Free Voters (German: Freie Wähler, FW or FWG) in Germany may belong to an association of people which participates in an election without having the status of a registered political party. Usually it involves a locally organized group of voters in the form of a registered association (eV). In most cases, Free Voters campaign only at the local-government level, standing for city councils and for mayoralties. Free Voters tend to achieve their most successful electoral results in rural areas of southern Germany, appealing most to conservative voters who prefer local decisions to party politics. Free Voter groups are active in all German states.
Unlike in the other German states, the Free Voters of Bavaria have also contested state elections since 1998. In the Bavaria state election of 2008 FW obtained 10.2% of the vote and gained their first 20 seats in the Landtag. FW may have been helped by the presence in its list of Gabriele Pauli, a former member of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria. Others suggested that the cause and effect might be the other way about. In the state election of 2013 FW repeated its success, gaining 19 seats. Then, in the 2018 Landtag elections, the Free Voters won a record 27 seats.
|Founded||1965 (as Bundesverband)|
January 24, 2009 (as party)
|Youth wing||Young Free Voters|
|Political position||Centre to centre-right|
|European affiliation||European Democratic Party|
32 / 1,875
1 / 96
In the 2014 European parliament elections in Germany, the Free Voters list received 1.46% of the national vote and returned a single MEP, Ulrike Müller, who sits with the ALDE Group. The federal Free Voters association joined the European Democratic Party in October 2015.
In June 2017 Arne Gericke, who sits with European Parliament's European Conservatives and Reformists group and was elected in 2014 on the Family Party of Germany list, joined the federal association.
Parliamentary elections were held in Poland on 20 January 1957. They were the second election to the Sejm – the unicameral parliament of the People's Republic of Poland, and the third ever in the history of Communist Poland. It took place during the liberalization period, following Władysław Gomułka's ascension to power. Although conducted in a more liberal atmosphere than previous elections, they were far from free. Voters had the option of voting against some official candidates; de facto having a small chance to express a vote of no confidence against the government and the ruling Communist Polish United Workers Party. However, as in all Communist countries, there was no opportunity to elect any true opposition members to the Sejm. The elections resulted in a predictable victory for the Front of National Unity, dominated by the PZPR.
While the elections were a clear victory for Gomułka, they did not guarantee lasting changes in the Polish society. Gomułka's rule was somewhat more humane than that of his predecessor, hardline Stalinist Bolesław Bierut, and enjoyed moderate support during the first few years after the election in the "little stabilization" period of 1957–1963. However, by the mid-1960s it faced opposition from the competing factions in the PZPR itself. Coupled with growing popular opposition to Communist rule, Gomułka would be removed from power in the aftermath of the 1968 political crisis and the Polish 1970 protests.
The previous elections in Poland were held in 1952. These were followed by the 1961 elections.2009 German presidential election
An indirect presidential election (officially the 13th Federal Convention) was held in Germany on 23 May 2009. The President of Germany is elected by the Federal Convention, which is made up of the members of the Bundestag and an equal number of members elected by the state parliaments.The incumbent Horst Köhler (supported by CDU/CSU and FDP) stood for reelection and faced Gesine Schwan (supported by SPD and Alliance '90/The Greens).The Left (successor of the Party of Democratic Socialism) indicated they might be prepared to support Schwan if the SPD agreed to be open to cooperation with the Left on the federal level, but ultimately decided they would present their own candidate. The party nominated party activist and TV actor Peter Sodann on 14 October 2008; and it was left undecided whether the party would support Schwan if Sodann was eliminated after the first round of voting.
Frank Rennicke was nominated as the joint candidate of the NPD and its sister party the DVU.
