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
Leader since19731988
Last election234 seats193 seats48 seats
Seats won31923979
Seat changeIncrease85Increase46Increase31
Popular vote20,358,09615,545,3665,123,233

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

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

Elected Chancellor

Helmut Kohl

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.