The Info List - Social Democratic Party Of Germany

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Politics of Germany Political parties Elections

The Social Democratic Party of Germany
(German: Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD) is a social-democratic[4][5][6] political party in Germany. The party, led by acting Chairman Olaf Scholz
Olaf Scholz
since 2018, has become one of the two major contemporary political parties in Germany, along with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The SPD has governed at the federal level in Germany
as part of a grand coalition with the CDU and the Christian Social Union (CSU) since December 2013 following the results of the 2013 and 2017 federal election. The SPD participates in 14 state governments, seven of them governed by SPD Minister-Presidents, and as such holds the distinction of being the only political party in Germany
represented in all sixteen Landtags. The SPD is a member of the Party of European Socialists, and initiated the founding of the Progressive Alliance
Progressive Alliance
international for social-democratic parties on 22 May 2013,[7][8][9] after they had criticised the Socialist International
Socialist International
for their acceptance of authoritarian parties. Established in 1863, the SPD is by far the oldest extant political party represented in the German Parliament and was one of the first Marxist-influenced parties in the world.


1 History 2 Party platform

2.1 Internal factions

3 Base of support

3.1 Social structure 3.2 Geographic distribution

4 Election results

4.1 General German elections 4.2 European Parliament

5 Leadership of the Social Democratic Party 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links


Membership development after 1945

Main article: History of the Social Democratic Party of Germany The General German Workers' Association
General German Workers' Association
(Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiterverein, ADAV), founded in 1863, and the Social Democratic Workers' Party (Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands, SDAP), founded in 1869, merged in 1875, under the name Socialist Workers' Party of Germany
(Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands, SAPD). From 1878 to 1890, any grouping or meeting that aimed at spreading socialist principles was banned under the Anti-Socialist Laws, but the party still gained support in elections. In 1890, when the ban was lifted and it could again present electoral lists, the party adopted its current name. In the years leading up to World War I, the party remained ideologically radical in official principle, although many party officials tended to be moderate in everyday politics. By 1912, the party claimed the most votes of any German party. Despite the agreement of the Second International
Second International
to oppose the First World War, the SPD voted in favor of war in 1914. In response to this and the Bolshevik Revolution, members of the left and of the far-left of the SPD formed alternative parties, first the Spartacus League, then the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany
Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany
and later the Communist Party of Germany. After 1918 the SPD played an important role in the political system of the Weimar Republic, although it took part in coalition governments only in few years (1918–21, 1923, 1928–30). Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
prohibited the party in 1933 under the Enabling Act – party officials were imprisoned, killed or went into exile. In exile, the party used the name Sopade. The SPD had been the only party to vote against the Enabling Act (while the Communist Party was blocked from voting). In 1945, the allied occupants in the Western zones initially allowed four parties to be established, which led to the Christian Democratic Union, the Free Democratic Party, the Communist Party of Germany, and the SPD being established. In the Soviet Zone of Occupation, the Soviets forced the Social Democrats to form a common party with the Communists ( Socialist Unity Party of Germany
Socialist Unity Party of Germany
or SED). In the Western zones, the Communist Party was later (1956) banned by West Germany's Federal Constitutional Court. Since 1949, in the Federal Republic of Germany, the SPD has been one of the two major parties, with the other being the Christian Democratic Union. From 1969 to 1982 and 1998 to 2005 the Chancellors of Germany
were Social Democrats whereas the other years the Chancellors were Christian Democrats. Party platform[edit] The SPD was established as a Marxist party in 1875. However, the SPD underwent a major shift in policies reflected in the differences between the Heidelberg Program of 1925, which "called for the transformation of the capitalist system of private ownership of the means of production to social ownership",[10] and the Godesberg Program of 1959, which aimed to broaden its voter base and move its political position toward the centre.[11] After World War II, under the leadership of Kurt Schumacher, the SPD re-established itself as a socialist party, representing the interests of the working class and the trade unions. With the Godesberg Program
Godesberg Program
of 1959, however, the party evolved from a socialist working-class party to a modern social-democratic party working within capitalism.