Following the Hesse state elections in January 2009, which strengthened CDU and FDP, and the Free Voters' promise to support Köhler, his reelection was seen as likely; however, CDU/CSU, FDP and Free Voters only had a slim majority in the Federal Assembly (50.16%), which made the election very competitive. In the end, Köhler was reelected in the first round of voting by 613 votes, which was exactly the minimum number of votes necessary. His nearest rival's, Social Democrat Gesine Schwan, received 503 votes making a second round unnecessary. It has been seen by some as an important indicator for the federal elections in September.2010 German presidential election
An indirect presidential election (officially the 14th Federal Convention) was held in Germany on 30 June 2010 following the resignation of Horst Köhler as President of Germany on 31 May 2010. Christian Wulff, the candidate nominated by the three governing parties, the Christian Democratic Union, the Christian Social Union of Bavaria and the Free Democratic Party, was elected President in the third ballot. His main contender was the candidate of two opposition parties, the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance '90/The Greens, independent anti-communist human rights activist Joachim Gauck.2012 German presidential election
An early indirect presidential election (officially the 15th Federal Convention) was held in Germany on 18 March 2012, the last possible day following the resignation of Christian Wulff as President of Germany on 17 February 2012. Joachim Gauck was elected on the first ballot by a Federal Convention, consisting of the 620 members of the Bundestag and an equal number of members selected by the states of Germany based on proportional representation.On 19 February 2012, Joachim Gauck was nominated as the joint presidential candidate of the governing coalition (CDU, CSU, and FDP) and the opposition (SPD and Greens). He also had the support of the Free Voters and the South Schleswig Voter Federation.2014 Brandenburg state election
State elections were held in Brandenburg on 14 September 2014. The result was a victory for the Social Democratic Party who continued their coalition with The Left.2017 German presidential election
The 2017 German presidential election (officially the 16th Federal Convention) was held on 12 February 2017 to elect the 12th President of Germany. Incumbent President Joachim Gauck announced on 6 June 2016 that he would not stand for re-election, citing his advancing age.The President is elected by the Federal Convention, an electoral body that consists of all members of the current Bundestag and an equal number of electors, who are elected by the sixteen state parliaments. Frank-Walter Steinmeier of the Social Democratic Party was chosen as the single candidate of the ruling coalition in November 2016 and, with the Christian Democratic Union choosing not to field a candidate against him, his election was seen as guaranteed. Steinmeier was elected on the first ballot, and took office on 19 March 2017.2018 Bavarian state election
The 2018 Bavarian state election took place on 14 October 2018 to elect the 180 members of the 18th Landtag of Bavaria.The parties of the CDU/CSU-SPD federal-government grand coalition suffered heavy losses. The CSU and the SPD both lost more than 10 percentage points compared to the 2013 election, finishing at 37.2% (CSU) and 9.7% (SPD) respectively. AfD, which ran in Bavaria for the first time, made double-digit gains and won 10.2% of the total vote. The Greens gained 8.9pp and hence finished as the second strongest party, at 17.5%, replacing the SPD. The FDP, which failed to enter the Landtag in 2013, barely made it with 5.1% (+1.8pp) as the smallest party in the new legislature; the Bavarian Free Voters gained 2.6pp and finished third, slightly ahead of AfD at 11.6%. All other parties failed to cross the 5% threshold required to make it into the Bavarian Landtag.
Turnout increased by 8.7%, from 63.6% in the last election in 2013 to 72.3% in 2018.The election in Bavaria was overshadowed by federal politics and the condition of the German coalition government after two government crises, the "asylum quarrel" in June/July, and the crisis around Hans-Georg Maaßen in September, in both of which CSU chief Horst Seehofer played a leading role. Four days before the election, SPD leader Andrea Nahles had criticised German Chancellor Angela Merkel and accused her of a "lack of leadership".Arne Gericke
Arne Gericke (born 19 November 1964 in Hamburg) is a German Member of the European Parliament. Elected for the Family Party of Germany in the 2014 election, he left in 2017 to join the Free Voters. After 15 months with the Free Voters, he left to join the minor conservative Christian party Bündnis C.At European level, whilst he was a member of the Free voters he was also technically a member of the European Democratic Party, however he has always remained affiliated with the European Christian Political Movement and sits with the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament.Aspisheim
Aspisheim is an Ortsgemeinde – a municipality belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde, a kind of collective municipality – in the Mainz-Bingen district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.Diana Sartor
Diana Sartor (born 23 November 1970) is a German skeleton racer who competed from 1996 to 2006. She won a gold medal in the women's skeleton event at the 2004 FIBT World Championships in Königssee. That year she was also crowned European Champion.Competing in two Winter Olympics, Sartor earned her best finish of fourth in the women's skeleton event both in 2002 and 2006. During the 2006 Winter Olympics, Sartor competed while nine weeks pregnant and missed out on a medal by 0.28 seconds.
