Publication: The Times

Full Citation

  • Title Democrats Head Berlin Poll
  • Author From Our Special Correspondent
  • Publication Title The Times
  • Collection The Times Digital Archive, 1785-2008
  • Date Tuesday,  Oct. 22, 1946
  • Issue Number 50588
  • Page Number 4
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library Times Newspapers Limited
  • Copyright Statement © Times Newspapers Limited.
DEMOCRATS HEAD BERLIN POLL UNITY PARTY THIRD SHARP REBUFF FOR CO,M1MUNISTS From Our Special Correspondent BERLIN. OCT. 2I Yesterday's municipal elections in Berlin resulted in an even greater victory for the Social Democrats and an even grcater defeat for the Commnunist-dominated Socialist Unity Party than either of the parties or most neutiral observers had thought possible. The results from 2.175 out of 2.2S4 polling stations give Social Democrats 48.8 per cent. of all valid votes, and this position is not likely to be much altered bv results still to come. The Socialist Unity Partv. whose formation h the fusion of the Communist and original Social Democratic party has always been resented here, came tllird with 19.7 per cent. The only party whose expectations were more or less fullillld by tile results were the Christian Democra:tsr wvho got 22.2 per cciii. Thc fourth party. the Liberail Democrats, polled 9.3 per cent., wiich is a trtier reflection of its general position than the restilts of last montlh's parish cottncil clectionls in tile Russian zone. where the absence of a1 Social Democratic party brottglit it many votes. In figttres of valid \otes tilc results arrc:Social Dcmocrats. 94S.743 Chiristian Dcmocrats. 431.916 Socialist Unity Party, 383,182; Liberal Democrats, IS2.097. 90 PER CENT. POLI, Closer examination of tle restilts confirnis the completeness of the Social Democratic victory and the Socialist Unity defeat. In all 20 borottghs of Grcater Berlin. Social Democrats were the leading party, having in sonic borotgihs an absolute majority. In ZchIlendorf, the Unity Party had only 6.9 per cent. of the total votes, in Steglitz. 7.3, and in T'Fetpclilof 9.2. Thesc resitlts are to bc explained in part by the fact that the thIrcc borottglis are middlc class districts in tlic American sector which w\ould not le attracted by a predoniinantly Commutnist Party like Socialist Unity. But even in working-class \\'eissensec. in the Rutssian sector, the Unity Party got only 31.8 per cent. As had becti expected. the Social Democrats did best in tih sectors of this quadripartite citv controlled by the three western Powcrs, having over 50 per ctcit. it all three. Bltit even in the Russiatn sector their vote was 43.2 per cent. Between 90 and 95 per cent. of the clectorate voted, ai clear itdicattion of thescriomisness with whviich they regarded thc occasion. The Socialist Utiit Party, which, with all its propagandist dextelitv. cannot but admit its defeats. madtic the bcst of the business by representing t rt -esilt as a victory for the two _orking-class parties. which it would he tad thele ever hcen any scriolts itdicailion that the two parties were r-eady to conibine in common Socialist policy ailo .ictics. POLITICAL EFFRONTERY It is titilikely tha t this offer, which. after the litter ataicks which l'or niontlis tlie Untitv PIalt' hals hcen making against Berliti Social Democratic leadership alid policl, smacks of political effrontery. will he taken too seriouslv by Social Detiiocrals. The policy wvlicil lo-day seemed to lic shaping at Social Dteiiocraltic 1.cadqtlarlters was for tIt cxploita tioti of the party's victory it anotiler direction. Social Democrats ask wrhy. now the Socialist Utnity I'arty has iccl PtoVed ir, free election to hatc littile popular support. Coninittnists and Russians should not draw the proper conchisiotf anti again allot' tlhc Social Deniocratic Palrty iti the Rtssian zon1e and pernit -Social Dctiioct-ats now in the Unity Part' to resLinic their old alilegiatice. More initiediately thc Social Demociratic Party proposes to press tts victory by bir:etkitig atay from the anti-Fascist Democratic Nor,l, whichil they have attlays regarded as a Conimuntist device for keeping in check hic policies of othier partics. In Berlin councils Social Democrats are twilling to cooperille writh all other parties. including thc Socialist Unitv Party, lut only if the others follow a Germaln policy. This last phlrate contaitis the seeds of fttttr difficultics siice Social Deniocrats regatrd thc Unity Party r ts follosring Russian ratther than German policv. Thile closetess with tlich tihe Unity Party seeks to mould its policy oti Rttssi:in wislhes, twhere indecd the policy has not direct Russittn inspirations, is undeniabile. The sittiation is one ihich trill need careftil hian(iling hy Bet lin Socictl Democrats if thev Ire scriolts abottt txtractino concessions fronti Russiatis. For instance. too nittch insistetlcc on sttbservicice of ttic Unitt Partv to Rttssizins tnd tin the latck of politictdi freedom it tlte Rtssian zone many hve been good propagatida poitits, bttt the' till tiot tm:ke good talking poitins in discuissiotis designied to leItd to cooperattioti. As hIlls ictt cxoclted. clectittns in lic Rttssittti ZotiC \estclrlav for Krt'imogc( Icolittav cottncilsl atind /lattrat' tsttatc tnd provincial elist icis) havc becti It victorv for tihe Unitv Party. whichi. as it lat month's local cIlectioln. hi: s fouglit frotl at fatvoiretd nosition. -Ihie Liberal Denmocratic I'arty hals second place it att odd. bitl rccvali tig contrast to is positiot it Rerliii. The Christian DetliocrattsWstere third.