German federal election, 1930

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German federal election, 1930
Weimar Republic
← 1928 14 September 1930 July 1932 →

All 577 seats in the Reichstag
289 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 82.0%
  First party Second party Third party
  Otto Wels.jpg Adolf Hitler 1933 (foto carnet).jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 102-12940, Ernst Thälmann (scrap).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 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-2005-0621-500, Reichsminister Alfred Hugenberg.jpg
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%

Reichstag composition, 1930
Seats in the Reichstag after 1930 federal election.

Chancellor before election

Heinrich Brüning
Centre

Elected Chancellor

None (Brüning remained unelected Chancellor)

The German federal election occurred on 14 September 1930.[1] Despite losing 10 seats, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) remained the largest party in the Reichstag, winning 143 of the 577 seats, whilst the Nazi Party (NSDAP) dramatically increased its number of seats from 12 to 107.[2]

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The two major parties of the Weimar Coalition, the SPD and Zentrum (Centre Party) had no high gains or losses – in contrast to their partner DVP, but the two results of the elections seen as dramatic were the NSDAP reaching more than 100 seats, and big gains for the Communists (KPD) – an additional 23 seats.

Background[edit]

The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) had won the most votes and had led the ruling coalition in every previous post-World War I election before the election of 1930.

In the 1924 elections, 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 Thalmann, 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.

Electoral system[edit]

In 1930 the German government was a multi-party parliamentary democracy, led by Paul von Hindenburg (1925-1933). The parliamentary democracy awarded one seat in the Reichstag per 60,000 votes. All citizens over 21 could vote, and 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 Executive was elected every seven years and was primarily in control of the armed forces, however, they 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 broad range of parties led to many wasted votes. This electoral paradigm made it difficult to secure an absolute majority, and as a result, Germany suffered through multiple polarized coalition governments during the Weimar Republic. In fact, the frequent and drastic changes in government left many Germans distrustful of democracy. The top five political parties participating in the 1930’s election held drastically polarized ideologies. Three of the main five parties leaned to the right: The NSDAP, the Center Party, and the DNVP. The SDP and Communist Party leaned left.

Party Ideology Political position
Social Democrat Party Social Democracy Center-left
National Socialist German Workers Party Nazism Far-right
Communist Party of Germany Marxism / Communism Far-left
Centre Party Political Catholicism Center-right
German National People's Party Conservatism / Nationalism Right-wing

Results[edit]

The 1930 German election drew 82% voter turn-out, an unprecedented event. The incumbent political party, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), lead in the popular vote and won 143 seats, a loss of 10 seats from the previous election. The National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) rose to the second largest party with 18.25% of the vote and took home 107 seats, a remarkable additional 95 seats over the last election. The only other party to gain seats was the Communist Party, which won 13.13% of the vote, securing 77 seats, a gain of 23 additional seats than the last election. 34 other political parties shared the remainder of the votes. The excessive amount of small political parties created vast amounts of wasted votes in the previous election of 1928, however, in the 1930 election there were fewer political parties on the ballot; therefore, there were less wasted votes. Parties that did not secure a seat acquired 413,000 wasted votes.[3] This broad-based coalition government with polarized political ideologies created inefficiency within the Weimar Republic.

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. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p762 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p790
  3. ^ Pollock, James K. “The German Reichstag Elections of 1930.” The American Political Science Review, vol. 24, no. 4, 1930, pp. 989–995., www.jstor.org/stable/1946755.