Federal elections were held on 22 September to elect the members of the 18th Bundestag of Germany. At stake were all 598 seats to the Bundestag, plus 33 overhang seats determined thereafter. The Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel won their best result since 1990, with nearly 42% of the vote and nearly 50% of the seats (five short for an overall majority). However, their coalition partner, the Free Democrats (FDP), failed to meet the 5% vote threshold in what was their worst showing ever in a federal election, thus denying them seats in the Bundestag for the first time in their history.
Merkel's party reached a coalition agreement with the then-main opposition party, the Social Democrats (SPD), to form a grand coalition; the third in the country's history since World War II. The SPD leadership conducted a ratification vote by their broader membership before the agreement was made final.
|German federal election, 2013|
All 598 seats in the Bundestag, as well as 4 overhang and 29 leveling seats
316 seats needed for a majority
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.
In the last federal election in 2009, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU); its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU); and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) won the election with Angela Merkel as Chancellor and Guido Westerwelle as Vice-Chancellor.
The date of the German federal election is governed by the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (Germany's constitution) and the Federal Election Law (Bundeswahlgesetz).
Article 39 of the Basic Law states that the Bundestag shall be elected between 46 and 48 months after the beginning of the legislative period. As the 17th Bundestag convened on 27 October 2009, the election was scheduled between 27 August and 27 October 2013. To avoid school holidays, a date in late September is usually chosen; this made 15 or 22 September 2013 the most likely dates. Indeed, the Federal President ordered 22 September 2013 to be the election day upon the recommendation of the federal government.
Polling stations were open from 8:00 to 18:00.
According to Article 38 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, members of the Bundestag shall be elected in general, direct, free, equal and secret elections; everyone over the age of eighteen is entitled to vote.
In 2008, some modifications to the electoral system were required under an order of the Federal Constitutional Court. The court had found a provision in the Federal Election Law by which it was possible for a party to experience a negative vote weight, thus losing seats due to more votes, violated the constitutional guarantee of the electoral system being equal and direct.
The court allowed three years for these changes, so the 2009 federal election was not affected. The changes were due by 30 June 2011, but appropriate legislation was not completed by that deadline. A new electoral law was enacted in late 2011, but declared unconstitutional once again by the Federal Constitutional Court upon lawsuits from the opposition parties and a group of some 4,000 private citizens.
Finally, four of the five factions in the Bundestag agreed on an electoral reform whereby the number of seats in the Bundestag will be increased as much as necessary to ensure that any overhang seats are compensated through apportioned leveling seats, to ensure full proportionality according to the political party's share of party votes at the national level. The Bundestag approved and enacted the new electoral reform in February 2013.
The Bundestag is elected using mixed-member proportional representation, as of February 2013 this means each voter has two votes, a first vote for the election of a constituency candidate (by method of first-past-the-post), and a second vote for the election of a state list. The Sainte-Laguë/Schepers method is used to convert the votes into seats, in a two-stage process with each stage involving two calculations. First, the number of seats to be allocated to each state is calculated, based on the proportion of the German population living there. Then the seats in each state are allocated to the party lists in that state, based on the proportion of second votes each party received.
In the distribution of seats among state lists, only parties that have obtained at least five percent of the valid second votes cast in the electoral area or have won a seat in at least three constituencies are taken into consideration.
The minimum number of seats for each party at federal level is then determined. This is done by calculating, for each party state list, the number of constituency seats it won on the basis of the first votes, as well as the number of seats to which it is entitled on the basis of the second votes. The higher of these two figures is the party’s minimum number of seats in that state. Adding together the minimum number of seats to which the party is entitled in all of the states produces a total representing its guaranteed minimum number of seats in the country as a whole.
In order to ensure that each party receives its guaranteed minimum number of seats when the seats are allocated using the Sainte-Laguë/Schepers method, it may become necessary to increase the number of seats in the Bundestag. Then it must be ensured that the seats are distributed to the parties in line with their national share of the second votes.
Additional "overhang seats" (or "balance seats") are created to ensure that the distribution of the seats reflects the parties’ share of the second votes and that no party receives fewer than its guaranteed minimum number of seats. Balance seats are also necessary to ensure that each party requires roughly the same number of second votes per seat. Once the number of seats which each party is entitled to receive across the country has been determined, the seats are allocated to the parties’ individual state lists. Each state list must receive at least as many seats as the number of constituencies which the party won in the state in question.
Although the "chancellor-candidates" (Kanzlerkandidaten) play a very important role in election campaigns, their "office" is not regulated in any law. So it is up to each party to determine how (and if at all) to name a "chancellor-candidate".
