2009 German federal election

Federal elections took place on 27 September 2009 to elect the members of the 17th Bundestag (parliament) of Germany.[1] Preliminary results showed that the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) won the election, and the three parties announced their intention to form a new centre-right government with Angela Merkel as Chancellor. Their main opponent, Frank-Walter Steinmeier's Social Democratic Party (SPD), conceded defeat.[2] The Christian Democrats previously governed in coalition with the FDP in most of the 1949–1966 governments of Konrad Adenauer and Ludwig Erhard and the 1982–1998 governments of Helmut Kohl.

German federal election, 2009

27 September 2009

All 598 seats (plus 24 overhangs) in the Bundestag
312 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout44,005,575 (70.8%)
Decrease6.9 pp
  Angela Merkel 2009a (cropped) Frank-Walter Steinmeier 04 Guido Westerwelle 2007 (cropped)
Leader Angela Merkel Frank‑Walter Steinmeier Guido Westerwelle
Party CDU/CSU SPD FDP
Leader since 24 September 2002 18 October 2008 4 May 2001
Leader's seat Nordvorpommern-Rügen Brandenburg an der Havel North Rhine-Westphalia
Last election 226 seats, 35.2% 222 seats, 34.2% 61 seats, 9.8%
Seats won 239 146 93
Seat change Increase13 Decrease76 Increase32
Popular vote 14,658,515 9,990,488 6,316,080
Percentage 33.8% 23.0% 14.6%
Swing Decrease1.4 pp Decrease11.2 pp Increase4.8 pp

  Gregor Gysi y Oskar Lafontaine Jürgen Trittin y Renate Künast 2009
Leader Gregor Gysi & Oskar Lafontaine Jürgen Trittin &
Renate Künast
Party Left Green
Leader since 17 July 2005
30 July 2005
16 November 2008
27 September 2005
Leader's seat Berlin Treptow – Köpenick & Saarland Lower Saxony & Berlin
Last election 54 seats, 8.7% 51 seats, 8.1%
Seats won 76 68
Seat change Increase22 Increase17
Popular vote 5,155,933 4,643,272
Percentage 11.9% 10.7%
Swing Increase3.2 pp Increase2.6 pp

Chancellor before election

Angela Merkel
CDU/CSU

Elected Chancellor

Angela Merkel
CDU/CSU

Campaign

Since the 2005 election, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had governed in a grand coalition with the SPD. However, it was her stated goal to win a majority for CDU/CSU and FDP (the CDU/CSU's traditional coalition partner) in 2009.

Foreign minister and Vice Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) was formally nominated as his party's chancellor-candidate at a convention on 18 October 2008.[3] He aimed to form a government in which the SPD was the strongest party, but which also excluded the left-socialist party The Left.

The election campaign was considered exceptionally boring,[4] which may be attributable to a perceived lack of charisma on the part of the leaders of the CDU and SPD.[5] Another reason pointed to for the sedate campaign is that the CDU and SPD both defended the record of their grand coalition, as well as facing the possibility of having to continue the grand coalition in a friendly manner.[6] Merkel was content with the low-key campaign style, which was largely seen as benefiting her party because of her high approval ratings.[7]

One of the lighter moments in the campaign came when CDU candidate Vera Lengsfeld released a campaign poster featuring herself and Merkel in a way that emphasised their cleavage. The poster bore the slogan "We have more to offer" (German: "Wir haben mehr zu bieten").[8]

The federal election was the final and most important election in what is called a Superwahljahr (super election year) in Germany. In addition to the election of a new Bundestag, also scheduled for 2009 were the election to the European Parliament on 7 June, seven local elections on the same day, five state elections and an additional local election in August and September and the election of the President of Germany by the Federal Assembly on 23 May.

Opinion polls

Electoral graph for the German federal election, 2009
Average trend line of poll results from 18 September 2005 to 27 September 2009 with each line corresponding to a political party.
  SPD
  FDP
  LINKE
  GRÜNE

The CDU/CSU and FDP, with an average vote share of around 50% in pre-election polling during the weeks before the election, were clearly ahead of the other traditional coalition partners in Germany, SPD and the Greens.[9]

Institute Date CDU/CSU SPD Greens FDP The Left Others
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen[10] 18 Sept 36% 25% 10% 13% 11% 5%
Forsa 16 Sept 37% 24% 11% 12% 10% 6%
Allensbach 16 Sept 36% 22.5% 12% 12.5% 12% 6%
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen[10] 11 Sept 36% 23% 11% 14% 11% 5%
Infratest dimap[10] 10 Sept 35% 23% 12% 14% 12% 4%
Allensbach[11] 9 Sept 35% 22.5% 13% 13% 11.5% 5%
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen[10] 4 Sept 37% 23% 11% 15% 10% 4%
Emnid[10] 3 Sept 34% 26% 11% 14% 11% 4%
INFO GmbH[12] 2 Sept 35% 23% 12% 14% 11% 4%
Allensbach[10] 1 Sept 35.5% 23% 13.5% 14% 9.5% 4.5%
GMS[10] 24 Aug 37% 23% 13% 13% 9% 5%

