ElectionGudie
Germany

Federal Republic of Germany

81,147,265 8

Population (as of July 1, 2013)

Elections in our database

61,943,569 84.82%

Registered Voters (as of Sept. 26, 2013)

Average Turnout

Name Official Name Type
Federal Diet Bundestag Lower House
Federal President Federal President Head of State
Chancellor Chancellor Head of Government
Federal Council Bundesrat Upper House

Description of government structure:

  • Chief of State: Federal President Joachim GAUCK
  • Head of Government: Chancellor Angela MERKEL
  • Assembly: Germany has a bicameral Parliament (Parlament) consisting of the Federal Council (Bundesrat) with 69 seats and the Federal Diet (Bundestag) with 598 seats.

Description of electoral system:

  • The Federal President is elected by indirect vote to serve a 5-year term.*
  • The Chancellor is elected by parliament to serve a 4-year term.**
  • In the Federal Council (Bundesrat) 69 members are filled by regional legislatures*. In the Federal Diet (Bundestag), 299 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 4-year terms and 299 members are allocated by popular vote through a mixed-member proportional system to serve 4-year terms.**

* The Federal President is elected by a Federal Convention to serve a 5-year term. The Federal Convention includes all members of the Federal Assembly and an equal number of delegates elected by the state parliaments. A candidate must secure a majority of votes in the Federal Convention to be elected. If this does not happen in two rounds of voting, a third round is held where only a plurality is needed to win.

** The Chancellor must win an absolute majority of votes in the Federal Assembly.

* There are 16 multi-member districts (magnitude ranging from 3 to 6), each of which corresponds to one of the 16 Lander (states). Each state elects a regional assembly, which elects a regional government, a delegation of which represents the Land in the Federal Council.

** Each voter has two votes. In each single-member district, the first vote counts toward the election of a plurality winner. Each Land also represents a multi-member district. The second vote determines outcomes in the MMDs. Within each Land, a party is entitled to a share of seats proportional to its share of second votes. Seats at the MMD/compensatory level are allocated to parties from closed lists to make each party's overall seat share (compensatory seats + SMD seats) is proportional to its Land-wide vote share. To qualify for compensatory seats, a party must win either 5 percent of second votes nation-wide or at least 3 SMD seats. Because it is possible for a party to win more SMD seats than its share of second votes otherwise would allow ("overhang mandates"), the size of the compensatory tier can change, and with it the size of the Bundestag.

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Elections

Election For Date Votes Registered Voters Turn Out
Federal Diet 1998-09-27 49,947,087 60,762,751 82.2%
Federal Diet 2002-09-22 - 61,432,868 -
Federal Diet 2005-09-18 - 61,870,711 -
Federal President 2009-05-23 1,223 1,224 99.92%
Federal Diet 2009-09-27 44,005,575 62,168,489 70.78%
Federal President 2010-06-30 1,242 - -
Federal President 2012-03-18 1,228 1,232 99.68%
Federal Diet 2013-09-22 44,289,652 61,943,569 71.5%

Voter Turnout