Bundestag election 2005

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2002Election to the
16th Bundestag 2005
(Second votes)
Gains and losses
compared to 2002
 % p
A total of 614 seats
Ballot for the 2005 election (version for the constituency of Würzburg )

The 2005 Bundestag election took place on September 18, 2005 as a result of the early dissolution of the 15th German Bundestag . In the election for the 16th German Bundestag , 298 out of 299 constituencies were voted on that day . The result was a grand coalition under Angela Merkel .


On the evening of the election defeat of the SPD in the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2005 (May 22), the Federal and parliamentary group chairman Franz Müntefering and Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder announced an early federal election . They justified this with the fact that the trust of the population in the red-green federal government was no longer recognizable.

Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder put the vote of confidence to the Bundestag, which with the vote of July 1, 2005 withheld it. He then proposed the dissolution of the Bundestag. Federal President Horst Köhler dissolved the 15th German Bundestag on July 21, 2005 and ordered a new election. The constitutionality of this procedure was - similar to the dissolution in 1982 at the suggestion of Helmut Kohl - controversial; it was again confirmed as constitutional by the Federal Constitutional Court .

Final official result

With 61,870,711 eligible voters and a turnout of 77.7 percent, the proportion of invalid second votes was 1.6 percent. The approved parties or parliamentary groups have achieved the following results:

The parliamentary group of CDU and CSU has 226 seats. In terms of voting rights, they are treated separately as independent parties (see table). The SPD received 222 seats, the FDP 61, the Left Party 54, and the Greens 51 seats. According to the federal election law, the 16th German Bundestag therefore consisted of 598 members plus 16 overhang seats (seven for the Union, nine for the SPD), i.e. a total of 614 members.

The other parties received no seats; together they reached 4 percent.

Premises for forming a government

Parties Seats
Two-thirds majority (410 seats)
       Union, SPD 488
Absolute majority (> 308 seats)
          Union, FDP, Greens 338
          SPD, FDP, Greens 334
          SPD, PDS, Greens 327
No majority (<308 seats)
       Union, FDP 287
       SPD, Greens 273
Total seats 614

For the election of a chancellor and the formation of a government, an absolute majority of 308 votes ( majority of the chancellor ) is required for a proposal by the Federal President in accordance with Article 63, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law . According to the constitution, however, this is not the only way to form a federal government (appointment function):

  • If the candidate proposed by the Federal President is not elected with an absolute majority, in a second phase the Bundestag can elect a Chancellor in any number of ballots with more than half of its members within 14 days without referring to the President's proposal (Art. 63 Para. 3 GG).
  • If no Federal Chancellor can be elected in these ballots, a last ballot must take place immediately, in which the relative majority is sufficient for a chancellor to be elected, i.e. the majority of the votes cast (Article 63, Paragraph 4, Basic Law). This allows a minority government . If an absolute majority is achieved in this ballot, the Federal President must appoint the winner as Chancellor; if there is a relative majority, he can either appoint him or schedule new elections.

Political run-up to the 2005 election

After the clear defeat of the SPD in the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia in May 2005 , the SPD chairman Franz Müntefering announced half an hour after the polling stations had closed, in consultation with Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, that he wanted to bring about a new election in autumn 2005. At 8 p.m., Chancellor Schröder stated in a short address:

“Germany is in a profound process of change. It is about aligning our country with the needs of the 21st century under the special conditions of overcoming the division of Germany. With Agenda 2010 , we have set a decisive course for this. We have taken the necessary steps to make the social security systems fit for the future and to strengthen the competitiveness of the German economy. These are essential prerequisites for more growth and employment in Germany. The first successes on this path are obvious. However, it will take time for the reforms to have a positive effect on the concrete living conditions of all people in our country. But above all, it needs the support of the citizens for such a policy. With the bitter election result for my party in North Rhine-Westphalia, the political basis for continuing our work has been called into question. For the continuation of the reforms that I believe is necessary, I believe that clear support from a majority of Germans is necessary right now. That is why I, as Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, consider it my duty and responsibility to work towards ensuring that the Federal President can make use of the possibilities of the Basic Law in order to bring about new elections to the German Bundestag as quickly as possible, i.e. realistically for the autumn of this year . "