Results

German Federal Election - Party list vote results by state - 2009
Party list election results by state: blue denotes states where CDU/CSU had the plurality of votes; purple denotes states where Die Linke had the plurality of votes; and pink denotes states where the SPD had the plurality of votes
Bundestagswahl2009 Zweitstimmen
Party list results by constituency

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) were able to form a centre-right government, with Angela Merkel of the CDU continuing as the Chancellor and the leader of the FDP, Guido Westerwelle, becoming Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor.[13]

The CDU/CSU received a slightly lower proportion than in the previous election, with the Bavarian CSU receiving its lowest vote share in decades.[14] Overall, the CDU/CSU had their worst vote share in 60 years.[15] In contrast, their preferred coalition partner, the liberal FDP, gained nearly 5% points to give it 14.6% of the vote, the best result of its history. The big loser of the election was the SPD, which received its worst result ever in a federal election, receiving only 23% of the total party vote and suffering the biggest percentage loss of any party in German federal election history in 60 years. The two other parties represented in the Bundestag, the Left and the Greens, both made large gains and received the highest vote share of their respective histories. For the first time, The Left won constituency seats outside its traditional stronghold of East Berlin. As a result of the losses by the SPD and the gains by the FDP, the alliance of the CDU/CSU and FDP received an outright majority of seats, ensuring that Angela Merkel would continue as Chancellor.

Had the CDU/CSU and FDP failed to win a majority of seats, possible alternative coalitions may have included a continuation of the grand coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD. A traffic light coalition (SPD–FDP–Greens) was specifically ruled out by FDP leader Guido Westerwelle.[16]

 Summary of the 27 September 2009 German Bundestag election results
Parties Constituency Party list Total seats
Votes % +/− Seats +/− Votes % +/− Seats +/− Seats +/− %
Christian Democratic Union (CDU)[a] 13,856,674 32.0 −0.6 173 +67 11,828,277 27.3 −0.5 21 −53 194 +14 31.2
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 12,079,758 27.9 −10.5 64 −81 9,990,488 23.0 −11.2 82 +5 146 −76 23.5
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 4,076,496 9.4 +4.7 0 ±0 6,316,080 14.6 +4.8 93 +32 93 +32 15.0
The Left (DIE LINKE) 4,791,124 11.1 +3.1 16 +13 5,155,933 11.9 +3.2 60 +9 76 +22 12.2
Alliance '90/The Greens (GRÜNE) 3,977,125 9.2 +3.8 1 ±0 4,643,272 10.7 +2.6 67 +17 68 +17 10.9
Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU)[a] 3,191,000 7.4 −0.9 45 +1 2,830,238 6.5 −0.9 0 −2 45 −1 7.2
Pirate Party (PIRATEN) 46,770 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 847,870 2.0 +2.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
National Democratic Party (NPD) 768,442 1.8 −0.0 0 ±0 635,525 1.5 −0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Human Environment Animal Welfare 16,887 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 230,872 0.5 +0.3 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
The Republicans (REP) 30,061 0.1 −0.0 0 ±0 193,396 0.4 −0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Ecological Democratic Party (ödp) 105,653 0.2 +0.2 0 ±0 132,249 0.3 +0.3 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Family Party (FAMILIE) 17,848 0.0 −0.1 0 ±0 120,718 0.3 −0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Alliance 21/RRP 37,946 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 100,605 0.2 +0.2 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Pensioners' Party (RENTNER) 56,399 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Bavaria Party (BP) 32,324 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 48,311 0.1 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
German People's Union (DVU) 45,752 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Party of Bible-abiding Christians (PBC) 12,052 0.0 −0.1 0 ±0 40,370 0.1 −0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Civil Rights Movement Solidarity (BüSo) 34,894 0.1 ±0 0 ±0 38,706 0.1 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
The Violets – for Spiritual Politics (DIE VIOLETTEN) 5,794 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 31,957 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Marxist Leninist Party (MLPD) 17,512 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 29,261 0.1 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Alliance for Germany (Volksabstimmung) 2,550 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 23,015 0.1 +0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Free Voters (FWD) 11,243 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Christian Centre (CM) 6,826 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Centre Party (ZENTRUM) 369 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 6,087 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Social Equality Party (PSG) 2,957 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Alliance of the Centre (ADM) 396 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 2,889 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
German Communist Party (DKP) 929 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 1,894 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Free Union 6,121 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Electoral groups and independents 139,275 0.3 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Invalid/blank votes 757,575 634,385
Totals 44,005,575 100.0 ±0.0 299 ±0 44,005,575 100 ±0.0 323 +8 622 +8 ±0
Registered voters/turnout 62,168,489 70.8 −6.9 62,168,489 70.8 −6.9
Source: Federal Returning Officer
  1. ^ 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 geographical regions and they form one group within the Bundestag.
239 93 146 76 68
CDU/CSU FDP SPD Linke Grüne
Popular Vote
CDU/CSU
33.80%
SPD
23.03%
FDP
14.56%
DIE LINKE
11.89%
B'90/GRÜNE
10.71%
PIRATEN
1.95%
Other
4.06%
Bundestag seats
CDU/CSU
38.42%
SPD
23.47%
FDP
14.95%
DIE LINKE
12.22%
B'90/GRÜNE
10.93%

