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The Federal Republic of Germany has a plural multi party system. The largest by members and parliament seats are the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), with its sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).
Germany also has a number of other parties, in recent history most importantly the Free Democratic Party (FDP), Alliance 90/The Greens, The Left, and more recently the Alternative for Germany (AfD), founded in 2013. The federal government of Germany often consisted of a coalition of a major and a minor party, specifically CDU/CSU and FDP or SPD and FDP, and from 1998 to 2005 SPD and Greens. From 1966 to 1969, from 2005 to 2009 and from 2013 to 2021, the federal government consisted of a coalition of the two major parties, called Grand Coalition. Coalitions in the Bundestag and state legislatures are often described by party colors. Party colors are red for the Social Democratic Party, green for Alliance 90/The Greens, yellow for the Free Democratic Party, purple (officially red, which is customarily used for the SPD) for the Left, light blue for the AfD, and black and blue for the CDU and CSU respectively.
Parties represented in the Bundestag and/or the European Parliament
Regional parties represented in only one state parliament
|Christian Social Union in Bavaria
Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern
82 / 205
|Brandenburg United Civic Movements/Free Voters
Brandenburger Vereinigte Bürgerbewegungen / Freie Wähler
5 / 88
|South Schleswig Voters' Association
|SSW||Christian Dirschauer||Social liberalism
Danish minority interests
Frisian minority interests
4 / 69
|Citizens for Thuringia
Bürger für Thüringen
|BfTh||Ute Bergner||Right-wing populism||Right-wing||
2 / 90
Defunct parties in the Federal Republic of Germany
Defunct parties in Allied-occupied Germany
|Democratic People's Party
|DVP||Theodor Heuss||Liberalism||1946–1948||Merged into FDP|
|German Conservative Party
Deutsche Konservative Partei
|DKP||Eldor Borck, Otto Schmidt-Hannover||National conservatism||1946–1950||Merged into DKP-DRP|
|German Reconstruction Party
|1945–1946||Merged into DKP-DRP|
|Lower Saxony State Party
Establishment of Lower Saxony
|1945–1947||Merged into DP|
|National Democratic Party
|NDP||Heinrich Leuchtgens||National conservatism||1945–1950||Only active in Hesse, merged into DRP|
|Radical Social Freedom Party
|RSF||Richard Batz, Peter Thielen||Freiwirtschaft
|1946–1950||Succeeded by HUMANWIRTSCHAFT|
Parties in East Germany
|National Front||Socialist Unity Party of Germany
Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschland
|"Leading Role" per 1968 Constitution, succeeded by PDS|
|Christian Democratic Union of Germany
Christlich-Demokratische Union Deutschlands
|Merged into the CDU|
|Liberal Democratic Party of Germany
Liberal-Demokratische Partei Deutschlands
|LDPD||Liberal socialism||Merged into Association of Free Democrats (partly)|
|Democratic Farmers' Party of Germany
Demokratische Bauernpartei Deutschlands
|Merged into CDUD|
|National Democratic Party of Germany
National-Demokratische Partei Deutschlands
|Merged into FDP|
During transition (1989–90)
Parties in the Saar Protectorate
|Christian People's Party of Saarland
Christliche Volkspartei des Saarlandes
|1946–1959||Later merged with the CDU|
|Christian Social Union
|1955–1959||Unofficial counterpart of the CSU|
|Communist Party of Saarland
Kommunistische Partei Saar
|1945–1957||Counterpart of the KPD|
|Democratic Party of Saarland
Demokratische Partei des Saarlandes
|1946–1957||Later merged into the FDP|
|German Democratic Union
Deutsche Demokratische Union
|DDU||Left-wing politics||1955–1968||Later merged with the DFU|
|German Social Democratic Party
Deutsche Demokratische Union
|DSP||Social democracy||1952–1956||Split from the SPS, later merged with the SPD|
|Social Democratic Party of Saarland
Sozialdemokratische Partei des Saarlandes
|1946–1956||Counterpart of the SPD|
|Supranational European People's Party Saar
Übernationale Europäische Volkspartei saar
Parties in Weimar Republic
Parties founded before World War I
- Lists of political parties; categories by country and ideology.
- History of Germany since 1945
- Liberalism in Germany
- "Chronik: Bundestagswahlen von 1949 bis 2002 | Deutschland | Deutsche Welle | 02.10.2005". Archived from the original on 2008-11-08. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
- "Political parties form colorful spectrum in Germany". Deutsche Welle. 2009-08-18. Retrieved 2009-09-12.
- The Green party: Getting used to opposition, Deutsche Welle, 2009-08-24, retrieved 2009-10-12,
This made a so-called Jamaica coalition with the Christian Democratic Union and the Free Democratic Party impossible.
- "German CDU on verge of electing divisive figure to replace Angela Merkel". The Guardian. 13 January 2021. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
Merz's backers concede that their candidate's divisive views could drive liberal CDU voters into the arms of a buoyant and centrist German Green party.
- "Italy's Surprisingly Long and Tortured History with Electoral Reform". The McGill International Review. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
The numerous European elections held this year show just how crucial it is to find a proper electoral system. The Dutch's extreme form of PR has created a fractured parliament and seemingly relentless negotiation, to no avail. Conversely, with Germany's MMP system establishing a 5% threshold for parliamentary representation, their September elections are expected to yield a stable coalition of the conservative right, the free-market right, and centrist Greens.
- "Greens name 40-year old Annalena Baerbock as candidate for German chancellor". Clean Energy Wire. 19 April 2021. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
The German Greens have shed past radicalism to become a centrist party.
- "Forecasting the world in 2021". Financial Times. 30 December 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
A tie-up with the left might be more comfortable, but they will fall short of a majority. So the now centrist Greens, with charismatic co-leader Robert Habeck, will team up with the Christian Democrats.
- Political Parties (Germany) - List of German political parties since 1949
- Collection of recognized political parties by the Federal Returning Office (in German)
- Overview of the elections since 1946 (Übersicht der Wahlen seit 1946) on the website of the Tagesschau - Election results in Germany since 1946 on state, federal and European levels (German descriptions, but graphics and data can be accessed without these).