Vote of confidence

Constitutional issues

According to the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, there is no self-dissolution right of parliament in Germany and therefore no constitutionally regulated procedure for early elections - unlike in Great Britain , for example , where early elections were the rule until 2010 . In some federal states z. B. In Lower Saxony in Article 10 of the Lower Saxony Constitution , the Landtag can be dissolved. On July 1, 2005, the Federal Chancellor put the vote of confidence in Parliament in accordance with Article 68 of the Basic Law. After the motions of Willy Brandt ( Federal Parliament election 1972 ) and Helmut Kohl ( Federal Parliament election 1983 ) it was the third time that the Chancellor asked the vote of confidence with the aim of "losing" it. For such a vote of confidence, the term bogus vote of confidence had become common. In its judgment of August 25, 2005 the Federal Constitutional Court rejected this term and introduced the term resolution-oriented question of trust .

With a sufficiently large number of abstentions, the SPD and the Greens ensured that the vote of confidence was not answered positively. The “chancellor majority” of 301 votes - that is, the majority of the members of parliament - was therefore not achieved. The Federal Chancellor then proposed to the Federal President that the Bundestag should be dissolved. The Federal President ordered the dissolution of parliament on July 21, 2005. In his reasoning, he also referred to the decision of the Constitutional Court from 1983.

At that time, with regard to the early elections brought about by Chancellor Helmut Kohl in a similar way, the judges found that it was by no means the Federal Chancellor's discretion to bring about early elections in this way. Rather, due to the normative nature of the four-year legislative period, Parliament should, if possible, also hold office for as long as possible and the Federal Chancellor should only attempt to dissolve the Bundestag “if it is no longer politically guaranteed for him to continue to govern with the power relations existing in the Bundestag. The political balance of power in the Bundestag must impair or paralyze his ability to act in such a way that he cannot meaningfully pursue a policy supported by the constant trust of the majority. "

Thus - albeit within mutual limits - a certain priority of the parliamentary period over government interests is given. Nevertheless, the Constitutional Court primarily granted the Federal Chancellor the authority to assess the political situation as critical within the meaning of Article 68. The subsequent examination by the Federal President must also be based on the Federal Chancellor's criteria.

Whether the requirements mentioned by the Constitutional Court in 1983 were met is a matter of dispute among both political and legal scholars. The governing parties had a majority of three seats over the absolute majority, albeit a narrow one. In addition, all draft bills could be passed in the Bundestag with the “Chancellor majority”. The fact that all parties represented in the Bundestag consider new elections to be necessary is fundamentally irrelevant, since the Bundestag has no right of self-dissolution. However, this agreement could "give the Federal President an" additional indication that a dissolution of the Bundestag would lead to a result that comes closer to the concerns of Art. 68 GG than a negative decision, "according to the Constitutional Court in 1983.

Form of opinion in law

The intention of holding early elections sparked a controversial discussion among constitutional lawyers, which can essentially be summarized as follows:


The critics consider it unconstitutional to bring about new elections by means of a vote of confidence . At most, the Chancellor could choose this procedure if he doubts whether he would be supported by the parliamentary majority. Parliament is the federal day , and there was the Chancellor secure support; He should not refer to other organs such as the Federal Council just because his minority support has continued to decline. The Chancellor could only resign.


The proponents can be found in two groups, which differ in the justification of their position:

  • One group considers new elections to be permissible because the government is in a political crisis that does not functionally allow it to implement its policies. A formal stipulation with regard to the Bundestag - differentiated from the Bundesrat - is not important, at most the majority ratios in the Bundesrat would have to be taken into account.
  • The other group emphasizes the prerogative assigned to the chancellor by the constitution as to whether he feels that the majority supporting him is sufficiently secure for his policy or whether he is asking the question of confidence. This is crucial. In any case, the governing coalition only had a majority of three votes over the Chancellor's majority, and this majority has now become even "wobbly", so that it is difficult to question his judgment.

Legal political demands for parliamentary self-dissolution right

Although several constitutional lawyers, including Ernst Benda , Ernst Gottfried Mahrenholz and Ingo von Münch , publicly advocated an amendment to the Basic Law with the aim of a self-dissolution right of parliament, their demand was not taken up by any party. After the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court on the new elections in 2005 , a lively discussion about such a constitutional change has developed. Supporters can be found in all parties. Federal President Horst Köhler also spoke out in favor of a discussion on this.

