Because the list determines who becomes a member of parliament later, there are exact rules, how such a list is created. Who applies for the national list, must be selected at a meeting of the members of the party or a meeting of selected party representatives secretly. In addition, the list must be published before the election and no one may simply change it. As a rule, the most popular or best-known politician is elected to the top of the national list.
German electoral system is a mixed system
The German electoral system is a mixed system of proportional representation and majority voting. There are MPs (under the majority voting system) who are elected directly to parliament in their constituency. But there are also members of parliament in state and federal elections (according to proportional representation) who get into parliament via the state lists.
FAQ / Frequently asked questions
(Frequently Asked Questions – this is the English translation of "frequently asked questions")
Hello, I don’t understand the thing about direct candidates and the state list for the federal election very well. How is it that the direct candidates of the respective constituencies z.B. of the state of Brandenburg are also on the state list? I am aware that of the direct candidates in the constituency, only one will become a Member of the Bundestag, i.e. the one who gets the most first votes in his or her constituency. And that of the state list candidates, those who are at the top of the list have the greatest chance, because it depends on the order of the candidates on the list, because the parties send their candidates to Berlin in proportion to the second votes they have won. But I thought that the direct candidate from the constituency is no longer on the state list of the party, because he already runs as a direct candidate in his constituency. I think I’m getting something completely mixed up here. Help!
Hello Alexandra, you actually understood this quite correctly and also explained yourself correctly. In fact, there are constituency candidates whose entry into parliament is considered certain through the election as direct candidates. These must then also not particularly on the national list "secured" become. But there are also leading politicians in all parties, who run in constituencies, where they do not have a very good chance. These candidates are then "secured" via the state list. This means that the party ensures that a certain candidate is very likely to get into the Bundestag via the state list, even if he or she is not successful in the constituency.
your further questions.
If I live in county A, I can support or vote for someone who lives in county B and would like to be elected from county or state level. Thanks for due answer.
Hello Der Neur, you can support any politician whose politics and commitment you like. But you can only vote directly for candidates from your own constituency.
I am 9 years old and I am very interested in politics.
Therefore I would like to found my own party.
I have a few questions about this:
1. From how many years of age can one found a party??
2. How many party members do you need to get on the ballot??
Hello J, we think it’s great that you are so interested in politics and even thinking about founding your own party. However a party formation presupposes the conclusion of contracts. You can do this at the age of 18, as soon as you have legal capacity. The size of a party is not decisive for the participation in an election. However, a certain number of so-called "support signatures" must be obtained to be able to show, in order to be allowed to participate in the election. On this page of the Federal Election Commissioner you will find the details.
Can one come over a national list into the Bundestag, if one did not win a direct mandate??
Hello Luna112, yes, you can. This is how many deputies get into the Bundestag. Because only 299 deputies are elected as direct candidates. The remaining members of parliament enter the Bundestag via the state lists.
Who decides then, which politicians of the 16 different state lists come into the Bundestag, thus how is the distribution made?
Hello Apjaeck, this is decided by the counting of votes. Various factors play a role here. In our encyclopedia article "Electoral system you can read about it. According to the election results, the parties are entitled to a certain number of mandates. These are composed of the directly won mandates in the constituencies and the mandates that are awarded via the lists of the federal states. For this purpose, each party determines the order of the candidates on the state lists of the federal states before the election. Afterwards the candidates for the Bundestag result. If you want to know exactly how this works, take a look at the website of the Federal Election Commissioner. There this difficult procedure is explained.
I have heard of a Hessian SPD politician (Martin Rabanus), who could not win his direct mandate, but despite the good list result of his party and his high list position did not enter the Bundestag again. What is the reason? What is this rule?
Hello Kanasa3206, Mr. Rabanus has won more votes in his constituency in the Bundestag election than in the last election. Nevertheless, it was not enough for the direct mandate, because his opponent from the CDU got more votes. Martin Rabanus was on the 9. List position of the Hessian SPD. Because the SPD won so many direct mandates, this list position was not enough to get one of the 15 seats that the Hessian SPD is entitled to according to the results of the second votes.
