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Deutscher Bundestag (German Bundestag)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Last elections module

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name -
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Deutscher Bundestag / German Bundestag
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Bundesrat / Federal Council
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 24 September 2017
Purpose of elections Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister party the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), remained the largest parliamentary group, taking 246 seats in the 709-member German Bundestag (see note). The CDU/CSU's coalition partner in the outgoing government, the Social Democratic Party (SPD, led by former European Parliament President Martin Schulz), came second. The populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) entered the German Bundestag for the first time, becoming the third largest party. The newly elected legislature convened on 24 October and elected former Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) as new Speaker. He succeeded Mr. Norbert Lammert (CDU), who didn't stand for re-election after 37 years in parliament.

The major electoral issues in 2017 included immigration, the economy, euro zone reforms and climate change. Following the elections, the SPD leader announced that his party would join the opposition. Lengthy coalition talks followed. Initial talks involving the CDU/CSU, the Free Democratic Party (FDP, led by Mr. Christian Lindner,) and the Green Party (led by Ms. Simone Peter) collapsed on 19 November, plunging the country into an unprecedented political stalemate. On 19 December, the CDU and the SPD agreed to hold exploratory talks on forming a new government. On 14 March 2018, Prime Minister Merkel formed a new coalition government comprising the CDU/CSU and the SPD.

In Germany, if a party wins more seats in the majority system (the first vote) than the results of the proportional representation system (second vote) would normally entitle it to, it can keep the additional seats, called "overhang seats" (Überhangmandate). Based on the 2013 amendments to the Federal Electoral Act, in cases where some parties obtain overhang seats, "balance seats" (Ausgleichsmandate) are added to other parties in order to ensure complete proportionality of the share of votes for all parties nationwide.
In 2017, the CDU and CSU won a total of 43 overhang seats and the SPD, three (thus there are 46 overhang seats in all). Seven parties (instead of five in 2013) entered the Bundestag. The entry of two more parties in 2017 required more balance seats, for a total of 65 seats. The 2017 legislature thus comprises 111 more members than the statutory 598 seats, or 709 in all. In comparison, the 2013 legislature comprised 631 members in all (including four overhang seats and 29 balance seats).
Date of previous elections: 22 September 2013

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 24 October 2017

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: September 2021

Number of seats at stake: 709 (full renewal)*
*Including 46 overhang seats (Überhangmandate) and 65 balance seats (Ausgleichsmandate).

Number of candidates: 4,828 (3,428 men, 1,400 women)*
*1,674 candidates ran under both majority and proportional representation (PR ) systems. In addition, 2,269 candidates ran only under the PR and 885 others stood only for the majority system.

Percentage of women candidates: 29%

Number of parties contesting the election: 48*
*34 parties fielded candidates under the proportional representation system.
In addition 14 more parties ran under the Majority system.

Number of parties winning seats: 7

Alternation of power: No

Number of parties in government: 2

Names of parties in government: Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Social Democratic Party (SPD)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 24 October 2017

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Wolfgang Schäuble (Christian Democratic Union, CDU)
Voter turnout
Round no 124 September 2017
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
46'976'341 (76.15%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Christian Democratic Union (CDU)
Social Democratic Party (SPD)
Alternative for Germany (AfD)
Free Democratic Party (FDP)
Left Party (Die Linke)
Green Party
Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total Overhang seats Balance seats
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 200 36
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 153 3 19
Alternative for Germany (AfD) 94 11
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 80 15
Left Party (Die Linke) 69 10
Green Party 67 10
Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) 46 7
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
German Bundestag (29.09.2017, 25.10.2017)

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