Bavarian state election system

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Bavarian state election system serves to appoint the currently at least 180 seats in the Bavarian Parliament . The Bavarian Constitution (in Art. 14 Para. 1 BV) and the Bavarian State Election Act (LWG) provide for a so-called “improved proportional representation ”. Unlike in Bundestag elections, first and second votes are equivalent for the proportional distribution of the seats among the parties.

Legal basis

Compared to other federal states and the electoral law of the Bundestag, the Bavarian constitution lays down some details very specifically. Changing the Bavarian state electoral system is therefore associated with greater hurdles than, for example, the right to vote in the Bundestag, namely with a constitution-changing majority in the Bavarian state parliament and a referendum (cf. Art. 75 BV).

Suffrage principles

As stipulated in Article 28 of the Basic Law for all German states , the principles of democratic elections also apply in Bavaria . The Bavarian Constitution states in this regard that ". The deputies are chosen equal, direct and secret ballot for an improved system of proportional representation of all voting citizens in constituencies and voting districts in general." (Art. 14 para 1 BV) The criterion of free choice understands one thereby emerges as necessary from the other four principles.

For more information on the principles of electoral law, see the article on federal election law .


Right to vote

All Germans who have reached the age of 18 ( majority ) and have been resident in Bavaria for at least three months are entitled to vote in the elections to the state parliament, in referendums and referendums . In addition, the right to vote must not have been revoked, for example by a judge's verdict.

The identity check of the voter on election day, by showing an ID, is at the discretion of the electoral committee .

Passive suffrage

Anyone entitled to vote can be elected, unless they are excluded from eligibility by a judge's verdict. According to Article 23 of the State Election Act, election proposals can only be submitted by political parties and other organized groups of voters.

Electoral system

The seven Bavarian constituencies

In the Bavarian state elections, at least 180 seats have been awarded in seven constituencies since 2003 .

The linguistic usage of the Bavarian state election law differs from the federal election law and the election law of other federal states:

  • Constituency is each of the seven administrative districts . At the level of these constituencies, the seats are distributed according to proportional representation. So there is no nationwide equalization scheme.
  • The constituency is the unit within which an MP is directly elected. It corresponds to what is called constituency in the federal election law.

180 seats are allocated to the constituencies according to their share of the German population. The constituencies are divided into constituencies. In each electoral district one applicant is elected directly, the remaining seats are filled via electoral district lists. According to Article 14 of the Constitution, the number of members elected in electoral districts may not exceed the number of members elected via the constituency lists by a maximum of one. So are z. B. If an electoral district is granted 19 seats, a maximum of 10 electoral districts may be formed there. In practice, the maximum number is always used. Since the reduction of the state parliament to 180 seats, there have always been 90 to 92 electoral districts nationwide.

Constituency lists

The constituency list is to be drawn up by an assembly of members or representatives of the party or group of voters. The list must contain all of their constituency applicants who have been elected by members or representative assemblies in the respective constituencies. Each list must contain at least one constituency applicant. Only one district applicant can be set up for each district. The general assembly can elect additional applicants at constituency level. The list may contain a maximum of as many applicants as there are seats available in the constituency. The general assembly can, but does not have to, determine the order of the candidates.

First vote

Ballot for the first vote with the direct candidates of the constituency. Here for the district of Munich-Milbertshofen , in the constituency of Upper Bavaria .

With the first vote, the eligible voters have the choice between the constituency candidates of the candidate party and voter groups. If the party has not set up a constituency applicant for individual constituencies, it cannot be elected with the first vote there.

Second vote

Ballot for the second vote with the eligible candidates from the 17 constituency lists. Here in the district of Munich-Milbertshofen , in the constituency of Upper Bavaria .

With the second vote, the eligible voters elect a candidate from a constituency list. A vote for an applicant is also a vote for his party or group of voters. In contrast to the federal election law, the voter also gives his second vote to a certain candidate and therefore has more influence. The voting slip basically contains all applicants from all constituency lists. However, the constituency applicants are not on the voting slip in the constituency for which they are drawn up. Unlike in federal elections, there are separate ballot papers for the first and second vote. If the party or electoral group has not specified a sequence of applicants, they will be listed in alphabetical order. Applicants who are at the top of the list are selected more often for this reason alone and are therefore given an advantage.

Threshold clause

Until 1973, seats were only given to parties and electoral groups that won at least 10 percent of the vote in at least one constituency. Thus, the received GDP in the state election in 1962 in any constituency 10% of the votes and 5.1% of votes nationwide no seats (as well as the FDP 1966), the Bayern party with a vote share of 4.8% nationally, however eight seats as they which reached 10.3% in Lower Bavaria. A nationwide five percent hurdle has been anchored in Article 14 of the constitution since 1973 . Since there is no regulation comparable to the basic mandate clause of the federal election law in the Bavarian electoral system , this also means that victorious constituency applicants may not receive a mandate.