The SPD names a chancellor-candidate while the CDU and the CSU name a common one. The smaller Bundestag parties (FDP, Left and Greens) usually do not name a chancellor-candidate as it is very improbable for such a candidate to actually be elected chancellor. They instead name one or two persons (Spitzenkandidaten) who are to become the faces of that party's campaign. Fringe parties sometimes name a chancellor-candidate although there is nearly no chance for them to win seats in the Bundestag (especially due to the required minimum quota of votes required to be granted any seats) much less have their candidate become chancellor.
While a sitting chancellor is usually named chancellor-candidate for his or her own party, the main opposition party's process to determine their chancellor-candidate differs. Most times, such a person is determined in an inner party circle and then anointed in a party convention.
As the CDU/CSU is the main government party, CDU chairwoman (and incumbent chancellor) Angela Merkel was not challenged as chancellor-candidate. In the SPD, the situation was a bit less clear: There were four candidates in the discussion. While Sigmar Gabriel, the party chairman, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the parliamentary caucus leader, and Peer Steinbrück, former minister-president of Nordrhein-Westfalen and former federal minister of Finance, were quasi-official contenders for the candidacy, incumbent Nordrhein-Westfalen minister-president Hannelore Kraft denied interest in the candidacy.
Gabriel, Steinmeier and Steinbrück all had a bad electoral record as they all had led their party into painful defeats in state or general elections (Gabriel and Steinbrück lost their inherited minister-president offices in 2003 and 2005, Steinmeier failed as a chancellor-candidate in 2009). On 28 September 2012, the party announced that Steinbrück would be the SPD's chancellor-candidate.
After taking heat domestically for bailing out other European countries, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble took the step of mentioning that Greece would need a third bailout. This was in stark contrast to his colleagues who had refrained from making such measures in light of the election, it particularly followed Chancellor Angela Merkel's dismissal of a potential future bailout. In reaction to the statement and the dithering, the Social Democrats' Peer Steinbrueck said that it was "time that Mrs. Merkel tells people the truth;" while the Greens' Jürgen Trittin also criticized Merkel.
Merkel also became the first chancellor to visit Dachau concentration camp after an invitation by former inmate Max Mannheimer, who leads a survivor group. She said: "What happened at the concentration camps was and continues to be incomprehensible," while also warning of a rising tide of anti-Semitism and racism as a threat to democracy in Europe. Her visit was welcomed by residents of the town due to its historic nature but was also suggested as a vote ploy ahead of the election. She also campaigned on Germany's unemployment record that fell to a two-decade low during her premiership, progress towards a balanced budget and the eurozone's advantages for Germany’s exports. However, there were questions asked about her legacy and a potential heir to the party leadership. Campaigning in the "hot phase" ended on 21 September as Merkel appealed to voters to support her against eurosceptics.
A 90-minute televised debate between the two leading contenders was held on 1 September. The smaller-party top-ranking candidates Rainer Brüderle (FDP), Jürgen Trittin (Bündnis 90/Grüne) and Gregor Gysi (Die Linke) held a separate debate on 2 September.
In Germany, there are regular opinion polls during the whole of the legislative period. Germany's major polling agencies are Allensbach, Emnid, Forsa, Forschungsgruppe Wahlen, GMS, Infratest dimap and INSA/YouGov. August 2013 opinion polls suggested that the CDU/CSU and FDP (black–yellow coalition) would be just short of or just above an absolute majority, rather than the SPD and Greens (red–green coalition), partners in the 1998–2005 Schröder government.
The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) scored 42 percent of the vote, their best result since tallying 44% in the 1990 election. Since some 15 percent of the vote went to parties that fell short of the 5% threshold, the CDU/CSU came up just five seats short of a majority. The Free Democratic Party (FDP), junior partner in the outgoing coalition government, failed to pass the 5% threshold. It failed to win any directly elected seats either (it has not won any directly elected seats since 1990), thus shutting it out of the Bundestag altogether for the first time in the party's history. A new eurosceptic party, the Alternative for Germany, nearly won seats but like the FDP was shut out by narrowly missing the 5% threshold. This also meant that only four parties were present in the Bundestag for the first time since the 1987 election (CDU/CSU operate as one Bundestag group).
