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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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German federal election, 2017
Germany
← 2013 24 September 2017 Next →

All 598 seats in the Bundestag, as well as 111 overhang and leveling seats
355 seats needed for a majority
Registered 61,688,485
Turnout 46,976,341 (76.2%)
Increase4.7 pp
  First party Second party Third party
  Angela Merkel June 2017.jpg 2017-07-21 Martin Schulz 0789.JPG Alice Weidel.jpg
Leader Angela Merkel Martin Schulz Alice Weidel &
Alexander Gauland
Party CDU/CSU SPD AfD
Leader since 10 April 2000 19 March 2017
Leader's seat Vorpommern-Rügen-Greifswald North Rhine-Westphalia Baden-Württemberg & Brandenburg
Last election 311 seats, 41.5% 193 seats, 25.7% 0 seats, 4.7%
Seats won 246 153 94
Seat change Decrease65 Decrease40 Increase94
Popular vote 15,317,344 9,539,381 5,878,115
Percentage 32.9% 20.5% 12.6%
Swing Decrease8.6% Decrease5.2% Increase7.9%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  ChristianLindner-FDP-1 (cropped 1).jpg 2014-09-11 - Sahra Wagenknecht MdB - 8301.jpg Katrin Göring-Eckardt (cropped).jpg
Leader Christian Lindner Sahra Wagenknecht
& Dietmar Bartsch
Katrin Göring-Eckardt
& Cem Özdemir
Party FDP Left Green
Leader since 7 December 2013 – (Göring-Eckardt)
15 November 2008 (Özdemir)
Leader's seat North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia &
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Thuringia &
Baden-Württemberg
Last election 0 seats, 4.8% 64 seats, 8.6% 63 seats, 8.4%
Seats won 80 69 67
Seat change Increase80 Increase5 Increase4
Popular vote 4,999,449 4,297,270 4,158,400
Percentage 10.7% 9.2% 8.9%
Swing Increase5.9% Increase0.6% Increase0.5%

German Federal Election 2017 - Results by Constituency & Regional Seats.svg
The left side shows constituency winners of the election by their party colours. The right side shows Party list winners of the election for the additional members by their party colours.

Chancellor before election

Angela Merkel
CDU/CSU

Elected Chancellor

TBD

Coat of arms of Germany.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Germany
Foreign relations

Federal elections were held in Germany on Sunday, 24 September 2017, to elect the members of the 19th Bundestag. The new Bundestag will in turn elect a Chancellor, who must ordinarily command the support of an absolute majority of its members in order to form a new government.

The Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), led by Angela Merkel, had maintained a double-digit lead over the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in opinion polling since the 2013 election, aside from a period in early 2017 following the selection of Martin Schulz as SPD leader.

The election saw the CDU/CSU win 33% of the vote, a drop of more than 8% and its lowest share of the vote since 1949, while the SPD achieved its worst result since the Second World War with just 20% of the vote. Alternative for Germany (AfD)—which was previously unrepresented in the Bundestag—became the third party in the Bundestag with 12.6% of the vote and a plurality of the vote in Saxony. No party won an outright majority in any state, including Bavaria, where the CSU often wins majorities and won a majority of the vote in 2013.

Background[edit]

At the previous federal election, in 2013, the incumbent government—composed of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Free Democratic Party (FDP)—failed to achieve a majority of seats. The FDP (in 2013)[1] failed to get over 5% of the vote, denying the party seats in the Bundestag for the first time in its history. In contrast, the CDU/CSU obtained their best result since 1990, with nearly 42% of the vote and just short of 50% of the seats. The CDU/CSU successfully negotiated with the Social Democrats (SPD) to form a grand coalition for the third time.[2]

In March 2017, the SPD chose Martin Schulz, the former President of the European Parliament, as their leader and chancellor candidate. Support for the SPD initially increased; however, the CDU afterward regained its lead, with polls generally showing a 13–16% lead over the SPD.

