Parliamentary Chamber: Deutscher Bundestag


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  Deutscher Bundestag

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  22 September 2002

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all seats in the Bundestag on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  Germany's some 61 million voters were registered to vote on 22 September 2002 for the election of a new Parliament, and consequently a new government, for the next four years.

In August, the electoral campaign focused on the disastrous floods that had hit the east and the north of the country and caused nearly 15 million euros' worth of damage. Analysts believed that Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's confident handling of the crisis helped the Social Democratic Party (SPD) to recover the Germans confidence as expressed in the opinion polls. Other major issues in the agenda during the electoral campaign were unemployment and the state of the country's economy. Mr Edmund Stoiber, leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), presented himself as the man who could reproduce Bavaria's economic success at national level. The elections were the first in German history to feature television debates between the two main candidates for the post of Chancellor.

Foreign policy also dominated the speeches of the two candidates and in particular Germany's relations with the United States. Mr Schroeder picked up votes by speaking out against US plans for military action against Iraq. However, he was criticised by the conservatives for wrecking the US-German relationship.

The final results gave the SPD 251 seats, 16 less than in the outgoing legislature. The CDU increased its representation by ten seats, reaching 190, while its partner, the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) won 58 seats, i.e. 15 more than in 1998. The Green Party took 55 seats, 12 more than in the previous elections, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) 47, while the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) obtained only 2 seats, a net loss of 30.

A few weeks after the elections, the two parties in the ruling Red-Green coalition (the SPD and the Green Party) reached an agreement on the new coalition and on 22 October 2002, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's new cabinet was sworn in.

Round no 1 (22 September 2002): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 61 432 868
Voters 48 582 761 (79.08 %)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 741 037
Valid votes 47 841 724

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group %
Social Democratic Party (SDP) 38.50
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 29.50
Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) 9.00
Green Party 8.60
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 7.40
Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) 4.00

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Social Democratic Party (SDP) 251 -16
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 190 +10
Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) 58 +15
Green Party 55 +12
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 47 +7
Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) 2 -30

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 409
Women: 194
Percent of women: 32.28

Distribution of seats according to age:  
21 to 30 years 21
31 to 40 years 80
41 to 50 years 158
51 to 60 years 275
61 to 70 years 68
Over 70 years 1

Distribution of seats according to profession:

Senior administration 318
Legal professions 61
Teachers 30
Technicians 26
Executives 23
Business/Trade/Industry 22
Journalists/writers/publishers 17
Farmers 11
Medical professions 11
Manual workers 10
Scientists 9
Computer experts 6
Bankers 4
Social workers 4
Pastoral occupations 3
Artists 1
Others 10

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