The supporters agree that a high quorum must apply to prevent abuse, so that new elections cannot be brought about purely on the basis of political calculations. A majority of 2/3, 3/4 or 4/5 of the members of the Bundestag are discussed.

Organ dispute proceedings by members of the Bundestag

In an organ dispute before the Constitutional Court ( Article 93, Paragraph 1, No. 1 of the Basic Law), members of the Bundestag can contest the dissolution order. Your rights would be violated if the dissolution of parliament were unconstitutional, as this would shorten your mandate , which was granted until autumn 2006 . The MPs Jelena Hoffmann (SPD) and Werner Schulz ( Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen ) initiated such an organ dispute against the Federal President. Judge Udo Di Fabio was the rapporteur in the proceedings . The court held an oral hearing on August 9, 2005 and made a decision before the scheduled election date, as it did in 1983. In a judgment of August 25, 2005, the MPs' applications were rejected as unfounded. The court confirmed that the Federal President's dissolution of parliament was lawful. It referred to the Chancellor's assessment prerogatives and the limited scope of control of the Constitutional Court.

The Federal President had declared that - unlike Karl Carstens in 1983 - he would not have resigned if the court had declared his decision to dissolve it to be unconstitutional.

If the Federal President had refused to dissolve the Bundestag, then the Federal Chancellor could have brought proceedings against the Federal President if he wanted to complain about a breach of duty such as a judgment error. In principle, however, the Federal President is not obliged to dissolve the Bundestag. It is a discretionary decision. In order to grant a request by the Federal Chancellor, either the Federal President would not have to have dutifully exercised his discretion or he would have wrongly assumed that he was not entitled to any discretion because he would have wrongly viewed the (especially unwritten) requirements for dissolution as not being met.

Constitutional litigation between parties and citizens

Several small parties (at least eight according to the Federal Constitutional Court) have initiated organ disputes proceedings at the Federal Constitutional Court, as they see themselves at a disadvantage due to the shortened pre-election time.

The APPD submitted an application just a few minutes after the Federal President's dissolution order. Motions from the ödp , the family party and the Pro DM party were also received . With the motions, the parties objected primarily to the fact that they had very little time until the election date to collect the required signatures, whereas months before normal elections would have been available. As a result, they saw their chances of running for elections in the entire federal territory impaired. Some parties chose the constitutional complaint as the type of procedure .

The applications of the AGFG , the family party and the ödp to join the organ dispute proceedings by Werner Schulz and Jelena Hoffmann were rejected by the Federal Constitutional Court by resolutions of August 8, 2005 on the grounds that the interests asserted in the organ dispute proceedings of the three parties of the two complainant members of the Bundestag is not on an equal footing.

On August 23, 2005 the Federal Constitutional Court rejected the motions of the ödp and the family party as inadmissible. Because the dissolution of the Bundestag does not affect the parties in their rights, also not - as claimed in the alternative - in their equal opportunities under Article 38 and Article 3 of the Basic Law. Action should have been taken against the regulations on the signature quorums passed in 1975, which the legislature also left untouched in the 1985 amendment to the electoral law despite knowledge of the related problems in early federal elections, should have been taken within six months of their adoption. On September 13, for the same reasons, similar claims by the Republicans , the Center Party , the AGFG and the German White Party were dismissed.

The constitutional complaint of the Offensive D party was not accepted for decision by the constitutional court.

In addition, several citizens had lodged constitutional complaints against the dissolution of the Bundestag.


Also for the 16th German Bundestag the legal number of members is 598 ( § 1 BWahlG). In some areas, however, the constituencies have changed since the 2002 Bundestag election . Thuringia lost one constituency (from 10 to 9), Bavaria gained one (from 44 to 45).

By-election in the constituency of Dresden I

After the death of the direct candidate of the NPD , Kerstin Lorenz , eleven days before the election, the vote in constituency 160 (Dresden I) was postponed to October 2, 2005. This has happened twice in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany: In the 1961 Bundestag election and the 1965 Bundestag election , a by-election had to take place at a later date because of dead candidates , but in both cases this had no influence on the party-political composition of the Bundestag.