Date[edit]

German law requires that a new Bundestag shall be elected on a Sunday or on a nationwide holiday between 46–48 months after the last Bundestag's first sitting (Basic Law Article 39 Section 1).[3] In January 2017, then President Joachim Gauck scheduled the election for 24 September 2017.[4]

After the election, the 19th Bundestag has to hold its first sitting within 30 days. Until that first sitting, the members of the 18th Bundestag will remain in office (Basic Law Article 39 Section 1 and 2).[3]

Electoral system[edit]

Germany uses the mixed-member proportional representation system, a system of proportional representation combined with elements of first-past-the-post voting. The Bundestag has 598 nominal members, elected for a four-year term; these seats are distributed between the sixteen German states in proportion to the states' population eligible to vote.

Every elector has two votes: a constituency and a list vote. 299 members are elected in single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post, based just on the first votes. The second votes are used to produce an overall proportional result in the states and then in the Bundestag. Seats are allocated using the Sainte-Laguë method. If a party wins fewer constituency seats in a state than its second votes would entitle it to, it receives additional seats from the relevant state list. Parties can file lists in each single state under certain conditions; for example, a fixed number of supporting signatures. Parties can receive second votes only in those states in which they have successfully filed a state list.

If a party by winning single-member constituencies in one state receives more seats than it would be entitled to according to its second vote share in that state (so-called overhang seats), the other parties receive compensation seats. Owing to this provision, the Bundestag usually has more than 598 members. The 18th and current Bundestag, for example, started with 631 seats: 598 regular and 33 overhang and compensation seats. Overhang seats are calculated at the state level, so many more seats are added to balance this out among the different states, adding more seats than would be needed to compensate for overhang at the national level in order to avoid negative vote weight.

In order to qualify for seats based on the party-list vote share, a party must either win three single-member constituencies or exceed a threshold of 5% of the second votes nationwide. If a party only wins one or two single-member constituencies and fails to get at least 5% of the second votes, it keeps the single-member seat(s), but other parties that accomplish at least one of the two threshold conditions receive compensation seats. (In the most recent example of this, during the 2002 election, the PDS won only 4.0% of the party-list votes nationwide, but won two constituencies in the state of Berlin.) The same applies if an independent candidate wins a single-member constituency (which has not happened since 1949). In the 2013 election, the FDP only won 4.8% of party-list votes; this cost it all of its seats in the Bundestag.

If a voter has cast a first vote for a successful independent candidate or a successful candidate whose party failed to qualify for proportional representation, their second vote does not count to determine proportional representation. However, it does count to determine whether the elected party has exceeded the 5% threshold.

Parties representing recognized national minorities (currently Danes, Frisians, Sorbs and Romani people) are exempt from the 5% threshold, but normally only run in state elections.[5]

Parties and leaders[edit]

Altogether 38 parties have managed to get on the ballot in at least one state and can therefore (theoretically) earn proportional representation in the Bundestag.[6] Furthermore, there are several independent candidates, running for a single-member constituency. The major parties that are likely to either exceed the threshold of 5% second votes or to win single-member constituencies (first votes) were:

Name Ideology Leading
candidate(s)
2013 result
Votes (%)[a] Seats
CDU/CSU CDU Christian Democratic Union of Germany
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands
Christian democracy Angela Merkel[b] 34.1%
255 / 631
CSU Christian Social Union in Bavaria
Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern
7.4%
56 / 631
SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands
Social democracy Martin Schulz 25.7%
193 / 631
Linke The Left
Die Linke
Democratic socialism Dietmar Bartsch
Sahra Wagenknecht
8.6%
64 / 631
Grüne Alliance 90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Green politics Cem Özdemir
Katrin Göring-Eckardt
8.4%
63 / 631
FDP Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei
Liberalism Christian Lindner 4.8%
0 / 631
AfD Alternative for Germany
Alternative für Deutschland
National conservatism Alexander Gauland
Alice Weidel
4.7%
0 / 631

By tradition, the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), which refer to each other as 'sister parties', do not compete against each other. The CSU files a list only in Bavaria, while the CDU files lists in the other fifteen states. This allows them to join in one parliamentary group after the election as the CDU/CSU, which they have always done in the past and which they are expected to do again after this election.

