Landtag of Hesse

Coordinates: 50°04′55″N 8°14′28″E / 50.082°N 8.241°E / 50.082; 8.241
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Landtag of Hesse

Hessischer Landtag
Coat of arms or logo
Established19 September 1946
Astrid Wallmann, CDU
since 2022
Landtag of Hesse 2018.svg
Political groups
Government (69)
  •   CDU (40)
  •   Greens (29)

Opposition (68)

Last election
28 October 2018
Next election
Meeting place
Hessischer Landtag - Plenarsaal.jpg
Stadtschloss, Wiesbaden
Landtag of Hesse
Landtag of Hesse, extension

The Landtag of Hesse (German: Hessischer Landtag) is the unicameral parliament of the State of Hesse in the Federal Republic of Germany. It convenes in the Stadtschloss in Wiesbaden. As a legislature it is responsible for passing laws at the state level and enacting the budget. Its most important function is to elect and control the state government. The constitution of the State of Hesse describes the role of the Landtag in sections 75 to 99.

The Landtag consists of 137 members of six parties. There is a coalition between the Christian Democratic Union and the Greens. The President of the Landtag is Astrid Wallmann and the Minister-President of Hesse is Boris Rhein.

The members are elected via a mixed-member proportional representation system, with a minimum of 5% vote share to receive any seats. The smallest allowed size of Landtag is 110 members (without overhang and levelling seats), of which 55 are elected first-past-the-post in single-member constituencies and others are elected by party list vote.

In Hesse, voting in Landtag elections is available for every German citizen aged 18 or over, who has primarily resided in the state for at least three months. To stand for election, a candidate is also required to have resided in the state for at least a year.[1]


Beratender Landesausschuss[edit]

After World War II, the state of Hesse was restored by the US military administration under the name of Greater Hesse. In 1945, the US military administration implemented the "Beratender Landesausschuss", literally an advisory council. The members of this pre-parliament were appointed and not elected.

Party Seats
CDU 12
SPD 12
LDP 12
KPD 12
total 48

Constitutional convention[edit]

On 30 June 1946 a Constitutional convention of Hesse ("Verfassungsgebenden Landesversammlung") was elected.

This election was won by the SPD, even if the SPD failed to capture a majority of seats. On 22 November 1945 the constitution for Greater Hesse (Staatsgrundgesetz des Staates Groß-Hessen) was introduced.[2]

Party Seats
SPD 41
CDU 36
total 90

1st Legislative period (1946 through 1950)[edit]

The first regular election on 1 December 1946 was also won by the SPD.

A grand coalition of SPD and CDU decided on electing Christian Stock (SPD) as first free elected Minister-President of Hesse after World War II.

Party Seats
SPD 38
CDU 28
LDP 14
KPD 10
total 90

2nd Legislative period (1950 through 1954)[edit]

The second election on 19 November 1950 inaugurated the 37-year period of the so-called "red Hesse". The SPD achieved majority and the CDU, the former partner in the grand coalition, lost close to 60% of their seats. Until 1987, all governments of Hesse have been headed by SPD politicians.

On 14 December 1950 the former Minister of Justice, Georg August Zinn (SPD) was elected as Minister-President of Hesse. Zinn was re-elected 4 times and was Minister-President until 3 October 1969.

Party Seats 1950 Seats 1954
SPD 47 48
FDP 13 13
CDU 12 12
GB/BHE 8 7
total 80 80

3rd Legislative period (1954 through 1958)[edit]

Even if the SPD lost the absolute majority in the third election on 28 November 1953, it managed to agree on a coalition with the "All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights" a party representing the victims of the Expulsion of Germans after World War II.

Party Seats 1954 Seats 1958
SPD 44 44
CDU 24 24
FDP 21 20
GB/BHE 7 7
Non-Inscrits 0 1
total 96 96

4th Legislative period (1958 through 1962)[edit]

The fourth election of 23 November 1958 perpetuated the previous coalition.

Party Seats
SPD 48
CDU 32
total 96

5th Legislative period (1962 through 1966)[edit]

Even if the SPD obtained absolute majority on 11 November 1962, Zinn decided to continue the coalition with the GDP ("Gesamtdeutsche Partei", the new name of GB/BHE).

