1898 German federal election

Federal elections were held in Germany on 16 June 1898.[1] Despite the Social Democratic Party (SPD) receiving the most votes, the Centre Party remained the largest party in the Reichstag after winning 102 of the 397 seats, whilst the SPD won just 56.[2] Voter turnout was 68.1%.[3]

1898 German federal election

← 1893 16 June 1898 (1898-06-16) 1903 →

All 397 seats in the Reichstag
199 seats needed for a majority
Registered11,441,054 Increase 7.65%
Turnout7,786,714 (68.06%) Decrease 4.41pp
  First party Second party Third party
  Franz-Graf-Ballestrem.jpg August Bebel c1900.jpg Otto von Manteuffel.jpg
Leader Franz von Ballestrem Paul Singer &
August Bebel
Otto von Manteuffel
Party Centre SPD DKP
Leader since 1890 18 March 1890
& 21 November 1892
Last election 19.14%, 96 seats 23.28%, 44 seats 12.93%, 69 seats
Seats won 102 56 53
Seat change Increase 6 Increase 12 Decrease 16
Popular vote 1,454,042 2,107,076 830,341
Percentage 18.76% 27.18% 10.71%
Swing Decrease 0.38pp Increase 3.90pp Decrease 2.22pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Portrait of Ernst Bassermann.jpg Eugen Richter.jpg
Leader Ernst Bassermann Eugen Richter
Leader since 1898 7 May 1893
Last election 12.29%, 51 seats 8.67%, 24 seats 5.71%, 28 seats
Seats won 48 29 22
Seat change Decrease 3 Increase 5 Decrease 6
Popular vote 997,147 558,314 337,601
Percentage 12.86% 7.20% 4.35%
Swing Decrease 0.57pp Decrease 1.47pp Decrease 1.36pp

Karte der Reichstagswahlen 1898.svg
Map of results (by constituencies)

President of the Reichstag before election

Rudolf von Buol-Berenberg

President of the Reichstag after election

Franz von Ballestrem


Social Democratic Party2,107,07627.18+3.9056+12
Centre Party1,454,04218.76−0.38102+6
National Liberal Party997,14712.86+0.5748−3
German Conservative Party830,34110.71−2.2253−16
Free-minded People's Party558,3147.20−1.4729+5
German Reich Party337,6014.35−1.3622−6
Social Reform Party215,8912.78−0.5110−6
Free-minded Union195,6822.52−0.8712−1
Independent Polish169,0372.18−0.078−6
Bavarian Peasants' League130,7241.69+1.134+2
Alsace-Lorraine parties118,0721.52−0.2511+2
German People's Party106,3961.37−0.808−3
German-Hanoverian Party105,1611.36+0.039+2
German Agrarian League103,4891.33New6New
Christian Social Party48,9140.63−0.611−1
Polish Court Party67,4240.87+0.176+1
Independent liberals46,7310.60−0.133+1
Independent conservatives28,8460.37−0.103+1
National-Social Group27,2080.35New0New
Independent anti-semites22,9890.30+0.152+2
Alsatian liberals16,8870.22+0.1410
Danish Party15,4390.20+0.0110
Other agrarians9,0190.12−0.2210
Lithuanian Party8,1420.11+0.061+1
Polish People's Party7,6670.10New0New
Other conservatives4,4730.06−0.190−1
Middle Class parties3,1620.04New0New
Alsace Liberal Group2,1320.03New0New
Valid votes7,752,69399.56
Invalid/blank votes34,0210.44
Total votes7,786,714100.00
Registered voters/turnout11,441,05468.06
Source: Wahlen in Deutschland


Alsace-Lorraine Land Party67,17129.34New6New
Social Democratic Party51,99022.71+3.411−1
Lorraine independent conservatives25,65811.21+7.073+2
Alsatian Liberals16,8877.38+4.6810
Independent conservatives13,4835.89+0.1610
German Reich Party9,3814.10−1.9610
Alsace-Lorraine protesters6,2372.72−1.8610
Alsatian autonomists4,8812.13−2.7600
National Liberal Party8,1443.56+0.9000
Independent liberals6,9003.01+1.2900
Alsace Liberal Group2,1320.93New0New
German Social Party8600.38−1.0400
Free-minded Union3210.14New0New
Valid votes228,91397.95
Invalid/blank votes4,7832.05
Total votes233,696100.00
Registered voters/turnout233,696100.00
Source: Wahlen in Deutschland


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p762 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p789
  3. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p774