As the CDU/CSU and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) are likely to win the most seats in the election, their leading candidates are referred to as 'Chancellor candidates'. This does not, however, mean that the new Bundestag is legally bound to elect one of them as Chancellor.

Opinion polling[edit]

The polls are from September 2013 (the last federal election) up to the current date. Each coloured line specifies a political party.

Results[edit]

Constituencies won
Voter turnout (change from 2013)
CDU (change from 2013)
SPD (change from 2013)
AfD (change from 2013)
FDP (change from 2013)
LINKE (change from 2013)
GRÜNE (change from 2013)

The CDU/CSU and the SPD remained the two largest parties in the Bundestag, but both received a significantly lower proportion of the vote than they did in the 2013 election.

The AfD received enough votes to enter the Bundestag for the first time, taking 12.6 percent of the vote—more than double the five percent threshold required to qualify for full parliamentary status. It also won three constituency seats, which would have qualified it for proportionally-elected seats in any event.

The FDP returned to the Bundestag with 10.7 percent of the vote. Despite improving their results slightly and thus gaining a few more seats, the Left and the Greens remained the two smallest parties in parliament.

Bundestag 2017.svg
Party Constituency Party list Total
seats
+/–
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
Christian Democratic Union (CDU)[c] 14,030,751 30.2 185 12,447,656 26.8 15 200 −55
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 11,429,231 24.6 59 9,539,381 20.5 94 153 −40
Alternative for Germany (AfD)[d] 5,317,499 11.5 3 5,878,115 12.6 91 94 +94
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 3,249,238 7.0 0 4,999,449 10.7 80 80 +80
The Left (DIE LINKE) 3,966,637 8.6 5 4,297,270 9.2 64 69 +5
Alliance 90/The Greens (GRÜNE) 3,717,922 8.0 1 4,158,400 8.9 66 67 +4
Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU)[c] 3,255,487 7.0 46 2,869,688 6.2 0 46 −10
Free Voters 589,056 1.3 0 463,292 1.0 0 0 0
Die PARTEI 245,659 0.5 0 454,349 1.0 0 0 0
Human Environment Animal Protection 22,917 0.0 0 374,179 0.8 0 0 0
National Democratic Party 45,169 0.1 0 176,020 0.4 0 0 0
Pirate Party Germany 93,196 0.2 0 173,476 0.4 0 0 0
Ecological Democratic Party 166,228 0.4 0 144,809 0.3 0 0 0
Basic Income Alliance 97,539 0.2 0 0 New
V-Partei³ 1,201 0.0 0 64,073 0.1 0 0 New
German Centre 63,203 0.1 0 0 New
Democracy in Motion 60,914 0.1 0 0 New
Bavaria Party 62,622 0.1 0 58,037 0.1 0 0 0
AD-DEMOCRATS 41,251 0.1 0 0 New
Animal Protection Alliance 6,114 0.0 0 32,221 0.1 0 0 New
Marxist–Leninist Party 35,760 0.1 0 29,785 0.1 0 0 0
Party for Health Research 1,537 0.0 0 23,404 0.1 0 0 New
German Communist Party 7,517 0.0 0 11,558 0.0 0 0 New
Human World 2,205 0.0 0 11,661 0.0 0 0 New
The Greys 4,300 0.0 0 10,009 0.0 0 0 New
Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität 15,960 0.0 0 6,693 0.0 0 0 0
The Humanists 5,991 0.0 0 0 New
Magdeburger Garden Party 2,570 0.0 0 5,617 0.0 0 0 New
Alliance for Germany 6,316 0.0 0 9,631 0.0 0 0 0
you. 772 0.0 0 3,032 0.0 0 0 New
The Right 1,142 0.0 0 2,054 0.0 0 0 New
Socialist Equality Party 903 0.0 0 1,291 0.0 0 0 0
Bergpartei, die "ÜberPartei" 672 0.0 0 911 0.0 0 0 New
Party of Reason 242 0.0 0 533 0.0 0 0 0
The Violets – for Spiritual Politics 2,176 0.0 0 0 0
Alliance C 1,717 0.0 0 0 New
New Liberals 884 0.0 0 0 New
The Union 371 0.0 0 0 New
Family Party 506 0.0 0 0 0
The Women 439 0.0 0 0 New
Renter's Party 1,352 0.0 0 0 New
Others 100,889 0.2 0 0
Independents 2,458 0.0 0 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 586,726 460,849
Total 46,976,341 100 299 46,976,341 100 410 709 +78
Registered voters/turnout 61,688,485 76.2 61,688,485 76.2
Source: Bundeswahlleiter
Popular Vote
CDU/CSU
32.93%
SPD
20.51%
AfD
12.64%
FDP
10.75%
DIE LINKE
9.24%
B'90/GRÜNE
8.94%
Others
4.99%
Bundestag Seats
CDU/CSU
34.70%
SPD
21.58%
AfD
13.26%
FDP
11.28%
DIE LINKE
9.73%
B'90/GRÜNE
9.45%