Hello, I have questions about the direct mandate that I can’t find answered anywhere, they are as follows:
– what does it mean for the delegates, if they win the direct mandate? I think they are less "dependent" by their party, because they are elected directly by the people, is correct? But what is the effect?
– what follows from it for the other delegates, who move on the basis of the second vote into the parliament, thereby delegates move up, who would not have come otherwise to the course and falls the directly selected one out of the list?
Hello Junnie, all members of the German Bundestag have the same rights and duties. They are all elected by the people, that is, by the citizens. And, very important: They are independent and only bound to their conscience! Nevertheless, the deputies usually follow their party line. After all, they are also members of their party and thus also elected as representatives of their party. Members of parliament who have been directly elected in a constituency often have a special relationship with the citizens of their constituency. They sometimes hold office hours there, sometimes they report regularly in the press of their constituency about the work in the Bundestag or other more. Those who have won a constituency directly, perhaps even with a high percentage, have also expressed that they are "close to the people is.
Those who get into the Bundestag via the state lists have not won a direct mandate. This can have different reasons. It can be that they "lost" a constituency If your party has always done well in an election (which of course is not so good), it is possible that someone did not win the direct mandate, but still won a lot of votes compared to the previous election (which is often recognized by the party friends).
Those who have won the direct mandate and are "secured" on the list were, of course, "out of the question. That means, they come in any case into the Bundestag and do not need over the list more to be considered.
The contributions without Gendern read much better. Why is it not accepted that over 90% of the population rejects gendering??
Hello Jan, we also want to make women visible in the language with gender-appropriate language. Even if this is sometimes a bit unusual when reading, it makes a lot of sense to write about doctors, for example, and not only about doctors. Because language shapes our consciousness. We then consciously perceive that not only men are meant, but also name the women in our language. We become then attentive with the reading that both men and women are meant. Women are not only "included" then, but it is also clearly expressed that they have their own importance. That the reading is thereby sometimes somewhat more auwendiger, is correct. But that does not necessarily speak against it. Many things may be rather unfamiliar and "disruptive us therefore. But if we want women to have equal rights in the language, this little extra effort is reasonable. And as far as the acceptance in the population is concerned: There is a majority (about 65 percent), who do not want the consideration of women in the language at present. But still there is nothing against using the possibilities of our language to create more justice. That doesn’t mean that people are forced to speak in a gender-appropriate manner themselves. Everyone does it the way he or she sees fit.
Hello, what happens if a direct candidate wins his constituency, but he is also far ahead on the state list of his party? Does the next candidate on the national list slip into the Bundestag?? Thanks
Hello Uschi, this is exactly how it works. If a candidate has already won the direct mandate, he or she is already a member of the Bundestag. Then the candidates further down the state list can move up.
If a party in my constituency has neither a direct candidate nor a state list in my state, do I have a chance at all to give my (second) vote to this party?? Or is that then simply constituency / state pitch?
Hello Susi, with the federal election one can select only parties, which compete in the federal state of the voter or the woman voter with a list. For example, only voters in Bavaria can vote for the CSU.
What happens if z.B. the CDU receives fewer votes than the SPD.
Who goes with whom?
SPD in any case with the Greens?
How does that behave?
Hello Marlon, at the moment one can only speculate about that. When the election results are known (which will probably be the night after the Bundestag elections), we can see which coalitions are possible. Then it is the turn of the parties. In coalition negotiations, you have to find out which parties have the most in common and can work best together. If these parties have enough MPs to elect a head of government with an absolute majority, they will together form the government. But until that time comes, it will certainly remain very exciting.
the number of direct candidates per constituency is limited?
How is the maximum number determined?
possibly. depending on the number of inhabitants?
Hello Aires, the number of direct candidates in the constituency is not limited. In some constituencies there are therefore very long ballot papers, because many candidates from different parties and also individual candidates are competing for the direct mandate there.
