1928 German federal election

Federal elections were held in Germany on 20 May 1928.[1] The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) remained the largest party in the Reichstag after winning 153 of the 491 seats.[2] Voter turnout was 75.6%.[3]

1928 German federal election

← December 1924 20 May 1928 (1928-05-20) 1930 →

All 491 seats in the Reichstag
246 seats needed for a majority
Registered41,224,678 Increase 5.7%
Turnout31,165,789 (75.6%) Decrease 3.2 pp
  First party Second party Third party
  Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1979-122-28A, Hermann Müller (cropped).jpg Ottowelsportait.jpg
Arthur Crispien on the street.jpg
Kuno von Westarp.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1968-101-25A, Wilhelm Marx.jpg
Leader Hermann Müller
Otto Wels
Arthur Crispien
Kuno von Westarp Wilhelm Marx
Party SPD DNVP Centre
Leader since 1919 1924 1922
Last election 131 seats 103 seats 69 seats
Seats won 153 73 61
Seat change Increase22 Decrease30 Decrease8
Popular vote 9,152,979 4,381,563 3,712,152
Percentage 29.8% 14.2% 12.1%
Swing Increase3.8% Decrease6.3% Decrease1.5%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Ernst Thälmann 1932.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1989-040-27, Gustav Stresemann.jpg Erich Koch-Weser circa 1920.jpg
Leader Ernst Thälmann
Philipp Dengel
Gustav Stresemann Erich Koch-Weser
Leader since October 1925 1919 1924
Last election 45 seats 51 seats 32 seats
Seats won 54 45 25
Seat change Increase9 Decrease6 Decrease7
Popular vote 3,264,793 2,679,703 1,479,374
Percentage 10.6% 8.7% 4.8%
Swing Increase1.6% Decrease1.4% Decrease1.5%

Reichstagswahl 1928.svg
Constituencies coloured according to the party that received the largest share of the vote.

Chancellor before election

Wilhelm Marx

Resulting Chancellor

Hermann Müller

The only two parties to gain significantly were the SPD, which received almost a third of the vote, and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), which completed a thorough victory of the left wing. However, the SPD still failed to win a clear majority, resulting in another coalition government, led by Hermann Müller.[4] Following his appointment as Chancellor, Müller, who had previously held the post for four months in 1920, created a grand coalition of members of the SPD, the German Democratic Party, the Centre Party and the German People's Party. However, the coalition was plagued by internal divisions right from the beginning, with each party more concerned with their own interests than the interests of the government. As a result, Müller asked German President Paul von Hindenburg for emergency powers, but when Hindenburg refused, he resigned, marking the end of the "last genuinely democratic government of the Weimar Republic" on 27 March 1930.[5]

The recently reformed Nazi Party contested the elections after the ban on the party had been lifted in 1925. However, the party received less than 3% of the vote and won only 12 seats in the Reichstag. Adolf Hitler, who had been incarcerated in Landsberg prison for his involvement in the Beer Hall Putsch until Christmas 1924,[6] had concentrated on re-establishing himself as the leader of the Nazi Party after his release rather than on his party's electability.


Social Democratic Party9,152,97929.76153+22
German National People's Party4,381,56314.2573−30
Centre Party3,712,15212.0761−8
Communist Party of Germany3,264,79310.6254+9
German People's Party2,679,7038.7145−6
German Democratic Party1,479,3744.8125−7
Reich Party of the German Middle Class1,387,6024.5123+11
Bavarian People's Party945,6443.0717−2
Nazi Party810,1272.6312−2
Christian-National Peasants' and Farmers' Party571,8911.869New
Reich Party for Civil Rights and Deflation509,4711.662New
German Farmers' Party481,2541.568New
Patriotic-National Bloc266,3700.870New
Agricultural League199,5480.653−5
German-Hanoverian Party195,5550.6440
Saxon Peasants127,7000.422New
Christian Social Reich Party110,7040.360New
Left Communists80,4050.260New
Old Social Democratic Party of Germany65,7750.210New
Polish People's Party64,7530.2100
Evangelical Party of Germany52,4880.170New
German Social Party46,0470.1500
General People's Party37,3730.120New
German House and Property Owners' Party35,8460.120New
Independent Social Democratic Party20,8150.0700
Evangelical Community Spirit10,7090.030New
Christian National Middle Class Party9,9570.030New
Pastor Greber Party9,5270.030New
Revaluation and Construction Party8,5620.030New
German Reich Bloc of the Injured7,4370.020New
Reich Party for Crafts, Trade and Business6,6140.020New
People's Welfare Party6,0710.020New
Franconian Peasants3,4170.010New
Wendish People's Party3,1110.0100
Party for Justice and Tenant Protection2,8310.010New
Schleswig Club2,4350.0100
German Christian Folk Party9010.000New
Vital Interests of the Unmarried8730.000New
Masurian People's Party2950.000New
Lithuanian People's Party2890.000New
Valid votes30,753,24798.68
Invalid/blank votes412,5421.32
Total votes31,165,789100.00
Registered voters/turnout41,224,67875.60
Source: Gonschior.de

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p762 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p790
  3. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p777
  4. ^ Evans, D. & Jenkins, J. (1999), Years of Weimar & the Third Reich, London: Hodder & Stoughton Educational, p. 83, ISBN 0-340-70474-8.
  5. ^ Evans & Jenkins 1999, p. 88.
  6. ^ Broszat, M. (1987), Hitler and the Collapse of Weimar Germany, Oxford: Berg Publishers, p. 9, ISBN 0-85496-509-2.