Results by state[edit]

Second Vote ("Zweitstimme", or votes for party list)

Party list election results by state: blue denotes states where CDU/CSU had the plurality of votes; cyan denotes states where AfD had the plurality of votes, and pink denotes states where the SPD had the plurality of votes
State[7] results in % CDU/CSU SPD AfD FDP LINKE GRÜNE all others
 Baden-Württemberg 34.4 16.4 12.2 12.7 6.4 13.5 4.5
 Bavaria 38.8 15.3 12.4 10.2 6.1 9.8 7.5
 Berlin 22.7 17.9 12.0 8.9 18.8 12.6 7.0
 Brandenburg 26.7 17.6 20.2 7.1 17.2 5.0 6.3
 Bremen 25.0 26.3 10.0 9.3 13.5 11.0 4.3
 Hamburg 27.2 23.5 7.8 10.8 12.2 13.9 4.5
 Hesse 30.9 23.5 11.9 11.6 8.1 9.7 4.4
 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 33.1 15.1 18.6 6.2 17.8 4.3 4.9
 Lower Saxony 34.9 27.4 9.1 9.3 6.9 8.7 3.6
 North Rhine-Westphalia 32.6 26.0 9.4 13.1 7.5 7.6 3.8
 Rhineland-Palatinate 35.9 24.2 11.2 10.4 6.8 7.6 3.9
 Saarland 32.4 27.2 10.1 7.6 12.9 6.0 3.9
 Saxony 26.9 10.5 27.0 8.2 16.1 4.6 6.7
 Saxony-Anhalt 30.3 15.2 19.6 7.8 17.8 3.7 5.7
 Schleswig-Holstein 34.0 23.3 8.2 12.6 7.3 12.0 2.7
 Thuringia 28.8 13.2 22.7 7.8 16.9 4.1 6.5

Additional Member Seats By State[edit]

Second Vote ("Zweitstimme", or votes for party list) seats allocated by each of the 16 states by party.

Additional member seats by state.
State[7] seats CDU/CSU SPD AfD FDP LINKE GRÜNE Total
 Baden-Württemberg 0 16 11 12 6 13 58
 Bavaria 0 18 14 12 7 11 62
 Berlin 2 2 4 3 2 3 16
 Brandenburg 0 3 5 3 4 1 16
 Bremen 1 0 1 0 1 1 4
 Hamburg 3 0 1 2 2 2 10
 Hesse 0 7 6 6 4 5 28
 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 0 2 3 1 3 1 10
 Lower Saxony 5 6 7 7 5 6 41
 North Rhine-Westphalia 4 15 15 20 12 12 78
 Rhineland-Palatinate 0 8 4 4 3 3 22
 Saarland 0 2 1 1 1 1 6
 Saxony 0 4 8 3 5 2 22
 Saxony-Anhalt 0 3 4 2 4 1 14
 Schleswig-Holstein 0 5 2 3 2 3 15
 Thuringia 0 3 5 2 3 1 14

