordatsunterzeichnung mini.jpg AlfredHugenberg1933.jpeg Scholz LCCN2014711328
Leader Ludwig Kaas Alfred Hugenberg Ernst Scholz
Party Centre DNVP DVP
Leader since September 1928 1928 1929
Last election 61 seats, 12.1% 73 seats, 14.2% 45 seats, 8.7%
Seats won 68 41 30
Seat change Increase7 Decrease32 Decrease15
Popular vote 4,127,000 2,457,686 1,577,365
Percentage 11.81% 7.03% 4.51%
Swing Decrease0.26% Decrease7.22% Decrease3.97%

Reichstagswahl 1930.svg
Constituencies coloured according to the party that received the largest share of the vote.

Chancellor before election

Heinrich Brüning
Centre

Elected Chancellor

None (Brüning remained unelected Chancellor)

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Federal elections were held in Germany on 14 September 1930.[1] Despite losing ten seats, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) remained the largest party in the Reichstag, winning 143 of the 577 seats, while the Nazi Party (NSDAP) dramatically increased its number of seats from 12 to 107.[2] The Communists also increased their parliamentary representation, gaining 23 seats and becoming the third-largest party in the Reichstag.

Background[edit]

The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) had won the most votes and was the largest party in most elections from 1919 to 1932. They led the coalition government between 1919-1920 and 1928-1930.

In the December 1924 election, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) received 26% of the popular vote, securing 131 parliamentary seats, an increase of 31 seats over the previous election. In the 1928 election, the SPD secured 29.8% of the vote and 153 seats, up 22 from the 1924 federal election. In 1928, the only other party that gained seats was the Communist Party, led by Ernst Thälmann, which received 10.6% of the vote count while securing 54 seats, up nine from the previous election. The National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) won just 2.6% of the vote, which equated to a loss of 2 seats.

Centre Party politician and academic Heinrich Brüning had been appointed chancellor by President Hindenburg on 29 March 1930 when the grand coalition under the Social Democrat Hermann Müller collapsed. The new government was confronted with the economic crisis caused by the Great Depression. Brüning disclosed to his associates in the German Labour Federation that his chief aim as chancellor would be to liberate the German economy from the burden of continuing to pay war reparations and foreign debt. This would require an unpopular policy of tight credit and a rollback of all wage and salary increases (an internal devaluation). The Reichstag rejected Brüning's measures within a month. Hindenburg, already bent on reducing the influence of the Reichstag, saw this event as the "failure of parliament", and with Brüning's consent he called new elections.

Electoral system[edit]

In 1930, Germany was formally a multi-party parliamentary democracy, led by President Paul von Hindenburg (1925–1934). However, beginning in March 1930, Hindenburg only appointed governments without a parliamentary majority which systematically governed by emergency decrees, circumventing the democratically elected Reichstag.

The electoral law awarded one seat in the Reichstag per 60,000 votes. All citizens over 21 could vote through a system of proportional representation, a new parliament was elected every four years to deal with issues related to taxes, trade, defense, etc. The President was directly elected every seven years and was primarily in control of the armed forces, however, he also had significant powers to dissolve the Reichstag, nominate a Chancellor, veto laws, and utilize article 48.

Campaign[edit]

In 1930, there were 37 individual parties running for office. Of these parties, only ten secured over 3% of the popular vote. The top five political parties participating in the 1930 election were the following:

Political party Ideology Political position Leader
Communist Party of Germany Communism, Marxism Far-left Ernst Thälmann
National Socialist German Workers Party National Socialism Far-right Adolf Hitler
Social Democratic Party of Germany Social democracy Centre-left Otto Wels
Centre Party Political Catholicism Centre-right Ludwig Kaas
German National People's Party Conservatism, nationalism Right-wing Alfred Hugenberg

Results[edit]

The 1930 German election drew 82% voter turn-out, an unprecedented event. The Social Democratic Party (SPD) remained the strongest party and won 143 seats, a loss of 10 seats from the previous election. The National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) rose to become the second largest party with 18.25% of the vote and gained 107 seats, a massive increase from the 12 seats gained in the last election. The only other party to increase its seats was the Communist Party, which won 13.13% of the vote, securing 77 seats, 23 more than in the last election. 34 other political parties shared the remainder of the votes.

Reichstag composition, 1930.svg
Party Votes % Seats +/–
Social Democratic Party 8,575,244 24.53 143 –10
National Socialist German Workers' Party 6,379,672 18.25 107 +95
Communist Party of Germany 4,590,160 13.13 77 +23
Centre Party 4,127,000 11.81 68 +7
German National People's Party 2,457,686 7.03 41 –32
German People's Party 1,577,365 4.51 30 –15
German State Party 1,322,034 3.78 20 –5
Reich Party of the German Middle Class 1,361,762 3.90 23 0
Christian-National Peasants' and Farmers' Party 1,108,043 3.17 19 +10
Bavarian People's Party 1,058,637 3.03 19 +2
Christian Social People's Service 868,269 2.48 14 New
German Farmers' Party 339,434 0.97 6 –2
Conservative People's Party 290,579 0.83 4 New
Reich Party for Civil Rights and Deflation/Christian Social Reich Party 271,291 0.78 0 –2
Agricultural League 193,926 0.55 3 0
German-Hanoverian Party 144,286 0.41 3 –1
Christian Social Peoples Community 81,550 0.23 0 New
Polish People's Party 72,913 0.21 0 0
Schmalix Greater German List 26,707 0.08 0 New
House and Property Owners 25,530 0.07 0 0
Conservative People's Party/German-Hanoverian Party 22,218 0.06 0
Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany 11,690 0.03 0 0
Freibund des Handwerks, Kleinhandels und Gewerbes 9,531 0.03 0 New
Radical German State Party 8,841 0.03 0 New
Deutsche Einheitspartei für wahre Volkswirtschaft 6,915 0.02 0 New
Kriegsbeschädigten- und Hinterbliebenenpartei der deutschen Mannschaft einschließlich der Abgefundenen 6,704 0.02 0 New
Deutsche Kulturpartei der geistigen Berufe, Angestellten und Beamten 6,181 0.02 0 New
Handel, Handwerk, Hausbesitz 3,644 0.01 0 New
Schleswig Club 1,785 0.01 0 0
Menschheitspartei und neue Volksgemeinschaft 1,626 0.0 0 New
Evangelical voters 1,326 0.0 0 New
Party against Alcohol 1,171 0.0 0 New
Workers Party for Creative Workers 907 0.0 0 New
Prussian-Lithunanian People's Party 666 0.0 0 New
Renter and People's Reich Party 653 0.0 0 New
People's Party of the Lusatian Sorbs 288 0.0 0 New
Friesland 237 0.0 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 268,028
Total 35,224,499 100.00 577 +86
Registered voters/turnout 42,982,912 82.0
Source: Gonschior.de
Popular Vote
SPD
24.53%
NSDAP
18.25%
KPD
13.13%
Zentrum
11.80%
DNVP
7.03%
DVP
4.51%
WP
3.90%
DStP (DDP)
3.78%
CNBL
3.17%
BVP
3.03%
CSVD
2.48%
Other
4.38%
Reichstag seats
SPD
24.78%
NSDAP
18.54%
KPD
13.34%
Zentrum
11.79%
DNVP
7.11%
DVP
5.20%
WP
3.99%
DStP (DDP)
3.47%
BVP
3.29%
CNBL
3.29%
CSVD
2.43%
Other
2.77%
The Gallagher Index result was 1.33

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p762 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p790