German Federal Elections of 1912
With the Kaiser calling the official end to the election season, the results from the German Federal Election finally came in with surprising results. Out of the 397 seats up for election, the Social Democratic Party was given the most seats, totaling 94 Reichstag Members, up 51 seats from the 1907 election. The Second largest party in the Reichstag was the Far-Right German Reich Party, with 90 Seats for a total of 66 gained since the 1907 election. The German Conservative party clocked in at the third largest with 54 seats, down 6 since the last election. The National Liberals also lost a significant amount of representatives, going from 54 seats to 47 seats in 1912. The biggest loser in the Reichstag, however, was the Centre Party. Totaling 105 seats from the 1907 election, the Centre Party was only awarded 26 seats, a net loss of 79 seats in Reichstag. The Progressive People's Party was only given 20 seats, down from 49 in the 1907 election. Other minority parties had gain 66 seats, stable since the last election.
This surprising result, mostly from the Centre Party, long the ruling party of the German Empire, was a shock to most Germans and political analysts. One could only guess, with Left and Right factions rising and the moderate centre going away, that the German public was becoming increasingly polarized and dissatisfied with the status quot. However, even with this general fact, the Kaiser decided to appoint Reinhart von und zu Birkenfeld, leader of the Centre Party as the Chancellor of the German Empire. He ordered him to gain the 199 Reichstag members needed to form a legislative majority, but with only 26 seats, the uphill climb seemed to give the new Chancellor a challenge to form a coalition Government.
With the new Reichstag sworn in, each of the five major parties went to elect their leaders. As of right now, only two parties were unanimous in their leadership choices, that was Reinhart von und zu Birkenfeld of the Centre Party, and Albert Rudolf Frahm of the Progressive Party. Each of the other three parties must now choose their leader to bring them through this next parliamentary session.