Sigmar Gabriel, Vice-Chancellor of Germany
Vice-Chancellor of Germany
(2013-2018), former chairman of SPD.

The current party platform of the SPD espouses the goal of social democracy, which is seen as a vision of a societal arrangement in which freedom and social justice are paramount. According to the party platform, freedom, justice, and social solidarity, form the basis of social democracy. The coordinated social market economy should be strengthened, and its output should be distributed fairly. The party sees that economic system as necessary in order to ensure the affluence of the entire population. The SPD also tries to protect the society's poor with a welfare state. Concurrently, it advocates a sustainable fiscal policy that doesn't place a burden on future generations while eradicating budget deficits. In social policy, the SPD stands for civil and political rights in an open society. In foreign policy, the SPD aims at ensuring global peace by balancing global interests with democratic means. Thus, European integration
European integration
is one of the main priorities of the SPD. SPD supports economic regulations to limit potential losses for banks and people. They support a common European economic and financial policy, and to prevent speculative bubbles. They support environmentally sustainable growth.[12] Internal factions[edit] The SPD is mostly composed of members belonging to either of the two main wings: Keynesian social democrats and Third Way moderate social democrats belonging to the Seeheimer Kreis. While the more moderate Seeheimer Kreis generally support the Agenda 2010 programs introduced by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, the Keynesian social democrats continue to defend classical left-wing policies and the welfare state. The classical left-wing of the SPD claims that in recent years the welfare state has been curtailed through reform programs such as the Agenda 2010, Hartz IV and the more economic liberal stance of the SPD, which were endorsed by centrist social democrats.[citation needed] As a reaction to the Agenda 2010, there was in 2005 the ascension of an inner party dissident movement, which led ultimately to the foundation of the new party Labour and Social Justice
– The Electoral Alternative (Arbeit & soziale Gerechtigkeit – Die Wahlalternative, WASG). The WASG was later merged into the party Die Linke ("The Left") in 2007.[13] Base of support[edit] Social structure[edit] Before World War II, as the main non-revolutionary left-wing party, the Social Democrats fared best among non- Catholic
workers as well as intellectuals favouring social progressive causes and increased economic equality. Led by Kurt Schumacher
Kurt Schumacher
after World War II, the SPD initially opposed both the social market economy and Konrad Adenauer's drive towards western integration fiercely, but after Schumacher's death, it accepted the social market economy and Germany's position in the Western alliance in order to appeal to a broader range of voters. It still remains associated with the economic causes of unionised employees and working class voters. In the 1990s, the left and moderate wings of the party drifted apart, culminating in a secession of a significant number of party members, which later joined the socialist party WASG, which later merged into The Left (Die Linke) party. Geographic distribution[edit] Geographically, much of the SPD's current-day support comes from large cities, especially of northern and western Germany
and Berlin. The metropolitan area of the Ruhr Area, where coal mining and steel production were once the biggest sources of revenues, have provided a significant base for the SPD in the 20th century. In the state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen
the SPD has governed without interruption since 1949. In southern Germany, the SPD typically garners less support except in the largest cities. At the 2009 federal election, the party lost its only constituency in the entire state of Bavaria (in Munich). Small town and rural support comes especially from the traditionally Protestant areas of northern Germany
and Brandenburg (with notable exceptions such as Western Pomerania
Western Pomerania
where CDU leader Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
was re-elected in 2005) and a number of university towns. A striking example of the general pattern is the traditionally Catholic
Emsland, where the Social Democrats generally gain a low percentage of votes, whereas the Reformed Protestant region of East Frisia directly to the north, with its strong traditional streak of Anti-Catholicism, is one of their strongest constituencies. Further south, the SPD also enjoys solid support in northern Hesse
(Hans Eichel was mayor of Kassel, then Hesse's minister president, then finance minister in the Schröder administration, while Brigitte Zypries served as Justice
Minister), parts of Palatinate (Kurt Beck was party leader until 7 September 2008), and the Saarland
(political home of one-time candidate for federal chancellor Oskar Lafontaine, defected from the SPD in 2005). Election results[edit] General German elections[edit] The SPD, at times called SAPD, participated in general elections determining the members of parliament. For the elections until 1933 the parliament was called Reichstag, except of the one of 1919, called National Assembly, and after 1949 it was called Bundestag. Note that changes in borders (1871, 1919, 1920, 1949, 1957 and 1990) varied the number of eligible voters, whereas electoral laws also changed the ballot system (only constituencies [till 1912], only party lists [till 1949], mixed system [thereafter]), the suffrage (women vote since 1919), the number of seats (fixed or flexible) and the length of the legislative period (three or four years). Lacking are entries for general elections before 1875, when labour parties unified to only form the SPD (then SAPD, current name since 1890), and under Nazi rule or communist rule, when candidates who identified with the SPD were banned at all from running for votes and seats.