This meant that around 219,000 Dresden residents (6.1% of the Saxon eligible voters) could not vote on September 18. The postal votes cast previously were invalid and were destroyed.

After the election in Dresden, the Federal Returning Officer established a second preliminary official final result, which, in addition to the Dresden votes, also took into account corrections from other countries. The final official result, which then also contained the corrections from Saxony, was announced on October 7th. According to the Berlin constitutional lawyer Christian Pestalozza , the results should have been kept under lock and key from September 18 until the end of the by-election, as the citizens affected were able to use their votes much more specifically than the rest of the population. "This affects freedom and equality of choice," said the expert. He thinks this is constitutionally questionable. The CDU direct candidate in the constituency concerned, Andreas Lämmel , had made a similar statement . He had told the Bild newspaper that the votes in all of Germany could only be counted once they had also been collected in Dresden. The Dresden FDP direct candidate Peggy Bellmann had also demanded: "No votes may be counted anywhere until the by-election." The Federal Returning Officer did not agree to these demands and announced a first preliminary official result on the evening of the election.

The by-election in constituency 160 had no effect on the ranking of the parliamentary groups in the Bundestag, but it did cause individual seats to be shifted between the state lists of individual parties. In particular, the named Andreas Lämmel won the direct mandate for the CDU and thus another overhang mandate. The FDP in Saxony won a seat at the expense of the FDP in North Rhine-Westphalia because of the extremely good second vote result in Dresden in the intra-party distribution. At the CDU, due to the inconsistency of the Hare-Niemeyer allocation process (see also Alabama paradox , voter growth paradox ), one seat changed from the CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia to the CDU in Saarland.

Due to the negative voting weight in the federal election law - which has meanwhile been declared unconstitutional in the examination of the election - it would have been possible that additional votes for a party would have cost this one seat compared to the first provisional result. The CDU would have received one less seat in the Bundestag if it had received around 3,000 more second votes in Dresden. The election result (CDU: −6.1%, FDP: + 9.6% etc.) suggests that this was prevented by a large number of voters close to the CDU by voting for the FDP with the second vote. This was preceded by an FDP second vote campaign under the motto “Dresden chooses smart: first CDU vote, FDP second vote”.

Campaigning parties


Gerhard Schröder (SPD)

Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder ( SPD ) announced in 2003 that he would run for the third time as a candidate for Chancellor for the SPD in the next federal elections, even if these were actually only planned for 2006. The continuation of the red-green coalition was the declared aim of the SPD leadership; a grand coalition of the SPD and CDU was portrayed as “not wanted”, but it was also not excluded. At the same time, some SPD politicians tried to clearly differentiate themselves from the Greens. The Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Kurt Beck , declared that they did not want to lead a “ pug bat election campaign”. In addition, the SPD wanted to reduce bureaucracy in its election manifesto through “innovation regions” . The federal budget was supposed to be consolidated, but no target was given. A preferred target of the governing parties was the flat tax model of the CDU financial expert Paul Kirchhof , which many Germans perceived as “neoliberal” and “unsocial”, and the planned increase in value added tax, with the SPD sometimes campaigning in the style of an opposition party. The color umber was also used in the public display . This was a novelty, as the traditional red of the party was no longer used, but a shade was chosen for the top candidate. The font has been Thesis by Lucas de Groot used. De Groot was involved in the selection of the font. A special variant of the Thesis font (the Caps variant) was used for the first time worldwide.

Umber the SPD
color code: # C3BA90

Gert G. Wagner and Jürgen Schupp praised the slogan Trust in Germany as being wisely chosen . The SPD's slogan would address a basic problem in German society , distrust in institutions and the parliamentary system. Trust is not only the basic material of the social, but also a prerequisite for modern and productive societies that are extremely labor-sharing. In Germany, which is already poor in raw materials, things are unfortunately not going well with this raw material either .