Distribution of seats


In the constituency, the applicant with the most first votes is elected.

If the party or electoral group of the candidate with the strongest vote fails to pass the five percent hurdle, the seat will not be allocated to this candidate. Instead, the applicant with the next highest number of votes is elected.


The total votes are decisive for the distribution of seats in the constituencies. The total number of votes for the party or group of voters is determined by adding their first and second votes. In contrast to Bundestag elections, the first votes are also taken into account for the proportional distribution of seats.

In the distribution of seats, only those parties and groups of voters who achieve at least 5% of the total votes in Bavaria are taken into account. The seats of the constituency are proportionally distributed to these according to the Hare-Niemeyer method . Up to and including the state elections in 1990, instead of the Hare-Niemeyer process, the d'Hondt maximum number process, which is more favorable for large parties, was used, which the Bavarian Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional in 1992.

If the party or electoral group in the constituency has won fewer constituencies than it is entitled to, the seats that are still to be filled go to the applicants on their constituency list with the most total votes. Applicants who have already been elected in the constituency will not be considered. Because the first and second votes are added together, electoral district applicants are considerably favored compared to the other applicants on the constituency list.

Overhang and compensation mandates

If there are overhang seats in the allocation of seats because a party in a constituency wins more constituency seats than it is entitled to under the seat allocation procedure, it will retain these additional seats. To compensate for this, the number of mandates in the constituency concerned is increased until a Hare / Niemeyer-compliant distribution of seats in all lists in the constituency is achieved again (see also compensation mandate ) . The constituency in question is overrepresented in the state parliament. If a party has the most overhanging list in several constituencies, it has a systematic advantage in getting the last seat in each of those constituencies.

Majority clause

If a party or group of voters receives more than half of the votes to be taken into account nationwide in the allocation of seats, but not an absolute majority in the state parliament, it will be allocated as many more seats until it has an absolute majority. These seats go to their unelected applicants with the highest number of votes in the country.

State funding for parties and constituencies

The financing of parties is regulated by federal law in the Political Parties Act. All parties that achieve at least 1% of the total votes nationwide benefit from state party funding. The amount of government grants is based on the mean of the first and second votes. Groups of voters who achieve at least 1% of the total vote receive 1.28 euros per total vote.

In summary: special features

  • First votes and second votes are equally relevant when allocating seats to the parties.
  • The second vote is given to a candidate from an open list , but only decides on the election together with the candidate's first votes.
  • The list rank assigned by the party to an applicant has no direct influence on the prospect of a mandate.
  • Leading constituency candidates whose party fails the five percent hurdle will not receive a mandate.
  • No state lists are drawn up, but only those that each refer to an administrative district (here: “constituency”).
  • There is no nationwide equalization.

See also


  • Rainer A. Roth: Political regional studies: Free State of Bavaria. 3. Edition. Bavarian State Center for Political Education, Munich 2000.
  • Frank Höfer: The political order in Bavaria. 6th edition. Bavarian State Center for Political Education, Munich 2001.
  • Enno Boettcher, Reinhard Högner, Cornelius Thum, Werner Kreuzholz: State Election Law, District Election Law and State Election Regulations Bavaria: Commentary. 18th edition. Kohlhammer / Deutscher Gemeindeverlag, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-555-01591-0 .
  • Cornelius Thum, Michael Greiner: Bavarian State Suffrage and District Suffrage: Comments. Municipality and School Publishing Bavaria, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-89382-207-0 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Constitution of the Free State of Bavaria, Art. 75
  2. Constitution of the Free State of Bavaria, Art. 14 Paragraph 1
  3. Law on state elections, referendums and referendums (state election law - LWG), Art. 2
  4. Do I have to show my identity card when voting? Nürnberger Nachrichten , October 14, 2018, accessed on October 24, 2018 .
  5. Can I vote without ID? Evening newspaper , October 19, 2018, accessed on October 24, 2018 .
  6. Report of the Bavarian State Government on the change in the number of inhabitants in the electoral and electoral districts according to Article 5, Paragraph 5 of the State Election Act of September 6, 2016 (PDF; 319 kB), accessed on October 1, 2016
  7. Bavarian vote on - keyword "restrictive clause"
  8. Bavarian suffrage on - keyword “seat allocation procedure” , accessed on September 30, 2018.