|Parties||Constituency||Party list||Total seats|
|Christian Democratic Union (CDU)[a]||16,233,642||37.2||5.2||191||18||14,921,877||34.1||6.9||64||43||255||61||40.5|
|Social Democratic Party (SPD)||12,843,458||29.4||1.5||58||6||11,252,215||25.7||2.7||135||53||193||47||30.5|
|The Left (DIE LINKE)||3,585,178||8.2||2.9||4||12||3,755,699||8.6||3.3||60||±0||64||12||10.2|
|Alliance 90/The Greens (GRÜNE)||3,180,299||7.3||1.9||1||±0||3,694,057||8.4||2.3||62||5||63||5||10.0|
|Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU)[a]||3,544,079||8.1||0.7||45||±0||3,243,569||7.4||0.9||11||11||56||11||8.9|
|Free Democratic Party (FDP)||1,028,645||2.4||7.1||0||±0||2,083,533||4.8||9.8||0||93||0||93||0|
|Alternative for Germany (AfD)||810,915||1.9||1.9||0||±0||2,056,985||4.7||4.7||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Pirate Party (PIRATEN)||963,623||2.2||2.1||0||±0||959,177||2.2||0.2||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|National Democratic Party (NPD)||635,135||1.5||0.3||0||±0||560,828||1.3||0.2||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Free Voters (FW)||431,640||1.0||1.0||0||±0||423,977||1.0||1.0||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Human Environment Animal Protection (Tierschutzpartei)||4,437||0.0||0.0||0||±0||140,366||0.3||0.2||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Ecological Democratic Party (ödp)||128,209||0.3||±0.0||0||±0||127,088||0.3||±0.0||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|The Republicans (REP)||27,299||0.1||±0.0||0||±0||91,193||0.2||0.2||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Bavaria Party (BP)||28,430||0.1||±0.0||0||±0||57,395||0.1||±0||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Alliance for Germany (Volksabstimmung)||1,748||0.0||±0||0||±0||28,654||0.1||±0||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Marxist–Leninist Party (MLPD)||12,904||0.0||±0.0||0||±0||24,219||0.1||±0.0||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Pensioners' Party (RENTNER)||920||0.0||±0||0||±0||25,134||0.1||0.1||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Party of Bible-abiding Christians (PBC)||2,081||0.0||±0.0||0||±0||18,542||0.0||0.1||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Civil Rights Movement Solidarity (BüSo)||17,988||0.0||±0.0||0||±0||12,814||0.0||0.1||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Alliance 21/RRP (Bündnis 21/RRP)||5,324||0.0||0.1||0||±0||8,578||0.0||0.2||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|The Violets – for Spiritual Politics (DIE VIOLETTEN)||2,516||0.0||±0.0||0||±0||8,211||0.0||0.1||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Family Party (FAMILIE)||4,478||0.0||±0.0||0||±0||7,449||0.0||0.3||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Social Equality Party (PSG)||–||–||–||–||–||4,564||0.0||±0||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Electoral groups and independents||131,873||0.3||±0||0||±0||143,462||0.3||±0||0||±0||0||±0||0|
|Total (turnout: 71.5% 0.7pp)||44,309,925||100.0||44,309,925||100.0|
Second Vote ("Zweitstimme", or votes for party list)
|State results in %||CDU/CSU||SPD||LINKE||GRÜNE||FDP||AfD||all others|
Merkel said: "It was a strong vote to take responsibility in Germany, but also in Europe and the world." Peer Steinbrück announced his withdrawal from top politics and intends to focus on his ordinary tasks as a member of parliament.
Many SPD insiders did not want to work with The Left. One day after the election, Merkel announced that she had already spoken with the SPD, but would not rule out other possibilities. An opinion poll conducted shortly after the election showed that 65% of SPD members were opposed to entering a Merkel-led grand coalition, however the SPD executive voted to enter coalition talks with the proviso that they would seek a vote from their membership before making a final agreement on entering a coalition.
The Greens were "open" to coalition talks with the CDU/CSU, but CSU leaders said they opposed a coalition with the Greens. The Greens announced they would not consider going into coalition with the Left.
Formal talks began in the first week of October when Merkel met SPD leaders on 4 October. She said: "Europe is watching us, the world is watching us. We have the common responsibility to build a stable government." She also planned to hold talks with the Greens the following week. After five weeks of negotiations that culminated in an all-night session 27–28 November, the CDU/CSU reached agreement with the SPD to form a new coalition government. Issues resolved in the talks included the planned introduction of a minimum hourly wage of €8.50 in 2015 and no new taxes. The deal depended on approval by the SPD rank and file, with a poll set for 6 December. On 14 December, 76% of the SPD's members voted for the coalition to go ahead. The new government under Chancellor Angela Merkel was sworn in on 17 December.
Casting of votes as a rule from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The 2013 Bavarian state election was held on 15 September 2013 to elect the 180 members of the 17th Landtag of Bavaria. It was held one week before the 2013 German federal election. The CSU won an absolute majority, while the FDP, a coalition party in the outgoing Bavarian government, did not receive enough votes to enter the new parliament.2017 Lower Saxony state election
A state election was held on 15 October 2017 to elect the 18th Landtag of Lower Saxony.