If the votes a candidate receives in. his constituency even if he does not win , his party attributed b
Hello Christiane, the first votes that a defeated candidate receives in the constituency do not matter for the result of the Bundestag election. The second vote is decisive.
Does a candidate who wins the direct mandate in his constituency, but whose party remains below 5%, still get a seat in the bundestag?
Hello Ted, every candidate directly elected in his or her constituency enters the Bundestag as a member of parliament.
How does it look if 1 party stands for election in only one federal state. Are the second votes taken into account in the calculation of the seat distribution, if they have exceeded the 5% hurdle in your state? But at the federal level below 5% lie? Or is there for this party only the possibility of a direct mandate in the Bundestag to come?
Hello Mariola, the second votes are counted nationwide. A party must reach in any case 5% of the two votes cast nationwide. This applies, for example, to the CSU, which only competes in Bavaria. So far, the CSU has won so many votes in all federal elections that it has been above the five percent hurdle nationwide. If that were not the case, there would be only the possibility to create the entry into the Bundestag about the profit of three direct mandates.
I have again a question to the exception that a party 3 direct mandates fetches however country widely under the 5% hurdle remains. Must the 3 direct mandates in a Land be fetched or country widely? Did this already happen? If yes, what happens with these delegates? I heard once that it needs a certain number of delegates around parliamentary group status to reach
Hello Steff, the three direct mandates can be fetched country widely. So this does not have to be in a federal state. This has also happened before. In 1994, for example, the then PDS won four direct mandates, but only 4.4% of the second votes. Thus the PDS moved into the Bundestag. To obtain parliamentary group status, however, a party must have at least 5% of the members of parliament. This was for example 1994 with the PDS then not the case.
Still another question. If an important politician runs in a federal state, in which it comes for the own party to overhang mandates, but he does not make his direct mandate, it means then that he does not make it into the Bundestag. Can he stand to avoid that on several national lists? If no, it already happened that an important politician did not make it then into the Bundestag?
Hello Maddes, this case could occur actually, because the protection over the national list is possible only in a Land. Therefore, the parties are very careful that this case does not occur with the greatest possible probability. A recent example is probably not known to us also therefore.
I would have there also again ne question. If a party wins e.g. 50% of all direct mandates, thus about 150 direct candidates, over the second vote however only 24% fetches, it means then that the MdB of a party are already decided over the first vote and none of the national list has a chance more? Or which error of reasoning do I have there?
Thank you ☺️
Hello Maddes , in principle this consideration is correct. The party will receive all these directly won mandates. Candidates from the state list usually do not get a seat (however, the selection procedure is so complicated that in rare exceptional cases additional mandates could still arise). The other parties then receive compensatory mandates to compensate for these overhang mandates.
Which deputies of the various parties run in the constituency
Hello Yro, this is very different. The large parties represented in the Bundestag put up in most electoral districts own candidates. However, many of the smaller parties do not have enough candidates for all constituencies or only run in one state. In addition, there are candidates who do not run for a party. That is why the ballot papers in the individual constituencies often look quite different.
I would like to know the following: If a party would be entitled to 10 seats in parliament after second votes, but this party would be entitled to 11 direct mandates in that federal state, then actually nobody from the state list gets a seat in parliament (unless of course the person has not also been elected directly with the first vote), correct?
If this is the case, I would be interested to know whether such a constellation occurs more often.
Thanks in advance for the clarification.
Hello M.U, yes that is so. And it happens again and again. This "supernumerary Seat is then an overhang mandate.
The distribution of seats on the list is based on the share of second votes per state, or?
So if party A gets 25% second votes in a state in #BTW21, but only 10% nationwide, then the seat allocation by list is based on the votes in the state, so 25 of the seats from the state, correct?
