1903 German federal election

Federal elections were held in Germany on 16 June 1903.[1] Despite the Social Democratic Party (SPD) receiving a clear plurality of votes, the Centre Party remained the largest party in the Reichstag after winning 100 of the 397 seats, whilst the SPD won only 81.[2] Voter turnout was 76.1%.[3]

1903 German federal election

← 1898 16 June 1903 (1903-06-16) 1907 →

All 397 seats in the Reichstag
199 seats needed for a majority
Registered12,531,248 Increase 9.53%
Turnout9,533,814 (76.08%) Increase 8.02pp
  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 18.76%, 102 seats 27.18%, 56 seats 10.71%, 53 seats
Seats won 100 81 52
Seat change Decrease 2 Increase 25 Decrease 1
Popular vote 1,875,292 3,010,771 901,415
Percentage 19.75% 31.71% 9.49%
Swing Increase 0.99pp Increase 4.53pp Decrease 1.22pp

  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 12.86%, 48 seats 7.20%, 29 seats 4.35%, 22 seats
Seats won 50 21 21
Seat change Increase 2 Decrease 8 Decrease 1
Popular vote 1,301,473 536,879 336,617
Percentage 13.71% 5.65% 3.54%
Swing Increase 0.85pp Decrease 1.55pp Decrease 0.81pp

Karte der Reichstagswahlen 1903.svg
Map of results (by constituencies)

President of the Reichstag before election

Franz von Ballestrem

President of the Reichstag after election

Franz von Ballestrem


Social Democratic Party3,010,77131.71+4.5381+25
Centre Party1,875,29219.75+0.99100−2
National Liberal Party1,301,47313.71+0.8550+2
German Conservative Party901,4159.49−1.2252−1
Free-minded People's Party536,8795.65−1.5521−8
German Reich Party336,6173.54−0.8121−1
Free-minded Union233,2292.46−0.068−4
Independent Polish164,7421.73−0.4580
German Agrarian League145,0251.53+0.205−1
German Reform Party138,3441.46New6New
Alsace-Lorraine parties126,2761.33−0.19110
Polish People's Party104,2461.10+1.005+5
German-Hanoverian Party100,5381.06−0.307−2
German People's Party82,0070.86−0.515−3
Bavarian Peasants' League65,8150.69−1.002−2
German Social Party59,2910.62New3New
Other agrarians45,8700.48+0.3611
Polish National Party44,1750.47New1New
Christian Social Party40,7440.43−0.202+1
Polish Court Party34,6210.36−0.512−4
National-Social Group33,6550.350.001+1
Alsatian liberals25,6770.27+0.052+1
Independent conservatives22,4900.24+0.181−2
Danish Party14,8430.16−0.0410
Independent liberals9,8080.10−0.500−3
Alsace Liberal Group9,1660.10+0.071+1
Middle Class parties6,9090.07+0.0300
Independent anti-semites6,4740.07−0.230−2
Lithuanian Party6,0120.06−0.050−1
Other conservatives6740.01−0.0500
Valid votes9,495,58799.60
Invalid/blank votes38,2270.40
Total votes9,533,814100.00
Registered voters/turnout12,531,24876.08
Source: Wahlen in Deutschland


Alsace-Lorraine Land Party69,01124.44−4.9060
Social Democratic Party68,26724.17+1.460−1
Lorraine independent conservatives44,88415.89+4.684+1
Alsatian Liberals25,6779.09+1.712+1
Centre Party20,0347.09New0New
Independent conservatives12,0604.27−1.620−1
German Reich Party9,8743.50−0.6010
Alsace Liberal Group9,1663.25+2.321+1
Alsace-Lorraine protesters8,1632.89+0.1710
Free-minded Union7,3682.61+2.4700
National Liberal Party1,4170.50−3.0600
Independent liberals1,3270.47−2.5400
Valid votes282,41398.09
Invalid/blank votes5,5011.91
Total votes287,914100.00
Registered voters/turnout372,32777.33
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, p775