Election year # of constituency votes # of party list votes % of overall votes (till 1912) / party list votes (as of 1919) # of overall seats won +/– Government

1877 493,447

9.1 (#4)

13 / 397

in opposition

1878 437,158

7.6 (#5)

9 / 397

4 in opposition

1881 311,961

6.1 (#7)

13 / 397

4 in opposition

1884 549,990

9.7 (#5)

24 / 397

11 in opposition

1887 763,102

10.1 (#5)

11 / 397

13 in opposition

1890 1,427,323

19.7 (#1)

35 / 397

24 in opposition

1893 1,786,738

23.3 (#1)

44 / 397

9 in opposition

1898 2,107,076

27.2 (#1)

56 / 397

12 in opposition

1903 3,010,771

31.7 (#1)

81 / 397

25 in opposition

1907 3,259,029

28.9 (#1)

43 / 397

38 in opposition

1912 4,250,399

34.8 (#1)

110 / 397

67 in opposition

in coalition

in coalition


11,509,048 37.9 (#1)

165 / 423

55 in coalition


6,179,991 21.9 (#1)

102 / 459

63 in opposition

in coalition

in opposition

in coalition

in opposition

1924, May

6,008,905 20.5 (#1)

100 / 472

2 in opposition

1924, December

7,881,041 26.0 (#1)

131 / 493

31 in opposition


9,152,979 29.8 (#1)

153 / 491

22 in coalition


8,575,244 24.5 (#1)

143 / 577

10 in opposition

1932, July

7,959,712 21.6 (#2)

133 / 608

10 in opposition

1932, November

7,247,901 20.4 (#2)

121 / 584

12 in opposition

1933, March

7,181,629 18.3 (#2)

120 / 667

1 in opposition


6,934,975 29.2 (#2)

131 / 402

11 in opposition

1953 8,131,257 7,944,943 28.8 (#2)

162 / 509

22 in opposition

1957 11,975,400 11,875,339 31.8 (#2)

181 / 519

19 in opposition

1961 11,672,057 11,427,355 36.2 (#2)

203 / 521

22 in opposition

1965 12,998,474 12,813,186 39.3 (#2)

217 / 518

14 in coalition

1969 14,402,374 14,065,716 42.7 (#2)

237 / 518

20 in coalition

1972 18,228,239 17,175,169 45.8 (#1)

242 / 518

5 in coalition

1976 16,471,321 16,099,019 42.6 (#2)

224 / 518

18 in coalition

1980 16,808,861 16,260,677 42.9 (#2)

228 / 519

4 in coalition

1983 15,686,033 14,865,807 38.2 (#2)

202 / 520

26 in opposition

1987 14,787,953 14,025,763 37.0 (#2)

193 / 519

9 in opposition

1990 16,279,980 15,545,366 33.5 (#2)

239 / 662

46 in opposition

1994 17,966,813 17,140,354 36.4 (#2)