Constitution of the 19th Bundestag[edit]

The father of the house of the 19th Bundestag, Hermann Otto Solms

On 24 October 2017 the 19th Bundestag held its opening session, during which the Bundestag-members elected the Presidium of the Bundestag, i.e. the President and the Vice Presidents of the Bundestag. By tradition the biggest parliamentary group (in this case the CDU/CSU-group) has the right to propose a candidate for President of the Bundestag and following the rules of order every group has the right to be represented by at least one Vice President in the presidium. However, the Bundestag may decide to elect additional Vice Presidents. Every member of the presidium had to be elected by an absolute majority of the members of the Bundestag (in this case 355 votes). Until the election of the President of the Bundestag, the father of the house, the member of parliament with the longest membership, presided over the opening session.[8]

  • Since he had been a member of the Bundestag for 45 years (since 1972), current Federal Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble would have been the father of the house.[9] However, since Schäuble was also a candidate for President of the Bundestag and would therefore likely have had to declare his own election, he refused the office. Hermann Otto Solms, who had been a member of the Bundestag for 33 years (19802013 and since 2017), stood in for him.[10][11]
  • The CDU/CSU group proposed Wolfgang Schäuble to be President of the Bundestag.[12] Schäuble was elected on the first ballot (501 yes votes, 173 no votes, 30 abstentions, 1 invalid vote).
  • The CDU/CSU group proposed Hans-Peter Friedrich to be a Vice President of the Bundestag.[13] Friedrich was elected on the first ballot (507 yes votes, 112 no votes, 82 abstentions, 2 invalid votes).
  • The SPD group proposed Thomas Oppermann to be a Vice President of the Bundestag. Oppermann was elected on the first ballot (396 yes votes, 220 no votes, 81 abstentions, 6 invalid votes).
  • The AfD group proposed Albrecht Glaser to be a Vice President of the Bundestag.[14] On 2 October 2017 the groups of the SPD, the FDP, The Left and Alliance 90/The Greens criticised the nomination because of controversial remarks about Islam and the basic right of religious freedom made by Glaser during the AfD's election campaign and asked the AfD group to nominate someone else to the post. The AfD group declined to accede to the request and nominate someone else.[15] Glaser failed to get a majority on three ballots, although even a plurality would have been sufficient on the third (first ballot: 115 yes votes, 550 no votes, 26 abstentions, 12 invalid votes, second ballot: 123 yes votes, 549 no votes, 24 abstentions, 1 invalid vote, third ballot: 114 yes votes, 545 no votes, 26 abstentions).
  • The FDP group proposed Wolfgang Kubicki to be a Vice President of the Bundestag. Kubicki was elected on the first ballot (489 yes votes, 100 no votes, 111 abstentions, 3 invalid votes).
  • The Left group proposed Petra Pau, who has held this position since 2006, to be a Vice President of the Bundestag. Pau was elected on the first ballot (456 yes votes, 187 no votes, 54 abstentions, 6 invalid votes).
  • The Alliance 90/Greens group proposed Claudia Roth, who already held this position in the previous legislative session, to be a Vice President of the Bundestag.[16] Roth was elected on the first ballot (489 yes votes, 166 no votes, 45 abstentions, 3 invalid votes).

The AfD's seat in the Presidium will remain vacant until the group proposes a candidate who is able to secure a majority.

