The Developing Pattern of Federal Elections
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The Developing Pattern of Federal Elections book
From 1949 until the present day a clear pattern of development in German federal elections has emerged. This chapter provides some phases. In the initial phase of the nascent party system it seemed as if a multiparty system, in the Weimar mould, would emerge. That widening gap marked the start of second phase, a period of hegemony for the Christian Democrats, characterised by the federal election on 15 September 1957, the only one at which any party obtained over 50 per cent of the vote. The third phase of development marked a period when, despite continued dominance by the Christian Democrats, the gap between them and the Opposition began to narrow slightly. The fourth phase started after Adenauer was at last replaced by Ludwig Erhard as Chancellor on 16 October 1963. The fifth phase of development was introduced with the parliamentary election of Willy Brandt as first postwar Social Democratic Party Chancellor on 21 October 1969 with a three-vote majority.