252 / 672

13 in opposition

1998 21,535,893 20,181,269 40.9 (#1)

298 / 669

43 in coalition

2002 20,059,967 18,484,560 38.5 (#1)[14]

251 / 603

47 in coalition

2005 18,129,100 16,194,665 34.2 (#2)

222 / 614

29 in coalition

2009 12,077,437 9,988,843 23.0 (#2)

146 / 622

76 in opposition

2013 12,835,933 11,247,283 25.7 (#2)

193 / 630

42 in coalition

2017 11,426,613 9,538,367 20.5 (#2)

153 / 709

40 in coalition

European Parliament[edit]

Election year # of overall votes % of overall vote # of overall seats won +/–

1979 11,370,045 40.8 (#1)

33 / 81

1984 9,296,417 37.4 (#2)

32 / 81


1989 10,525,728 37.3 (#1)

30 / 81


1994 11,389,697 32.2 (#1)

40 / 99


1999 8,307,085 30.7 (#2)

33 / 99


2004 5,547,971 21.5 (#2)

23 / 99


2009 5,472,566 20.8 (#2)

23 / 99


2014 7,999,955 27.2 (#2)

27 / 96


Leadership of the Social Democratic Party[edit] The Party is led by the Leader of the Social Democratic Party, he/she is supported by 6 Deputy Leaders and the Party Executive. The current acting Party Leader is Olaf Scholz. The current Deputy Leaders are Manuela Schwesig, Ralf Stegner, Olaf Scholz, Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, Natascha Kohnen
Natascha Kohnen
and Malu Dreyer As Germany
is a Federal Republic, each of Germany's States have their own SPD Party at the state level. The current Leaders of the SPD state parties are:

State Leader Seats Government

Baden-Württemberg Leni Breymaier

19 / 143

in opposition

Bavaria Natascha Kohnen

42 / 180

in opposition

Berlin Michael Müller

38 / 160

in coalition

Brandenburg Dietmar Woidke

30 / 88

in coalition

Bremen Sascha Karolin Aulepp

30 / 83

in coalition

Hamburg Olaf Scholz

58 / 121

in coalition

Hesse Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel

37 / 110

in opposition

Lower Saxony Stephan Weil

55 / 137

in coalition

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Manuela Schwesig

26 / 71

in coalition

North Rhine-Westphalia Michael Groschek

69 / 199

in opposition

Rhineland-Palatinate Roger Lewentz

39 / 101

in coalition

Saarland Heiko Maas

17 / 51

in coalition

Saxony Martin Dulig

18 / 126

in coalition

Saxony-Anhalt Burkhard Lischka

11 / 87

in coalition

Schleswig-Holstein Ralf Stegner

21 / 73

in opposition

Thuringia Andreas Bausewein

13 / 91

in coalition

See also[edit]

portal Germany

Politics of Germany Party finance in Germany List of political parties in Germany Bundestag
(Federal Assembly of Germany) Weimar Republic Mierscheid Law Elections in the Free State of Prussia


^ "Mitgliederzahl". DPA. Retrieved 2017-10-29.  ^ Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe". Retrieved 10 May 2015.  ^ "Greek debt crisis: Violence in Athens ahead of Germany
vote". BBC News Online. 26 February 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2015.  ^ Merkel, Wolfgang; Alexander Petring; Christian Henkes; Christoph Egle (2008). Social Democracy in Power: the capacity to reform. London: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-415-43820-9.  ^ Dimitri Almeida (2012). The Impact of European Integration on Political Parties: Beyond the Permissive Consensus. CRC Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-136-34039-0. Retrieved 14 July 2013.  ^ Ashley Lavelle (2013). The Death of Social Democracy: Political Consequences in the 21st Century. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-4094-9872-8. Retrieved 18 July 2013.  ^ "Progressive Alliance: Sozialdemokraten gründen weltweites Netzwerk". SPIEGEL ONLINE. Hamburg, Germany. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2015.  ^ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH (22 May 2013). "Sozialdemokratie: "Progressive Alliance" gegründet". FAZ.NET. Retrieved 10 May 2015.  ^ n-tv Nachrichtenfernsehen (22 May 2013). "Sozialistische Internationale hat ausgedient: SPD gründet "Progressive Alliance"". n-tv.de. Retrieved 10 May 2015.  ^ Brustein, William. Logic of Evil: The Social Origins of the Nazi Party 1925–1933. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996. p. 131. ^ Cooper, Alice Holmes. Paradoxes of Peace: German Peace Movements since 1945. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1996. p. 85 ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2012-10-28.  ^ Nils Schnelle: Die WASG – Von der Gründung bis zur geplanten Fusion mit der Linkspartei, Munich
2007. ^ http://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/09/23/germany.0700/

