Winter 2015 -- History 214: Germany, 1914-2000 -- Prof. Patch

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THE POLARIZATION OF THE ELECTORATE

IN THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC 

            The “Weimar Coalition” of social, liberal, and Catholic democrats initially won the support of three-fourths of the German electorate in January 1919 (which now included women for the first time).  From June 1920 onward, however, the only three parties that supported the Weimar Republic enthusiastically could not even muster a combined total of 50% of the votes cast. 

 (All figures are percentages of the popular vote, with the parties that

participated in coalition governments after each election in boldface.) 

Year

KPD

 USPD

SPD

DDP

Center (+BVP)

DVP

Splinter parties

DNVP

NSDAP

Voter Turn-out

1919

---

7.7

37.9

18.6

19.7

4.4

1.6

10.3

--

83.0

1920

2.1

17.9

21.7

8.3

17.8

13.9

3.3

15.1

--

79.2

1924I

12.6

---

20.5

5.7

16.6

9.2

8.6

19.5

6.5

77.4

1924II

9.0

 

26.0

6.3

17.4

10.1

7.5

20.5

3.0

78.8

1928

10.6

 

29.8

4.9

15.2

8.7

13.9

14.2

2.6

75.6

1930

13.1

 

24.5

3.8

14.8

4.7

13.8

7.0

18.3

82.0

1932I

14.5

 

21.6

1.0

16.2

1.2

2.0

6.2

37.4

84.1

1932II

16.9

 

20.4

1.0

15.3

1.9

2.6

8.9

33.1

80.6

1933

12.3

 

18.3

0.9

13.9

1.1

1.6

8.0

43.9

88.8

 

  • KPD= Communist Party of Germany (which boycotted the first election)
  • USPD= Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (the anti-war party that broke away from the SPD in 1917 and dissolved itself in 1922)
  • SPD= Social Democratic Party of Germany
  • DDP= German Democratic Party (left liberal)
  • Center + BVP= the (predominantly Catholic) Center Party, combined with its regional ally, the Bavarian People’s Party
  • DVP= German People’s Party (National Liberal)
  • Splinter parties= special interest parties for farmers, homeowners, Hanoverian separatists, etc.
  • DNVP= German Nationalist People’s Party (monarchist and nationalistic)
  • NSDAP= National Socialist German Workers’ Party

Source: J. Falter, Th. Lindenberger, and S. Schumann, Wahlen und Abstimmungen in der Weimarer Republik (Munich: C.H. Beck, 1986), pp. 41-45.