Angela Merkel (CDU)

The Union parties sought to replace the federal government for the early elections in autumn 2005. They named the FDP as a coalition partner. The Union had nominated the CDU chairwoman Angela Merkel as candidate for chancellor. It had announced that in the event of an election victory, the VAT would be raised from 16% to 18% and, in return, the unemployment insurance contributions would be reduced by two percentage points. In addition, the nuclear consensus should be abandoned in favor of longer operating times for nuclear power plants. As a result, the Union promised itself a reduction in electricity prices. The public health insurance should have a future health premium be financed, the amount of which will not, as previously measured by the income; however, a tax equalization for low-wage earners was planned. Merkel also wanted to reduce bureaucracy and consolidate the federal budget by 2013.

The so-called competence team of the Chancellor candidate Merkel included her and the CSU chairman, Edmund Stoiber , Paul Kirchhof (finances, budget), Peter Müller (economy, work), Dieter Althaus (construction east), Günther Beckstein (interior), Wolfgang Schäuble (foreign policy), Ursula von der Leyen (social affairs), Annette Schavan (education), Gerda Hasselfeldt (agriculture, consumer protection, environment) and Norbert Lammert (culture).


Joschka Fischer (Greens)

Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen stood up to continue their policy of “solidarity-based modernization in ecological responsibility” (the title of their election manifesto). In their election manifesto, decided in Berlin on July 17, 2005, they had prominently highlighted demands on the labor market and economic policy (such as the postponement of subsidies that favor the wasteful use of scarce resources in favor of research and technology funding), but also held on to their other points ( nuclear phase-out , regulated immigration and integration, consumer protection , transparency and informational self-determination , gender equality and sexual identities). Leading Greens made statements during the election campaign that neither a coalition with the Union nor with the Left Party would be considered.

Joschka Fischer was chosen as the top candidate and ran for second place on the Hessian state list for the Bundestag behind State Secretary Margareta Wolf . Other state lists were headed by Renate Künast , Bärbel Höhn , Ulrike Höfken , and Claudia Roth . The green top team also included Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin , party chairman Reinhard Bütikofer , the two parliamentary group leaders at the time Katrin Göring-Eckardt and Krista Sager , the federal political director Steffi Lemke and the parliamentary manager Volker Beck .

In addition, the Greens wanted to reduce bureaucracy and consolidate the federal budget.


Guido Westerwelle (FDP)

In contrast to 2002, the FDP decided not to nominate its own candidate for chancellor. Instead, the FDP leaders declared on May 23, 2005 that they were aiming for a coalition with the CDU / CSU, although they rejected the increase in sales tax demanded by the Union. The FDP named Guido Westerwelle , who was the only prominent politician to have called for early elections to the Bundestag before the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia in the event of a change of government, as the top candidate . He headed the state list in North Rhine-Westphalia, while in other federal states this position was carried out by Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger ( Bavaria ), Birgit Homburger ( Baden-Württemberg ), Wolfgang Gerhardt ( Hesse ), Joachim Günther ( Saxony ), Rainer Brüderle ( Rhineland- Pfalz ), Jürgen Koppelin ( Schleswig-Holstein ), Markus Löning ( Berlin ) or Cornelia Pieper ( Saxony-Anhalt ).

The FDP also wanted to reduce bureaucracy and consolidate the federal budget. In contrast to its potential coalition partner, the FDP stood in its program for more data protection and better protection of civil rights .

Left Party.PDS

Oskar Lafontaine (WASG, co-top candidate of the Left.PDS)

Members of the fledgling WASG party and non- party candidates also ran on the open lists of the Linkspartei.PDS . The top candidates were Gregor Gysi and Oskar Lafontaine . While the Left Party was only represented with Petra Pau and Gesine Lötzsch as directly elected members in the 15th German Bundestag until the election , it moved into the Bundestag as the fourth largest parliamentary group as a result of the Bundestag elections. In East Germany it became the second strongest party behind the SPD.

The most important demands of the Linkspartei.PDS were the increase of the top tax rate to 50%, the introduction of a minimum wage of 1000 euros net and 420 euros basic security for East and West.

Other parties

As was generally expected, the other parties did not succeed in entering the Bundestag.