Further reading[edit]

Orlow, Dietrich. Common Destiny: A Comparative History of the Dutch, French, and German Social Democratic Parties, 1945–1969 (2000) online Carl E. Schorske, German Social Democracy, 1905–1917: The Development of the Great Schism (Harvard University Press, 1955). Vernon L. Lidtke, The Outlawed Party: Social Democracy in Germany, 1878–1890 (Princeton University Press, 1966). Berlau, Abraham. German Social Democratic Party, 1914–1921 (Columbia University Press, 1949). Maxwell, John Allen. "Social Democracy in a Divided Germany: Kurt Schumacher and the German Question, 1945-1952." Ph.D dissertation, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, 1969. McAdams, A. James. " Germany
Divided: From the Wall to Reunification." Princeton University Press, 1992 and 1993. Erich Matthias, The Downfall of the Old Social Democratic Party in 1933 pages 51–105 from Republic to Reich The Making of the Nazi Revolution Ten Essays edited by Hajo Holborn, (New York: Pantheon Books, 1972). Eric D. Weitz, Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997 David Priestand, Red
Flag: A History of Communism," New York: Grove Press, 2009

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Social Democratic Party of Germany.

Official website (in German) History of the German social-democratic party from Lassalle to Kautsky, by fractal-vortex

v t e

Political parties in Germany

Parties represented in the European Parliament
European Parliament
and in the Bundestag

AfD (92) Blue Party (1) CDU (200) CSU (46) FDP (80) SPD (153) The Greens (67) The Left (69)

Other parties represented in the European Parliament* or in state parliaments**

Citizens in Rage** Ecological Democratic Party* Family Party** Free Voters*/** LKR*/** NPD* Die PARTEI* Pirate Party* South Schleswig Voters' Association**

Minor parties (without representation above district level)

Anarchist Pogo Party Basic Income Alliance Bavaria
Party Centre Party Christian Centre Civil Rights Movement Solidarity Communist Party (Roter Morgen) Communist Party (1990) Feminist Party Die Friesen Human Environment Animal Protection German Communist Party German Freedom Party German Social Union Marxist–Leninist Party New Liberals Party for Health Research Party of Bible-abiding Christians Party of Reason Pro Germany
Citizens' Movement The Republicans Revolutionary Socialist League Social Equality Party Statt Party V-Partei³

Portal:Politics List of political parties Politics of Germany

v t e

Party of European Socialists
Party of European Socialists

European Parliament
European Parliament
group: Progressive Alliance
Progressive Alliance
of Socialists and Democrats


Member states


Member parties (non-EU)


Associated parties (EU)


Associated parties (non-EU)


Observer parties (EU)

LSDSP Saskaņa

Observer parties (non-EU)

PS ARF ESDP/الديمقراطي GD HaAvoda/העבודה Meretz/מרצ PDM USPT CTP Fatah/فتح PSD FDTL


Wilhelm Dröscher Robert Pontillon Joop den Uyl Vítor Constâncio Guy Spitaels Willy Claes Rudolf Scharping Robin Cook Poul Nyrup Rasmussen Sergei Stanishev

