1919 Austrian Constituent Assembly election

Constituent Assembly elections were held in Austria on 16 February 1919.[1]

1919 Austrian Constituent Assembly election

← 1911 16 February 1919 1920 →

All 170 seats in the Constituent Assembly
86 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Karl Seitz Jodok Fink
Party SDAPÖ CS and allies German-Nationals
Seats won 72 69 26
Popular vote 1,211,393 1,068,259 547,058
Percentage 40.76% 35.94% 18.41%

Results of the election, showing seats won by constituency. Constituencies are shaded according to the first-place party. Representatives were appointed in crosshatched regions (South Tyrol and Lower Styria) where elections did not take place.

Chancellor before election

Karl Renner

Elected Chancellor

Karl Renner

The Social Democratic Workers' Party emerged as the largest party, winning 72 of the 170 seats.[2] The party was largely supported by the working class, whilst farmers and the middle class voted mainly for the anti-Anschluss Christian Social Party.[3] Voter turnout was 84.4%. As Czechoslovakia prevented their eligible population from participating in the election, and Italy and Yugoslavia had gained control of South Tyrol (as a result of the 1915 Treaty of London) and Lower Styria (following border conflicts), respectively, voting only was held in small parts of those eligible territories, and representatives were instead appointed in proportion to parties' total overall vote share.

The first meeting of the assembly was on 4 March 1919. The Sudeten German Social Democrats organised a series of demonstrations in support of their right of self-determination. Across seven cities 54 persons were killed and another 84 wounded by the Czech military and police.[4]

Electoral system


The members of the Constituent National Assembly were elected in multi-member constituencies having between four and nine seats each by proportional representation. The smallest constituency was originally set to elect three seats, but did not do so due to Yugoslavia having gained control of most of Lower Styria.

This election was the first election in which all women were allowed to vote.[5] German citizens living in Austria, Lower Styria, and South Tyrol and Sudeten Germans living in the newly-formed Czechoslovakia were also allowed to vote in the elections, despite Czechoslovak objections. Austrian citizens living in Germany were also allowed to vote in the elections for the Weimar National Assembly in the same year.[6]



The two main parties, the SDAPÖ and the CS, formed a coalition government after the elections. Although it had broken up by mid-1920, it was followed for a short time by a transitional coalition of SDAPÖ, CS, and the Greater German People's Party, a successor of the German People's Party following a merger with the Greater German Union. Ultimately, a new constitution was agreed on 1 October 1920.[3] Fresh elections were held on 17 October.

Party or allianceVotes%Seats
Social Democratic Workers' Party1,211,39340.7672
Christian Social
and allies
Christian Social Party687,46523.1347
Lower Austrian Farmers' Union222,3047.4812
Christian Social Citizens' and Workers' Party62,0992.090
Tyrolean Farmers' Association50,3611.693
Tyrolean People's Club46,0301.557
German-National Party174,7385.888
German Democrats64,0732.163
German People's Party59,9192.022
German Freedom and Order Party56,3061.895
Styrian Farmers' Party47,0211.583
National Democrats46,5071.560
Carinthian Farmers' Association33,4961.132
National Socialist Workers' Party23,2520.780
German Peoples' Election Committee15,4300.521
Democratic Association of Cities12,3360.421
Free Salzburg Farmers' League8,5070.291
Democratic Economic Party3,8280.130
German-Austrian People's Party1,6450.060
Centrist Democrats48,9951.651
Democratic Party15,0530.510
Democratic Middle-Class Party5,9600.200
Economic People's Party4110.010
United Czechoslovak Parties67,3962.271
Jewish National Party7,7700.261
Valid votes2,972,29599.16
Invalid/blank votes25,2390.84
Total votes2,997,534100.00
Registered voters/turnout3,547,74284.49
Source: Government of Austria


  1. ^ Nohlen, Dieter; Stöver, Philip (31 May 2010). Elections in Europe: A data handbook. Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. p. 196. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7.
  2. ^ Graham, Malbone W. (1930). "Foreign Governments and Politics: The Constitutional Crisis in Austria". The American Political Science Review. 24 (1): 144–157. doi:10.2307/1946794. JSTOR 1946794.
  3. ^ a b Nohlen & Stöver, p173
  4. ^ Suppan, Arnold. "Austrians, Czechs, and Sudeten Germans as a Community of Conflict in the Twentieth Century" (PDF). conservancy.umn.edu. Center for Austrian Studies, Minnesota. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  5. ^ "85 Jahre allgemeines Frauenwahlrecht in Österreich". 2011-03-06. Archived from the original on 2011-03-06. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  6. ^ AUSTRIA VOTES TODAY. - German Part of Former Dual Monarchy Chooses Its Constituent Assembly., The New York Times, February 16, 1919 (PDF)