What happens if a party with second votes is above 5% in a state, but below 5% nationwide. Are then delegates of the corresponding state list in the Bundestag or must the party nationwide the 5% of the votes cast receive? (If this were the case, many votes would not be taken into account). :/)
Hello Alfreda Noncia, the number of deputies that a party in a state can send to the Bundestag is calculated based on the share of the second vote per state. So if a party gets 25 percent of the second votes in a state, it is also entitled to 25 percent of the seats in that state. The prerequisite is that the party receives at least 5 percent of the second votes cast nationwide. In your example above there is a mistake, because 25 percent do not have to be equal to 25 seats. How many delegates will actually sit from a federal state in the Bundestag, depends however on further calculations, which are somewhat complicated. If you are interested, please read our keywords "uberhangmandat" and "compensatory mandate according to.
If a party is above 5% in one federal state, but below 5% in the whole country, then this party does not get into the Bundestag. But there is an exception: If the party wins 3 direct mandates, then all other votes won are also taken into account in the allocation of parliamentary seats.
How is determined which party gets which list place on the state list?
Hello Pusteblume, do you want to know how the list of candidates on the state list is created?. For this election party congresses must be held. On these election party congresses the places for the national lists in a secret choice are assigned.
Hello! I have a question about the state list. Why there is with the federal election for each Land a separate list and not a common one? Who gets after the second vote a place in the Bundestag? So from which federal state?
Hello tomtom, the federal system of the Federal Republic of Germany is emphasized with the state lists. An important reason is that the parties can act flexibly. For example, a party that primarily represents the interests of a federal state can then only submit a state list for this federal state. A "Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania party" would not have to compete also in the Saarland. The selection procedure of the second votes in the Bundestag election is very complicated, among other things, because the population of the states, the voter turnout and of course the result of the parties in the individual states play a role in it. Here in the encyclopedia of Hanisauland we cannot explain this in detail. If you want to know exactly, we recommend a look at the site of the Federal Election Commissioner.
I have heard that the state association creates the list and then puts it to a vote at the slate meeting or state party convention, is that correct? Are the members only informed about the list at the meeting/party conference, or is it sent to them with the respective invitation??
Thanks in advance!
Hello BibiBlocksberg, the election law prescribes that the national list must be set up at an election party congress in accordance with the party law. But the order of the candidates on the list is not necessarily fixed beforehand. Often it also comes to fight votes around the respective list places. In which way this is clarified in advance, is different from party to party. But the final decision about the list has always the election party conference.
thank you for the answer.
thus a member of one party applies 2X?, 1. direct mandate = single (-applicant!) member? of a party, 2. List mandate =
Member of a state list of this party? like please? And the individual candidate without a party does not have a list mandate? Does not exist
the list: Einzelbewerber parteilos. created by the Federal Election Commissioner?! Order by lot?!—Equal treatment—
Hello kleingunni, we would like to ask you to send your questions formulated. Unfortunately, we do not understand what exactly is unclear to you. If you write it in such a way that we understand your question well, then we will be happy to answer in more detail!
a self-applicant has thus only the direct mandate, thus no. securing 2. Mandate,(list mandate)?!
Hello kleingunni, individual candidates who run for a seat in the German Bundestag do not run for a party and are therefore not covered by the state list of a party.
Secondary votes via national lists:
There are 16 national lists. In which ranking the national lists are taken into account? If a party, for example, has achieved 10% of the second votes and accordingly has to send 60 deputies – how and in which order do the lists of the 16 states come into play for this purpose? If the mentioned 10% would theoretically come from 5 federal states – would only candidates from these 5 states get a chance to vote?
Hello Hopefulljo, the calculation of the distribution of seats in the Bundestag election is one of the particularly complicated areas of the German electoral system. In addition to the results in the individual states, the size of the states and the number of votes cast play a role here. If you want to deal with it in more detail, we recommend this page of the Landeszentrale fur politische Bildung in Baden-Wurttemberg. There the procedure is explained in great detail using the example of the result of the 2017 Bundestag election in Baden-Wurttemberg.
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Before you ask a question, please read the encyclopedia article completely. Please see if someone has already asked the same question. Often you can already find the answer to your question there.