Government formation[edit]

The SPD's leader and Chancellor candidate Martin Schulz and other party leaders stated that the SPD would not continue the current grand coalition government after unsatisfactory election results.[17] Following the SPD's announcement that it would return to the opposition, the media speculated that Chancellor Angela Merkel might need to form a Jamaica coalition (black-yellow-green) with the Free Democrats and the Greens as that is the only viable coalition without the AfD or The Left, both of which had been ruled out by Merkel as coalition partners before the election.[18] On 9 October 2017 Merkel officially announced that she would invite the Free Democrats and the Greens for talks about building a coalition government starting on 18 October 2017.[19][20]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Second votes (party list)
  2. ^ As current Chancellor and leader of the CDU; Horst Seehofer is the current leader of the CSU.
  3. ^ a b The Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria call themselves sister parties. They do not compete against each other in the same states and they form one group within the Bundestag.
  4. ^ Including Frauke Petry, who will not take the AfD whip or sit with the party.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official German election results confirm Merkel's victory". Deutche Welle. Deutche Welle. September 23, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Bundesregierung: Die Große Koalition ist besiegelt" [The grand coalition (deal) is sealed]. Die Zeit (in German). 16 December 2013. ISSN 0044-2070. Retrieved 20 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Art 39 GG – Einzelnorm". Gesetze-im-internet.de. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "Bundespräsident Gauck fertigt Anordnung über Bundestagswahl aus". Bundespraesident.de. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  5. ^ "Wahlsystem der Bundestagswahl in Deutschland – Wahlrecht und Besonderheiten". Wahlrecht.de (de). Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
  6. ^ "Bundestagswahl 2017 – Übersicht: Eingereichte und zugelassene Landeslisten der Parteien". Wahlrecht.de. Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Officer, The Federal Returning. "Results - The Federal Returning Officer". www.bundeswahlleiter.de. 
  8. ^ "Deutscher Bundestag - Startseite". Deutscher Bundestag (in German). Retrieved 2017-11-09. 
  9. ^ Braun, Stefan (2017-09-25). "Ein historisches Amt für Wolfgang Schäuble". sueddeutsche.de (in German). ISSN 0174-4917. Retrieved 2017-10-02. 
  10. ^ Müller, Volker. "Deutscher Bundestag - Wolfgang Schäuble mit Abstand dienstältester Abgeordneter". Deutscher Bundestag (in German). Retrieved 2017-10-02. 
  11. ^ "Sitzordnung im Bundestag noch umstritten". n-tv.de (in German). Retrieved 2017-11-09. 
  12. ^ Böcking, David; Fischer, Sebastian (27 September 2017). "Künftiger Bundestagspräsident Schäuble: Der Alleskönner" – via Spiegel Online. 
  13. ^ "Hans-Peter Friedrich kandidiert zum Bundestags-Vizepräsidenten". inFranken.de (in German). Retrieved 2017-11-09. 
  14. ^ "Stichwahl in der Fraktion: AfD will Glaser als Bundestags-Vizepräsident". 27 September 2017 – via Spiegel Online. 
  15. ^ "Bundestagsvizepräsident: Widerstand gegen AfD-Vorschlag". tagesschau.de (in German). Retrieved 2017-11-09. 
  16. ^ "Neuer Bundestag: Die Grünen wollen Roth sehen". tagesschau.de (in German). Retrieved 2017-11-09. 
  17. ^ Donahue, Patrick; Jennen, Birgit; Delfs, Arne (24 September 2017). "Merkel Humbled as Far-Right Surge Taints Her Fourth-Term Victory". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 24 September 2017. 
  18. ^ Andreas Rinke (29 August 2017). "Germany's Merkel rules out coalition with far left, far right". reuters.com. Reuters. Archived from the original on 4 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017. 
  19. ^ "Koalition: Merkel lädt ab Mittwoch kommender Woche zu Jamaika-Gesprächen". Spiegel Online. 2017-10-09. Retrieved 2017-11-09. 
  20. ^ Paun, Carmen (October 7, 2017). "Angela Merkel Ready to Move Forward with Jamaica Coalition". Politico. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 

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