Results by state

State CDU/CSU
(%)
SPD
(%)
FDP
(%)
Left
(%)
Green
(%)
others
(%)
 Baden-Württemberg 34.5 19.3 18.8 7.2 13.9 6.3
 Bavaria 42.6 16.8 14.7 6.5 10.8 8.6
 Berlin 22.8 20.2 11.5 20.2 17.4 7.9
 Brandenburg 23.6 25.1 9.3 28.5 6.1 7.4
 Bremen 23.9 30.3 10.6 14.2 15.4 5.6
 Hamburg 27.9 27.4 13.2 11.2 15.6 4.7
 Hesse 32.2 25.6 16.6 8.5 12.0 5.1
 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 33.2 16.6 9.8 29.0 5.5 5.9
 Lower Saxony 33.2 29.3 13.3 8.6 10.7 4.9
 North Rhine-Westphalia 33.1 28.5 14.9 8.4 10.1 5.0
 Rhineland-Palatinate 35.0 23.8 16.6 9.4 9.7 5.5
 Saarland 30.7 24.7 11.9 21.2 6.8 4.7
 Saxony 35.6 14.6 13.3 24.5 6.7 5.3
 Saxony-Anhalt 30.1 16.9 10.3 32.4 5.1 5.2
 Schleswig-Holstein 32.2 26.8 16.3 7.9 12.7 4.1
 Thuringia 31.2 17.6 9.8 28.8 6.0 6.6

Source: Bundeswahlleiter[17]

References

  1. ^ "Der Wahltermin für die Bundestagswahl 2009". Der Bundeswahlleiter. Archived from the original on 22 December 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  2. ^ "Merkel's rival concedes defeat in German election". London: Telegraph. 27 September 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
  3. ^ "Frank-Walter Steinmeier zum SPD-Kanzlerkandidaten gewählt". Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands. 18 October 2008. Archived from the original on 19 November 2008.
  4. ^ "Apathy in Germany: Record Low Voter Turnout Expected in National Election". Der Spiegel. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  5. ^ "'Merkel factor' could decide German vote". BBC News. 17 September 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  6. ^ "The left in the German elections". Socialist Worker Online. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  7. ^ Chu, Henry (27 September 2009). "German election a yawner for voters". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  8. ^ "German Politician Uses Merkel's Cleavage to Woo Voters". 11 August 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
  9. ^ "Opinion Poll Tracker Bundestagswahl 2009 Germany's Federal Election". Alexej Behnisch. 17 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  10. ^ Allensbach-Umfrage: Vorsprung für Schwarz-Gelb schrumpft. FAZ.NET, 9 September 2009
  11. ^ "Merkel's FDP Coalition Partner Approves Four-Year Policy Plan". Bloomberg. 25 October 2009.
  12. ^ "Boost for the FDP: The German Election's Biggest Winner". Der Spiegel Online. 28 September 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
  13. ^ The Economist, 28 September 2009
  14. ^ Spiegel Interview With FDP Leader Westerwelle, 18 August 2009
  15. ^ Vorläufiges Ergebnis der Bundestagswahl 2009 in den Ländern

Further reading

  • Faas, Thorsten (2010). "The German Federal Election of 2009: Sprouting Coalitions, Drooping Social Democrats". West European Politics. 33 (4): 894–903. doi:10.1080/01402381003794670.
  • Langenbacher, Eric, ed. (2011). Between Left and Right: The 2009 Bundestag Elections and the Transformation of the German Party System. New York: Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-0-85745-222-1. Scholarly studies.

External links

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