In October 2004, the NPD and DVU announced that they would compete together nationwide. This was mainly due to the fact that in various federal states only one of the parties was able to record successes. However, the federal electoral law, which only allows parties to vote, not party associations, is opposed to a list connection . For this reason, only the NPD formally stood, but the state lists also included candidates proposed by the DVU, mostly their party members. In the 2009 European elections then the DVU approached. This strategy was successful in the state elections in Saxony and Brandenburg , but already in the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2005 the NPD did not even achieve 1% of the votes and thus experienced a financial setback. The NPD wanted to win five direct mandates , including in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony, but missed this goal by far, as it did not get second or third place among the applicants for the first votes in any constituency .

The state election committees checked on August 19, 2005 whether the parties applying for the election had collected the required number of support signatures for their district election and state list proposals. On August 25, 2005, the Federal Electoral Committee made a final decision on the complaints of some parties . All but one of the complaints were rejected. Only the complaint of the NPD regarding its state list in Baden-Württemberg, which the state election committee had not approved, was granted subject to conditions.

After that, a total of 25 parties with state lists ran for election. These were:

Most of the parties competed in North Rhine-Westphalia (16), fewest in Schleswig-Holstein (8).

Of the parties that did not make it into the Bundestag, only the NPD and the Republicans passed the 0.5% hurdle , which is crucial for state party funding .

Election campaign

The broadcast of the APPD campaign spot within the ARD program was refused at short notice by WDR . This was justified with violations of legal regulations and human dignity , with glorification of sexual life, sadomasochism and drug consumption . This was wrongly done, as APPD campaign manager Peter Altenburg justified in a statement. The censored version, which was submitted a few hours before the broadcast, was accepted by WDR and broadcast on August 26th. The APPD then obtained an injunction from the Higher Administrative Court in Münster , which ordered the broadcast of the uncensored version of the election advertising. This was then broadcast for the first time on September 5th. Since the ZDF continued to refuse to broadcast and the Mainz Administrative Court approved the ZDF, the APPD filed a constitutional complaint on September 9th .

The PARTY also attracted attention by offering part of its advertising time for sale on eBay . The ZDF had announced a detailed examination of the commercial and then sent it including surreptitious advertising .

The Rolling Stones title Angie served as the theme tune for Angela Merkel's performances during the election campaign . Since the CDU failed to obtain the author's consent and this was not granted afterwards, the theme song had to be replaced.

On the morning of September 10, before the arrival of the candidate Bernd Schmidbauer , a drunk 43-year-old shot an air rifle at an election stand of the CDU in Sinsheim . A campaign worker was slightly injured in the hand.

At noon on September 10, 2005, a 45-year-old unemployed person poured a bucket of his own urine over an SPD election stand in downtown Aschaffenburg . A 65-year-old SPD member collapsed in pursuit of the attacker and died a short time later in the Aschaffenburg clinic.

Overview of the election programs for the 2005 Bundestag election

Overview of the core content of the programs of the parties represented in the Bundestag:

Labor market policy

  • SPD: Improvements to Hartz IV and alignment of the standard rates between East and West Germany. Older unemployed people should receive income-related unemployment benefit I. Introduction of a statutory minimum wage .
  • CDU / CSU: Reduction of the contribution to unemployment insurance from 6.5 to 4.5 percent, in return, increase in VAT from 16 to 18 percent. Restriction of protection against dismissal for new hires in companies with up to 20 employees; in larger companies only after two years. Employees should then be able to choose whether protection against dismissal or the right to severance pay is included in the employment contract. Strengthening the combined wage system for more employment in the low-wage sector . Entrepreneurs should be allowed to pay Hartz IV recipients 10 percent below the standard wage.
  • Alliance 90 / The Greens: Corrections to Hartz IV and alignment of the standard rates between East and West Germany. The labor market in the low-wage sector is to be promoted through tax subsidies . Introduction of a statutory minimum wage.
  • FDP: restriction of protection against dismissal. Employees should only receive dismissal protection beyond the dismissal protection according to the BGB after four years and only in companies with more than 50 employees . The FDP also wants to split up and reorganize the Federal Employment Agency (BfA).
  • Linkspartei.PDS: Abolition of the Hartz IV labor market reform. Raising of the standard rates from 345 to 420 euros and higher allowances. Introduction of a statutory minimum wage of 1,400 euros per month gross.

