The first elections to Germany’s constituent National Assembly had taken place in the immediate aftermath of World War I, on 19 January 1919. Despite severe social unrest, the elections, in which women voted for the first time, resulted in an absolute majority for the mainstream ‘Weimar Coalition’, made up of the MSPD (the Majority Social Democratic Party), the Centre (Zentrum) Party and the German Democratic Party. This election was followed eighteen months later, on 6 June 1920, by the first Reichstag election of the Weimar era. The governing Weimar Coalition suffered heavy losses, losing 124 seats and its parliamentary majority. Instead a minority government was formed under the Centrist Konstantin Fehrenbach, made up of the Centre Party, the German Democratic Party and the German People’s Party (DVP). Clearly the electorate was dissatisfied with the MSDP, which had been failed to satisfy workers’ demands for nationalization and social rights. The USPD (Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany) had seen its share of the vote increase to 17.9 per cent. With a total of 84 deputies, it was the largest parliamentary group in the Reichstag. Not far behind, with 71 seats, was the far right German National People’s Party (DNVP).
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