Party Seats 1962 Seats 1966
SPD 51 51
CDU 26 26
FDP 11 12
GDP 6 5
total 94 94

6th Legislative period (1966 through 1970)[edit]

On 6 November 1966, the SPD elected a majority of MPs once more. Zinn was appointed one last time as Minister-President. On 3 October 1969, 68-year-old Zinn resigned and Albert Osswald (SPD) was elected as his successor.

Party Begin End
SPD 52 52
CDU 26 26
FDP 10 10
NPD 8 7
Non-Inscrits 0 1
total 96 96

7th Legislative period (1970 through 1974)[edit]

Headed by Alfred Dregger the CDU was able to make an impressive jump in the election of 8 November 1970. The SPD lost its majority but agreed on a Social-liberal coalition with the FDP and Albert Osswald was reelected.

Party Seats
SPD 53
CDU 46
FDP 11
total 110

8th Legislative period (1974 through 1978)[edit]

Alfred Dregger and his CDU were even more successful in the election on 27 October 1974. For the first time in the history of Hesse, the CDU overtook the SPD. But the coalition was confirmed and Osswald stayed as Minister-President.

Two years later Osswald resigned because of the Helaba-scandal. Holger Börner (SPD) was elected as Minister-President in his place.

Party Seats 1974 Seats 1978
CDU 53 53
SPD 49 49
FDP 8 7
Non-Inscrits 0 1
total 110

9th Legislative period (1978 through 1982)[edit]

Expecting a majority, the results were disappointing for the CDU. In the period of RAF terrorism, the CDU stagnated and the SPD-FDP coalition was confirmed in the elections on 8 October 1978. On 11 May 1981, deputy Minister-President Heinz-Herbert Karry was assassinated by terrorists in his flat in Frankfurt am Main. This legislative period is also marked by the demonstrations against the extension of the Frankfurt Airport. Himself hard-pressed by activists in his car, Börner, previously a learned roofer, at the time said that 40 years ago, he would have answered such attacks directed at his person – meaning the anti-airport-activists (the later Greens) – with "roof battens". Börner thus entered Hesse history as the "Man with a roof batten".

Party Seats
CDU 53
SPD 50
total 110

10th Legislative period (1982 through 1983)[edit]

After the break of the Social-liberal coalition in Germany, the FDP was not able to reach more than 5% and got no seats in the Landtag. At the same time, themselves reaching the 5% threshold, the Greens (Die Grünen) made their entrance in a German parliament for the first time, but not long thereafter, they announced their fundamental opposition to form a coalition with one of the other political groups. For its part, the SPD was not willing to accept a grand coalition headed by the CDU. As a result, a Snap election took place a year later.

Party Seats
CDU 52
SPD 49
Greens 9
total 110

11th Legislative period (1983 through 1987)[edit]

The extraordinary election on 25 August 1983 got no new result. The FDP returned to the Landtag but the CDU and the FDP, as well as the SPD, obtained no majority.

Party Seats
SPD 51
CDU 44
Die Grünen 7
total 110

Holger Börner was reelected as Minister-President and in 1985 a first Red-green alliance in Germany was formed. Joschka Fischer was nominated minister for environment and energy. The Green party at this time was divided in "fundamental" and "democratic" factions. These two groups were not able to agree on a common politic. The "red-green-chaos" was the common description for these years. The coalition ended in February 1987.

12th Legislative period (1987 through 1991)[edit]

The 1987 election was a milestone. As a rule, the party ruling Germany lost votes in the state elections. CDU and FDP had lost all elections on state level since Helmut Kohl had been elected as chancellor. But the red-green-chaos lead to surprising results: on 5 April 1987, the CDU and the FDP won the elections and Walter Wallmann became the first CDU Minister-President of Hesse.

Party Seats
CDU 47
SPD 44
Die Grünen 10
total 110

13th Legislative period (1991 through 1995)[edit]

The vote on 20 January 1991 was as close as the last one, but this time the SPD and the Greens obtained slightly more seats. Hand Eichel (SPD) became the new Minister-President, supported by a red/green-alliance.