Tax policy

  • SPD: Against an increase in VAT, in return a three percent tax for high earners with an income of over 250,000 euros. Lowering the corporation of 25 to 19 percent.
  • CDU / CSU: Increase in sales tax from 16 to 18 percent to reduce the contribution to unemployment insurance. Lowering of the initial rate of income tax from 15 to 12 percent and the top rate from 42 to 39 percent. Receipt of business tax . Corporate income tax reduced from 25 to 22 percent. Retention of the eco tax.
  • Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen: Against an increase in VAT. Increase in the top rate of income tax from 42 to 45 percent. Introduction of a tax for large earners and greater burden on large heirs and citizens with high private wealth.
  • FDP: Against an increase in sales tax, instead introducing a 3-step model of 15, 25 and 35 percent for income tax. The initial tax rate will therefore remain the same and the top tax rate will be reduced from 42 to 35 percent. The introduction of a basic tax-free allowance of 7,700 euros for every citizen (including every child), which is offset against the entire family income, relieves families in particular. This is flanked by an increase in child benefit to 200 euros per month.
  • Linkspartei.PDS: Against an increase in sales tax, but increase the top rate of income tax from 42 to 50 percent. Retention of the initial tax rate of 15 percent. Reintroduction of wealth tax and restructuring of inheritance tax . Introduction of a basic social security of 750 euros for single people and 1,900 euros for parents with two children.

Health policy

  • SPD: Introduction of citizens' insurance , also for the self-employed , civil servants and politicians . The amount of insurance is based on performance. The assessment basis for the contribution is based on the seven types of income under tax law , including corporate profits or investment income (there for small savers with tax exemptions). Receipt of non-contributory family insurance .
  • CDU / CSU: Introduction of a health premium (flat rate per capita) for every adult insured person. The amount of the contribution is a fixed monthly premium that corresponds to the average per capita expenditure of the respective health insurance company and should cover costs.
  • Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen: Introduction of citizens' insurance , also for the self-employed , civil servants and politicians instead of health and long-term care insurance. The amount of the insurance premium is based on performance. Increase in the income threshold. Receipt of non-contributory family insurance .
  • FDP: Abolition of the statutory health insurance (GKV), and every citizen insures himself privately (PKV). A minimum protection remains mandatory. Insurance contributions for children and the socially disadvantaged are tax-subsidized. Conversion of long-term care insurance to funded coverage.
  • Linkspartei.PDS: Introduction of a citizens' insurance, also for the self-employed, civil servants and politicians, also with capital and rental income. Abolition of the income threshold . Enable private supplementary insurance.

Foreign policy

  • SPD: Against direct military involvement in the Iraq war . For an expansion of the European Union to include Turkey . More responsibility for Germany by assuming a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council .
  • CDU / CSU: Against full membership of Turkey in the European Union, but a privileged partnership . The same intensity of relations in foreign policy with France and the USA .
  • Alliance 90 / The Greens: Further accession negotiations with Turkey for membership in the European Union. For a Europe-wide referendum on the EU constitution . The transatlantic partnership remains the “cornerstone” of foreign policy.
  • FDP: Promotion of the transatlantic partnership. For a seat of the European Union in the UN Security Council; as the “second best solution” a German headquarters.
  • Linkspartei.PDS: Against a permanent seat for Germany in the Security Council of the United Nations. More engagement in the third world . For a referendum on the EU constitution.

Internal security

  • SPD: Preventive measures to reduce juvenile delinquency . Improved data exchange between police and judicial authorities in Europe. Equipping the security authorities with an efficient digital radio system and more competencies for the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA).
  • CDU / CSU: Establishment of an " anti-terrorist file " by the police and intelligence services . Stricter security measures against foreigners suspected of terrorism and a warning file against visa abuse. Promote DNA analysis .
  • Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen: Restriction of telephone surveillance and against a reference file for biometric data. Preservation of the separation of police and intelligence services.
  • FDP: Against the introduction of biometric data in identification documents. For the abolition of the “ great eavesdropping ”. Restricted use of video and telephone surveillance as well as DNA analysis should be allowed.
  • Linkspartei.PDS: Against a deployment of the Bundeswehr inside. Against a further overstretching of the Basic Law through the security packages introduced so far by the federal government.