Presidents in the European Parliament

Guy Mollet Hendrik Fayat Pierre Lapie Willi Birkelbach Käte Strobel Francis Vals Georges Spénale Ludwig Spénale Ernest Glinne Rudi Arndt Jean-Pierre Cot Pauline Green Enrique Barón Crespo Martin Schulz Hannes Swoboda Gianni Pittella

European Commissioners

Vytenis Andriukaitis
Vytenis Andriukaitis
(Health and Food Safety) Corina Crețu
Corina Crețu
(Regional Policy) Neven Mimica (International Cooperation and Development) Federica Mogherini
Federica Mogherini
(Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) Pierre Moscovici
Pierre Moscovici
(Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs) Maroš Šefčovič
Maroš Šefčovič
(Energy Union) Frans Timmermans
Frans Timmermans
(Rule of Law and Charter of Fundamental Rights) Karmenu Vella
Karmenu Vella
(Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries)

Heads of government

Paolo Gentiloni
Paolo Gentiloni
(Italy) Joseph Muscat
Joseph Muscat
(Malta) António Costa
António Costa
(Portugal) Robert Fico
Robert Fico
(Slovakia) Stefan Löfven
Stefan Löfven

v t e

Political parties in Germany
until the end of World War I


General German Workers' Association
General German Workers' Association
(ADAV) Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany
Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany
(SDAP) Social Democratic Party of Germany
(SPD) Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany
Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany
(USPD) Majority Social Democratic Party of Germany


Centre Party (Zentrum)


Social liberal

German Progress Party (DFP) Democratic People's Party (DVP) German People's Party
German People's Party
(DtVP) Liberal Union (LV) German Free-minded Party
German Free-minded Party
(DFsP) Free-minded People's Party (FVP) Free-minded Union (FV) National-Social Association
National-Social Association
(NSV) Democratic Union (DV) Progressive People's Party (FVP)

National liberal

National Liberal Party (NLP) Imperial Liberal Party
Imperial Liberal Party


Free Conservative Party (FKP) German Conservative Party
German Conservative Party
(DkP) Christian Social Party (CSP) German Fatherland Party


German Reform Party (DRP) German Social Party (DSP) German Social Reform Party (DSRP)


Saxon People's Party German-Hanoverian Party
German-Hanoverian Party
(DHP) Bavarian Peasants' League (BB)

v t e

Political parties in Germany
in the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic


Communist Party of Germany
Communist Party of Germany
(KPD) Communist Workers Party of Germany
(KAPD) Communist Party Opposition (KPO)

Socialist Social Democratic

Social Democratic Party of Germany
(SPD) Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany
Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany
(USPD) Majority Social Democratic Party of Germany
(MSPD) Socialist Workers' Party of Germany


Bavarian People's Party
Bavarian People's Party
(BVP) Centre Party (Zentrum) Christian People's Party (CVP)


Bavarian Peasants' League (BB) Agricultural League Schleswig-Holstein
Farmers and Farmworkers Democracy (SHBLD) Christian National Peasants' and Farmers' Party (CNBL) German Farmers' Party (DBP)


German Democratic Party
German Democratic Party
(DDP) German People's Party
German People's Party
(DVP) German State Party
German State Party


German National People's Party
German National People's Party
(DNVP) People's Right Party (VRP) Christian Social People's Service
Christian Social People's Service
(CSVD) Conservative People's Party (KVP)

Völkische and Nazi

German Workers' Party
German Workers' Party
(DAP) German Social Party (DSP) German Socialist Party (DSP) National Socialist German Workers' Party
German Workers' Party
(NSDAP)-Nazi Party German Völkisch Freedom Party (DVFP) National Socialist Freedom Movement (NSFB)


German-Hanoverian Party
German-Hanoverian Party
(DHP) Economic Party (WP)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 151021191 LCCN: n80067141 ISNI: 0000 0001 2353 4548 GND: 2022139-3 SUDOC: 050601717 BNF: cb11867469p (d