1990 German federal election

1990 German federal election

← West (1987)
East (1990)
2 December 1990 (1990-12-02)1994 →

All 662 seats in the Bundestag
332 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout77.8% (voting eligible)[1]
 First partySecond partyThird party
 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F074398-0021 Kohl (cropped).jpgOskar Lafontaine (1990).jpgOtto Graf Lambsdorff (1990).jpg
LeaderHelmut KohlOskar LafontaineOtto Graf Lambsdorff
PartyCDU/CSUSPDFDP
Leader since19731988
Last election234 seats193 seats48 seats
Seats won31923979
Seat changeIncrease85Increase46Increase31
Popular vote20,358,09615,545,3665,123,233
Percentage43.8%33.5%11.0%
SwingDecrease0.4%Decrease3.5%Increase1.9%

 Fourth partyFifth party
 Petra Kelly, 1987 (cropped).jpgGregor gysi.vortrag 1997.universitaet-hildesheim.jpg
LeaderPetra KellyGregor Gysi
PartyGreenPDS
Leader since1990
Last election44 seatsnew party
Seats won817
Seat changeDecrease36Increase17
Popular vote2,347,4071,129,578
Percentage5.0%2.4%
SwingDecrease3.3%Increase2.4%

German Federal Election - Party list vote results by state - 1990.png
Party list election results by state: dark blue denotes states where CSU had the absolute majority of the votes; lighter blue denotes states where CDU had the plurality of votes; red denotes states where the SPD had the absolute majority of the votes; and pink denotes states where the SPD had the plurality of votes

Chancellor before election

Helmut Kohl
CDU/CSU

Elected Chancellor

Helmut Kohl
CDU/CSU

Federal elections were held in Germany on 2 December 1990 to elect the members of the 12th Bundestag. This was the first all-German election since the Nazi show election in April 1938, the first multi-party all-German election since that of March 1933, which was held after the Nazi seizure of power and was subject to widespread suppression, and the first free and fair all-German election since November 1932. The result was a comprehensive victory for the governing coalition of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union and the Free Democratic Party, which was reelected to a third term.

Issues and campaign

This was the first election conducted after German reunification which took place on 3 October. Almost 150 seats had been added to represent the newly re-established eastern states of Germany without reducing the number of Western members. The euphoria following the reunification gave the ruling CDU/CSU–FDP coalition a dramatic advantage in both Western and Eastern Germany throughout the campaign.

This was the one and only election for which the 5% threshold was not applied nationwide, but separately for East Germany (including East Berlin) and West Germany (including West Berlin). As a result, while the Western The Greens failed to gain representation, an ideologically similar party from the East, Alliance 90, did. They merged to form Alliance 90/The Greens in 1993.