German federal election, 1957
The 3rd German federal election, 1957, was conducted on September 15, 1957, to elect members to the Bundestag
The Bundestag is a federal legislative body in Germany. In practice Germany is governed by a bicameral legislature, of which the Bundestag serves as the lower house and the Bundesrat the upper house. The Bundestag is established by the German Basic Law of 1949, as the successor to the earlier...

 (lower house) of West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....


Issues and Campaign

Federal Chancellor Adenauer had some solid advantages over his Social Democratic opponent, Erich Ollenhauer: West Germany had become fully sovereign in 1955, it had joined the European Economic Community in March 1957, its economy grew steadily with a very low unemployment, and most West Germans felt clearly more prosperous and more secure than in 1949 or 1953. Although the West German economic growth was more directly enhanced by the social market economy policies of Economics Minister Ludwig Erhard, most non-socialistically inclined West German voters gave Adenauer the credit for it (see, for example, Erling Bjöl, Grimberg's History of the Nations, volume 23: The Rich West, "A Giant Dwarf: West Germany," Helsinki: WSOY, 1985; Dennis L. Bark and David R. Gress, A History of West Germany, volume 1: 1945-1963: From Shadow to Substance, London, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1989). The result was the first and so far only time in the history of German Federal Republic that a political party has won a majority of votes in a federal election.


A number of non-voting members (7 CDU, 12 SPD, 2 FDP, 1 other) indirectly elected by the West Berlin legislature
Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin
The Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin is the state parliament for the German state of Berlin, according to the state's constitution. The parliament is based at the building on Niederkirchnerstraße in Mitte which until 1934 was the seat of the lower house of the Preußischer Landtag...

 are not included in the totals below.
Party Party List votes Vote percentage (change) Total Seats (change) Seat percentage
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 11,875,339 39.7% +3.3% 215 +24 43.2%
Christian Social Union (CSU) 3,133,060 10.5% +1.7% 55 +3 11.1%
German Party
German Party
The German Party is a name used by a number of German political parties in the country's history. The current incarnation is represented only at the local level in Germany. However, from 1949 to 1961, a German Party was part of the ruling coalition in the Bundestag...

1,062,293 3.4% +0.1% 17 +2 3.4%
Free Democratic Party
Free Democratic Party (Germany)
The Free Democratic Party , abbreviated to FDP, is a centre-right classical liberal political party in Germany. It is led by Philipp Rösler and currently serves as the junior coalition partner to the Union in the German federal government...

2,307,135 7.7% -1.8% 41 -7 8.2%
Social Democratic Party
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

9,495,571 31.7% +2.9% 169 +18 34.0%
All Others 2,032,030 7.0%   0 -30 0.0%
Totals 29,905,428 100.0%   497 +10 100.0%


Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman. He was the chancellor of the West Germany from 1949 to 1963. He is widely recognised as a person who led his country from the ruins of World War II to a powerful and prosperous nation that had forged close relations with old enemies France,...

led the CDU-CSU coalition to a landslide victory. The CDU-CSU won an outright majority--to date, the only time a German party has been elected to a majority government in a free election (the CDU and CSU sit as a single bloc in the Bundestag).


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