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The oldest party

The SPD finds its origins in Germany’s oldest political parties. The Social Democrats still has close ties to unions and workers to this day.


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Ahead of the Bundestag elections on 21 September 2021, let us introduce you to the German political parties that are represented in the Bundestag. In Germany, parties only win seats in parliament if they obtain five percent or more of the votes.

The party:
Social Democratic Party of Germany

October 1890


MPs in the Bundestag in the period 2017-2021:
152 of 709 MPs in total

Historic figures:
Willy Brandt, Federal Chancellor from 1969 to 1974
Helmut Schmidt, Federal Chancellor from 1974 to 1982
Gerhard Schröder, Federal Chancellor from 1998 to 2005

Chancellor Candidate in 2021:
Olaf Scholz, Federal Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor

Profile: The SPD finds its origins in the General German Workers’ Association (ADAV), founded in 1863, and the Social Democratic Workers’ Party (SDAP), founded in 1869; the two merged in 1875 to form the Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany (SAP), which was renamed the SPD in 1890. It is therefore regarded as Germany’s oldest political party. Initially a socialist workers’ party, the SPD evolved in the Federal Republic of Germany to become a “left-wing catch-all party” with close union ties. It wants a strong welfare state dedicated to social justice. A “catch-all party” means that it does not represent the interests of a particular group, but rather is open to members of all social groups and generations. The SPD has been the junior partner in the Grand Coalition since 2013 (this is the name given in Germany to a coalition between the two main parties CDU/CSU and SPD).


Links to portraits of other political parties:
CDU/CSU , Greens, FDP, Linke, AfD