1946 Soviet occupation zone state elections

State elections were held in the Soviet occupation zone of Germany on 20 October 1946 to elect the state legislatures of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. They were the only elections held in the future territory of East Germany before the establishment of the German Democratic Republic in 1949, and the only free and fair elections held in postwar East Germany before the Peaceful Revolution.

1946 Soviet occupation zone state elections

20 October 1946 1950 →
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands Logo.svg CDU DDR logo transparent.png LDPD logo transparent.png
Seats won 248 133 121
Popular vote 4,685,304 2,411,033 2,418,841
Percentage 47.57% 24.48% 24.56%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  VdgB logo.png Logo Kulturbund der DDR.png
Party VdgB Kulturbund Frauenausschüsse
Seats won 15 1 0
Popular vote 296,111 19,148 18,340
Percentage 3.01% 0.19% 0.19%

1946 Soviet occupation zone state elections.svg
SED Electoral advertisement in East Berlin.

The Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), which was formed by the forced merger of the Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party in the Soviet occupation zone, became the largest party but achieved an absolute majority in only one state. The SED was created in view of the holding of elections in the Soviet zone, as a first step for future political reforms.

In addition to the SED, three other parties participated; the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Peasants Mutual Aid Association (VdgB). Two other organizations participated but only in Saxony. The SED landslide victory was seen by Soviet authorities as a justification for the development of socialism in their zone. The occupation authorities quickly dropped all pretense of liberal democracy, and by the time of the elections for a constitutional assembly in 1949, voters only had the option of approving or rejecting an SED-controlled "unity list."

The next state elections were held in 1950, after the establishment of the German Democratic Republic.



Socialist Unity Party of Germany4,685,30447.57248
Liberal Democratic Party of Germany2,418,84124.56121
Christian Democratic Union2,411,03324.48133
Peasants Mutual Aid Association296,1113.0115
Cultural Association19,1480.191
Women's Committees18,3400.190
Valid votes9,848,77794.54
Invalid/blank votes569,2795.46
Total votes10,418,056100.00
Registered voters/turnout11,449,62090.99


Socialist Unity Party of Germany634,78643.5244
Christian Democratic Union442,20630.3231
Liberal Democratic Party of Germany298,31120.4520
Peasants Mutual Aid Association83,2715.715
Valid votes1,458,57496.21
Invalid/blank votes57,4133.79
Total votes1,515,987100.00
Registered voters/turnout1,655,98091.55
Source: Wahlen in Deutschland


Socialist Unity Party of Germany551,59449.5345
Christian Democratic Union379,82934.1031
Liberal Democratic Party of Germany138,66212.4511
Peasants Mutual Aid Association43,6633.923
Valid votes1,113,74894.53
Invalid/blank votes64,4635.47
Total votes1,178,211100.00
Registered voters/turnout1,308,72790.03
Source: Wahlen in Deutschland


Socialist Unity Party of Germany1,616,06849.1159
Liberal Democratic Party of Germany813,22424.7130
Christian Democratic Union766,85923.3028
Peasants Mutual Aid Association57,3561.742
Cultural Association19,1480.581
Women's Committees18,3400.560
Valid votes3,290,99593.54
Invalid/blank votes227,1136.46
Total votes3,518,108100.00
Registered voters/turnout3,803,41692.50
Source: Wahlen in Deutschland


Socialist Unity Party of Germany1,063,88945.7951
Liberal Democratic Party of Germany695,68529.9432
Christian Democratic Union507,39721.8424
Peasants Mutual Aid Association56,6302.442
Valid votes2,323,60194.15
Invalid/blank votes144,3635.85
Total votes2,467,964100.00
Registered voters/turnout2,695,41691.56
Source: Wahlen in Deutschland


Socialist Unity Party of Germany818,96749.2849
Liberal Democratic Party of Germany472,95928.4628
Christian Democratic Union314,74218.9419
Peasants Mutual Aid Association55,1913.323
Valid votes1,661,85995.63
Invalid/blank votes75,9274.37
Total votes1,737,786100.00
Registered voters/turnout1,986,08187.50
Source: Wahlen in Deutschland

See alsoEdit


  • Martin Broszat, Gerhard Braas, Hermann Weber (1993). SBZ-Handbuch, ISBN 3-486-55262-7.
  • Mathias Tullner (1997). Zwischen Demokratie und Diktatur. Die Kommunalwahlen und die Wahlen zum Provinziallandtag in Sachsen-Anhalt im Jahre 1946, Magdeburgo, pp. 95–98.
  • Richard Schachtner (1956). Die deutschen Nachkriegswahlen: Wahlergebnisse in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, in den deutschen Bundesländern, in West-Berlin, im Saarland und in der Sowjetzone (DDR) 1946-19, Isar-Verlag, Múnich, pp. 77-78.
  • Günter Braun: Wahlen und Abstimmungen. In: Martin Broszat, Hermann Weber (1990). SBZ-Handbuch, Oldenbourg, Múnich, pp. 397, 396 & 418.
  • Herbert Gottwald (1994). Der Thüringer Landtag 1946-1952. Thüringer Landtag in Verbindung mit Wartburg Verlag, Jena, pp. 56, 81 & 101.
  • Karl-Heinz Hajna (2000). Die Landtagswahlen 1946 in der SBZ, Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main, ISBN 3-631-35950-0