Path: ICPP > ICPP1990 > German Free Democratic Party

GERMANY: Free Democratic Party, 123
Freie Demokratische Partei, FDP

The Free Democratic Party was one of the original parties in Janda's 1950-1962 ICPP study. The party continued throughout 1950-1990 in the Harmel-Janda study of party change.

The essay on party politics in West Germany from 1950 to 1962 says:
By far the smallest of the three parties, the Free Democrats have come to be frequent partners in coalition governments led by the CDU and even the SPD, despite the FDP's conservative position on economics.
The essay on party politics in the united Germany from 1963 to 2000 says:
FDP, although it is the smallest of the original parties, it has been able to balance the power in the Bundestag through the formation of coalitions. Because of this capacity, the FDP is sometimes referred to as a pivot party. Despite its small size, the FDP ahs been in power 39 of the 47 years of the Republic, and out of those years, the FDP never received more than 13% of the popular vote in any national election. But, the FDP has been slowly declining after the joint election of 1990. The FDP may be losing its pivotal role to a newer, younger Green Party which may have more to offer to the major parties. Indeed, the FDP failed to enter the governing coalition following the 1998 election, which was won decisively by the SPD who chose the Greens as its coalition partner.

Consult the index to variables for annual scores of the party's issue orientation, organizational complexity, centralization of power, and coherence from 1950 through 1990.