Sartor took the 2006-07 Skeleton World Cup off to have her child, but announced on the October 5, 2007 FIBT website that she would return to the World Cup for 2007-08 season though no records showed of her competing that season.
Her best overall seasonal Skeleton World Cup finish was second in the women's event in 2003-4.
Sartor is married to former luger Steffen Skel. The couple have two children: Malin (who Sartor was pregnant with at the 2006 Olympics) and Silas. Since retiring from competition, she has managed a boarding house in Altenberg which was formerly run by her parents. In addition she serves as a member of Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge district council for the Free Voters. She has also been a winner on the German cooking television programme Die Küchenschlacht.Free Voters of Bavaria
The name Free Voters of Bavaria (German: Freie Wähler Bayern) applies to both the Bavarian State Association of Free and Independent Voters (seat: Munich) and the Bavarian state chapter of the nationwide party Free Voters (German: Freie Wähler).Freising
Freising is a town in Bavaria, Germany, and the capital of the Freising district, with a population of 45,227.Gräfenberg, Bavaria
Gräfenberg is a Franconian town in the district of Forchheim, in Bavaria, Germany. It is situated 16km southeast of Forchheim and 25km northeast of Nuremberg.Hubert Aiwanger
Hubert Aiwanger (born 26 January 1971) is a German politician. He has been the federal chairman of the Federal Association of Free Voters as well as of the party of Federal Association of Free Voters. In addition, he has been state chairman of the Free Voters of Bavaria (Chairman of the state association as well as of the "voter group") and faction leader of the Free Voters in the Landtag of Bavaria.Aiwanger was born in Ergoldsbach, Landshut district, Lower Bavaria. He is his party's leading candidate in the 2018 Bavarian state elections. Aiwanger announced that he will seek a coalition with the CSU party after the elections.Landtag of Brandenburg
The Landtag of Brandenburg (Brandenburg State Parliament) is the unicameral legislature of the state of Brandenburg in Germany.
It has 88 Members of Parliament.Nürtingen
Nürtingen (listen ) is a town in the district of Esslingen in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. It is located on the river Neckar.Roding, Germany
Roding is a town in the district of Cham, in Bavaria, Germany, near the Czech border.Sülzetal
Sülzetal is a municipality in the Börde district in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is situated on the creek Sülze, a tributary of the Elbe, about 10 km (6.2 mi) southwest of Magdeburg. Sülzetal was established on April 1, 2001 by the merger of the villages Altenweddingen, Bahrendorf, Dodendorf, Langenweddingen, Osterweddingen, Schwaneberg, Stemmern and Sülldorf. The Sülze valley is characterized by artesian aquifers, delivering brine (sulza) that had been used for salt production.
Seats in the municipal assembly (Gemeinderat) as of 2004 elections:
Social Democratic Party of Germany: 8
Christian Democratic Union: 6
Association of Independent Voters: 2
Free Democratic Party: 1
Culture and Sports Club Osterweddingen: 1
Free Voters Schwaneberg: 1
The Left: 1The first documentation of a settlement in the area dates back to 937 with the mention of Osterweddingen and Sülldorf. The village of Langenweddingen and Dodendorf were mentioned in 946 and 978 respectively as a possession of Saint Maurice's Abbey at Magdeburg. On May 5, 1809 the churchyard of Saint Christopherus at Dodendorf was the site of an attack by Prussian freikorps troops under Ferdinand von Schill and Ludwig Adolf Wilhelm von Lützow against the army of Napoleonic Westphalia. Lützow was severely wounded and had to face a court-martial for his arbitrary act.
The villages of Dodendorf, Osterweddingen and Langenweddingen have access to the railway line from Magdeburg to Thale, served by the Veolia Verkehr company since 2005. On July 6, 1967 the level crossing at Langenweddingen was the scene of one of the worst train accidents in Germany, when a bilevel train hit a tanker truck, resulting in an explosion that killed 94 people, many of them children on their way to a summer camp in the Harz mountains.
The letter processing center for the greater Magdeburg area is located in Sülzetal.Ulrike Müller (politician)
Ulrike Müller (born 7 December 1962) is a German politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Germany. She is a member of Free Voters, part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.