Following the 2013 state election, the SPD and Greens formed a coalition with a one-seat majority in the Landtag. After Elke Twesten of the Greens defected to the CDU on 4 August 2017, the coalition was deprived of its majority, prompting Prime Minister Stephan Weil to call for an early election on 15 October.Katrin Göring-Eckardt
Katrin Dagmar Göring-Eckardt (born Katrin Dagmar Eckardt; 3 May 1966), better known as Katrin Göring-Eckardt, is a German politician from the German Green Party (officially known as Alliance '90/The Greens; German: Bündnis 90/Die Grünen). Starting her political activity in the now-former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in the late 1980s, she has been a member of the German Bundestag since 1998. She became co-chair of her party caucus in the Bundestag (2002–2005) and the Greens' Vice President of the Bundestag on 18 October 2005, a position that she held until 2013. In the November 2012 primary election, the Green Party chose her and Jürgen Trittin as the top two candidates for the Greens for the 2013 German federal election. She also stood as joint top candidate for the Greens in the 2017 German federal election, alongside Cem Özdemir.Between 2009 and 2013, Göring-Eckardt served as praeses of the synod of the Evangelical Church in Germany (German: Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland, abbreviated EKD) and thus as member of the Council of the EKD. However, during the federal election campaign in 2013, she stepped down from her office in the EKD.List of elections in 2013
The following elections will and have occurred in the year 2013.Michael Georg Link
Michael Georg Link (born 6 February 1963) is a German politician and Member of Parliament. He was the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) from July 2014 to June 2017. From January 2012 to December 2013, he served as First Deputy Foreign Minister in the German Government (Minister of State for Europe).Opinion polling for the 2013 German federal election
This is a list of opinion polling results for the 2013 German federal election, held on 22 September 2013.
Final results of the election had the CDU/CSU score 41.5% of the vote, their best result since tallying 47% in the 1990 election, but nonetheless five seats short of an absolute majority. The CDU/CSU's junior partner in the outgoing coalition, the FDP, failed to pass the 5% threshold and will therefore go without representation for the first time in the party's history. The SPD and Greens (red-green coalition), partners in the 1998–2005 Schröder governments, also fell short of the number of votes to get a majority. With neither coalition obtaining a majority on its own a grand coalition was formed by the CDU/CSU with the SPD due to the FDP's failure to obtain the minimum of 5% of votes required to enter parliament. This coalition was similar to the 2005-2009 Merkel government.PollyVote
The PollyVote project uses the high-profile application of predicting U.S. presidential election results to demonstrate advances in forecasting research. The project is run by political science professors and forecasting experts, one of which is J. Scott Armstrong. All procedures, data, and results are fully disclosed and freely available online.
The project started in March 2004 to demonstrate the benefits of combining forecasts. In averaging forecasts within and across different forecasting methods, the combined PollyVote forecast provided highly accurate predictions of the two-party popular vote shares for the last three U.S. presidential elections.Tactical voting
In voting methods, tactical voting (or strategic voting or sophisticated voting or insincere voting) occurs, in elections with more than two candidates, when a voter supports another candidate more strongly than their sincere preference in order to prevent an undesirable outcome.For example, in a simple plurality election, a voter might sometimes gain a "better" outcome by voting for a less preferred but more generally popular candidate.
It has been shown by the Gibbard–Satterthwaite theorem that any single-winner ranked voting method which is not dictatorial must be susceptible to tactical voting. However, the type of tactical voting and the extent to which it affects campaigns and election results can vary dramatically from one voting method to another.The Left North Rhine-Westphalia
The Left of North Rhine-Westphalia (Die Linke Nordrhein-Westfalen, usually written DIE LINKE.NRW) is the chapter of the Left Party in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.The finger
In Western culture, the finger or the middle finger (as in giving someone the (middle) finger or the bird or flipping someone off), is an obscene hand gesture. The gesture communicates moderate to extreme contempt, and is roughly equivalent in meaning to "fuck off", "fuck you," "shove it up your ass/arse," "up yours" or "go fuck yourself." It is performed by showing the back of a hand that has only the middle finger extended upwards, though in some locales, the thumb is extended. Extending the finger is considered a symbol of contempt in several cultures, especially in the Western World. Many cultures use similar gestures to display their disrespect, although others use it to express pointing without intentional disrespect. The gesture is usually used to express contempt but can also be used humorously or playfully.
The gesture dates back to Ancient Greece and it was also used in Ancient Rome. Historically, it represented the phallus. In the early 1800’s, it gained increasing recognition as a sign of disrespect and was used by music artists (notably more common among actors, celebrities, athletes and politicians. Most still view the gesture as obscene). The index finger and ring finger besides the middle finger in more contemporary periods has been likened to represent the testes.Thomas Nitzsche
Thomas Nitzsche (born 1 December 1975 in Zeulenroda) is a German politician (FDP) and the Mayor of Jena since 1 July 2018.