Marx and Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung June 1848

The Position of the Parties in Cologne

Source: MECW Volume 7, p. 87;
Written: on June 16, 1848;
First published: in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 18, June 18, 1848.

Cologne, June 16. A few days ago we had a by-election here which clearly showed how much 64 the position of the parties has changed since the general election.[64]

Police Superintendent Müller, substitute for Frankfurt, was elected in Gummersbach as deputy to Berlin.

Three candidates competed in the elections. The Catholic party nominated Herr Pellman, the constitutional party (the Citizens’ Association)[65] ran Herr Fay, a lawyer, and the democratic party backed Herr Schneider II, a barrister, and President of the (Stollwerk) Democratic Society.[66]

In the first round (there were 140 voting delegates), Herr Fay received 29 votes, Herr Pellmann 34 and Herr Schneider 52. The rest of the votes were divided.

The second round (139 votes) resulted in 14 votes for Herr Fay, 59 for Herr Pellmann and 64 for Herr Schneider. Thus, the lead of the democratic party was still steadily increasing.

Finally, in the third round (138 votes), Herr Fay did not receive a single vote. Herr Schneider obtained 55 and Herr Pellmann 75 votes. The gentlemen of the Citizens’ Association had given their votes to the Catholic candidate because they feared the Stollwerk democrats.

These votes show how much public opinion here has changed. In the general elections, the democrats were everywhere in the minority. In this by-election, the democrats emerged as the by far most powerful of the three competing parties and only an unnatural coalition of the two other parties was able to defeat them.

We do not blame the Catholic party for entering into this coalition. We only stress the fact that the constitutional party has disappeared.