Party Seats
SPD 46
CDU 46
Die Grünen 10
total 110

14th Legislative period (1995 through 1999)[edit]

In the elections on 19 February 1995 the red/green-alliance was confirmed.

Party Seats 1995 Seats 1999
CDU 45 45
SPD 44 44
Die Grünen 13 13
FDP 8 7
Non-Inscrits 0 1
total 110 110

15th Legislative period (1999 through 2003)[edit]

On 7 February 1999, the CDU won the elections with a 4.2% margin. One of the main reasons given for this result is an unpopular red/green legislative project aimed at granting citizenship to aliens.[3] This would have granted suffrage to millions of aliens (mainly Turks[4]). According to surveys, 80% of these aliens would have voted for left-leaning parties.[5] In order to put a stop to this project, the CDU organized a campaign and collected more than 5 million signatures.

Roland Koch (CDU) was appointed Minister-President of a CDU-FDP coalition.

Party Seats
CDU 50
SPD 46
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen 8
total 110

16th Legislative period (2003 through 2008)[edit]

The election of 2 February 2003 was a disaster for the SPD. The CDU managed to get a majority even without the FDP. All but two constituencies were won – even in the north of Hesse, where the SPD had won each single election in the 20th century.

Party Seats
CDU 56
SPD 33
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen 12
total 110

17th Legislative period (2008 through 2009)[edit]

Like in 1982, the results of the election allowed no stable coalition to take the reins of government. Andrea Ypsilanti, leader of the SPD, had promised several times during the electoral campaign not to work together with the new leftist party Die Linke (The Left). A few weeks after election day, she was tempted to go for a SPD–Green coalition supported by The Left but under opposition from MP Dagmar Metzger (SPD) decided not to renege on her promise not to pursue such a venue. As of today, Roland Koch is still Minister-President but without majority in the parliament. After a second unsuccessful attempt by Ypsilanti to take power, all parties agreed to dissolve the Landtag and call for early elections on 18 January 2009.

Party Seats
CDU 42
SPD 42
FDP 11
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen 9
Die Linke 6
total 110

18th Legislative period (2009 through 2013)[edit]

Seating Landtag of Hesse

The early elections on 18 January 2009 led to a stable majority of CDU and FDP. Andrea Ypsilanti had resigned to candidate for Ministerpresident. New leader of the SPD was Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, a unknown backbencher and loyal supporter of Ypsilanti. Now SPD declared their will to work with Die Linke together for a left wing majority. On 18 January 2009 the SPD lost a third of their seats.

Party Seats
CDU 46
SPD 29
FDP 20
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen 17
Die Linke 6
total 118

19th Legislative period (2013 through 2018)[edit]

The elections of 22 September 2013 did not lead to a stable majority for any of the common coalitions. After several weeks of coalition talks Volker Bouffier's CDU and Tarek Al-Wazir's Green Party formed the first black-green coalition of a territorial state in Germany.

Party Seats
CDU 47
SPD 37
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen 14
Die Linke 6
total 110

20th Legislative period (2018 through 2023)[edit]

The black-green (CDU-Green) coalition government continued with a very slim majority of 69 seats. The far-right AfD was represented in the Landtag for the first time in history. With 19.8% of the vote, 66 votes behind the Greens, the SPD had their worst result ever in the state.

Party Percentage of Votes Seats
CDU 27.0% 40
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen 19.8% 29
SPD 19.8% 29
AfD 13.1% 19
FDP 7.5% 11
Die Linke 6.3% 9
Total 137

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bürgerservice Hessenrecht". Retrieved 26 July 2022.
  2. ^ "Constitution of Greater Hesse" (in German). 22 November 1945.
  3. ^ e.g. Focus 10 Nov 2004, online
  4. ^ Politik und Unterricht: Türken bei uns – Ihre Heimat, Migration, Integration
  5. ^ Abgeleitet aus Andreas M. Wüst: Das Wahlverhalten eingebürgerter Personen in Deutschland, Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte (B 52/2003), Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 22. Dezember 2003.

External links[edit]

50°04′55″N 8°14′28″E / 50.082°N 8.241°E / 50.082; 8.241