1957 West German federal election

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1957 West German federal election

← 1953 15 September 1957 (1957-09-15)[1] 1961 →

All 519 seats in the Bundestag
260 seats needed for a majority
Turnout87.8% (voting eligible)[2]
  First party Second party Third party
  Adenauer Bouserath3.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 183-21272-0001, Erich Ollenhauer.jpg Reinhold Maier.jpg
Leader Konrad Adenauer Erich Ollenhauer Reinhold Maier
Party CDU/CSU SPD FDP
Leader since 21 October 1950 1952 1957
Seats before 249 162 53
Seats won 277 181 43
Seat change Increase28 Increase19 Decrease10
Popular vote 15,008,399 9,495,571 2,307,135
Percentage 50.2% 31.8% 7.7%
Swing Increase5.0% Increase3.0% Decrease1.9%

  Fourth party Fifth party
 
Leader Heinrich Hellwege Friedrich von Kessel
Party DP GB/BHE
Leader since 1947
Seats before 15 27
Seats won 17 0
Seat change Increase2 Decrease27
Popular vote 1,007,282 1,374,066
Percentage 3.4% 4.6%
Swing Increase0.1% Decrease1.3%

West German Federal Election - Party list vote results by state - 1957.png
Election results (party list) by state: the lighter blue denotes states where CDU had the plurality of votes; darker blue denotes states where CDU/CSU had the absolute majority of the votes; and pink denotes states where the SPD had the plurality of votes

Chancellor before election

Konrad Adenauer
CDU/CSU

Elected Chancellor

Konrad Adenauer
CDU/CSU

Seat results – SPD in red, FDP in yellow, CDU/CSU in black, others (moderate right) in gray
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Federal elections were held in West Germany on 15 September 1957 to elect the third Bundestag. The Christian Democratic Union and its longtime ally, the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, won a sweeping victory, taking 277 seats in the Bundestag to win the first — and to date, only — absolute majority for a single German parliamentary group in a free election.

Campaign[edit]

Federal Chancellor Adenauer had some solid advantages over his Social Democratic opponent, Erich Ollenhauer; West Germany had become fully sovereign in 1955 and had joined the European Economic Community in March 1957. Its economy was growing steadily with very low unemployment, and most West Germans felt more prosperous and more secure than in 1949 or 1953. Although the West German economic growth was more directly enhanced by the social market economy policies of Economics Minister Ludwig Erhard, many West German voters gave Adenauer the credit for it.[3][4]

Results[edit]

The All-German Bloc lost all of their seats, but the ideologically-similar German Party maintained theirs. It was the last time in the 20th century that a party to the right of the CDU/CSU Union gained seats in the Bundestag.


e • d Summary of the 15 September 1957 German Bundestag election results
Parties Constituency Party list Total seats
Votes % +/− Seats +/− Votes % +/− Seats +/− Seats +/− %
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 11,975,400 39.7 +4.9 147 +17 11,875,339 39.7 +3.3 68 +7 222 +25 42.8
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 9,651,669 32.0 +2.5 46 +1 9,495,571 31.8 +3.0 123 +17 181 +19 34.9
Christian Social Union (CSU) 3,186,150 10.6 +1.7 47 +5 3,133,060 10.5 +1.7 8 −2 55 +3 10.6
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 2,276,234 7.5 −3.3 1 −13 2,307,135 7.7 −1.8 40 +6 44 −9 8.5
All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights (GB/BHE) 1,324,636 4.4 −1.5 0 ±0 1,374,066 4.6 −1.3 0 −27 0 −27 0
German Party (DP) 1,062,293 3.5 −0.4 6 −4 1,007,282 3.4 +0.1 11 +6 17 +2 3.3
German Reich Party (DRP) 290,622 1.0 +0.3 0 ±0 308,564 1.0 −0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Federalist Union (FU) 295,533 1.0 +1.0 0 ±0 254,322 0.9 +0.9 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Alliance of Germans (BdD) 37,329 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 58,725 0.2 +0.2 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
South Schleswig Voter Federation (SSW) 33,463 0.1 −0.1 0 ±0 32,262 0.1 −0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
German Community (DG) 16,410 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 17,490 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
German Middle Class (Mittelstand) 3,024 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 36,592 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Patriotic Union (VU) 2,250 0.0 ±0.0 0 ±0 5,020 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Party of the Good Germans (PdgD) 356 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Electoral groups and independents 845 0.0 −0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Invalid/blank votes 916,680 1,167,466
Total 31,072,894 100 ±0.0 247 +5 31,072,894 100 ±0.0 250 +5 519 +10 ±0
Registered voters/turnout 35,400,923 87.8 35,400,923 87.8
Source: Federal Returning Officer
^† — includes the non-voting delegates for West Berlin (12 SPD, 7 CDU, 3 FDP).


277 17 181 43
CDU/CSU DP SPD FDP
Popular Vote
CDU/CSU
50.19%
SPD
31.75%
FDP
7.71%
GB/BHE
4.59%
DP
3.37%
Other
2.38%
Bundestag seats
CDU/CSU
53.37%
SPD
34.87%
FDP
8.48%
DP
3.28%

Aftermath[edit]

Konrad Adenauer led the CDU-CSU coalition to a landslide victory. The CDU-CSU won an outright majority—to date, the only time a German party has been elected to a majority government in a free election (the CDU and CSU sit as a single bloc in the Bundestag).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wahl zum 3. Deutschen Bundestag am 15. September 1957" (in German). Bundeswahlleiter. Archived from the original on 6 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Voter turnout by election year". Website of the Federal Returning Officer's Office. The Federal Returning Officer. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  3. ^ Erling Bjöl, Grimberg's History of the Nations, volume 23: The Rich West, "A Giant Dwarf: West Germany," Helsinki: WSOY, 1985
  4. ^ Dennis L. Bark and David R. Gress, A History of West Germany, volume 1: 1945–1963: From Shadow to Substance, London, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1989