Education and Research

  • SPD: Introduction of remedial instruction before school enrollment in order to remedy language deficits. Expansion of further all-day schools . The states are to receive around four billion euros for the all-day school program by 2008 for the establishment of 10,000 additional all-day schools. For a free first degree at universities and technical colleges and for receiving BAföG (no conversion into a full loan). Further promotion of research in all areas.
  • CDU / CSU: Expansion of language training. More support for gifted people . Religious instruction is a regular subject. Universities are allowed to charge tuition fees. Annual research expenditure increased by one billion euros.
  • Alliance 90 / The Greens: Overcoming the tripartite school system . For a free first degree at universities and technical colleges. For the expansion of BAföG to a parent-independent support. Increase in research spending.
  • FDP: Reduction of educational deficits in day-care centers . Introduction of mandatory language tests. More autonomy and competition in schools and universities . For the introduction of tuition fees . Breaking down laws that interfere with research.
  • Linkspartei.PDS: Increase in spending on education to 6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Overcoming the tripartite school system and introducing community schools up to 10th grade. Against the introduction of tuition fees.

Society and family

  • SPD: Conversion of childcare allowance into parental allowance , as a replacement for an annual income. Gradual introduction of fee-free day care centers. Applying gender equality in policy areas.
  • CDU / CSU: Parents receive a basic child allowance of 8,000 euros. Example: A family with two children remains income tax-free up to an annual income of 38,200 euros, which corresponds to an increase of 5,000 euros. Education policy remains with the federal states. The compatibility of work and family should be promoted. Introduction of a child bonus from January 2007 for newborn children amounting to 600 euros per year as a reduced contribution to the pension insurance . No abolition of registered civil partnerships ( gay marriage )
  • Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen: Legal right to care for children from the first year of life. Expansion of the child allowance for low-income parents to a basic security. Promotion of gender equality policy.
  • FDP: Tax relief for adults and children through a basic tax allowance of 7,700 euros per year. Introduction of free half-day kindergartens. Expansion of all-day care also for babies.
  • Linkspartei.PDS: Increase in child benefit from 154 euros to 250 euros. No offsetting of child benefit against unemployment benefit II . There are free day care centers for low-income parents. Promotion of all-day care for children. Introduction of a minimum pension of 800 euros.

Environment and energy

  • SPD: Reduction of coal subsidies , exit from nuclear power . Promotion of more efficient power plants and the more economical use of energy. Promotion of renewable energies . Legal simplification through the introduction of an environmental code (UGB).
  • CDU / CSU: Reduction of coal subsidies, no immediate nuclear phase-out, but also no plans for the implementation of new nuclear power plants . Longer operating times for nuclear power plants as long as there are no risks. Expansion of green electricity , but restriction of funding.
  • Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen: Reduction of coal subsidies, further phase-out of nuclear power and reduction of dependence on oil . Promotion of renewable energies so that by 2020 25 percent of German electricity and 25 percent of heat consumption as well as 25 percent of fuel come from renewable energies. Germany is to become a pioneer in climate protection .
  • FDP: Reduction of the subsidies for hard coal and for renewable energies, but more competition on the energy market . Possible government regulation for lower energy prices, should the energy companies not reduce electricity prices , they will be forced to give up the electricity grids . No nuclear phase-out.
  • Linkspartei.PDS: Entry for a “socio-ecological restructuring”. Decentralization of the energy supply in Germany. Promotion of green electricity. Economic cycles should be regional instead of global. Agriculture should be more ecological.

Polls before the election

The polls of the opinion research institutes had all forecast a CDU / CSU result of over 40% in the week before the election. Thus a narrow election victory for black and yellow was usually suspected. Because of these miscalculations, the survey institutes came under fire.

Institute date CDU / CSU SPD Green FDP PDS Others
Result of the federal election 09/18/2005 35.2% 34.2% 8.1% 9.8% 8.7% 3.9%
Allensbach 09/16/2005 41.5% 32.5% 7.0% 8.0% 8.5% 2.5%
Forsa 09/16/2005 41-43% 32-34% 6-7% 7-8% 7-8% k. A.
Emnid 09/13/2005 42.0% 33.5% 7.0% 6.5% 8.0% 3.0%
GMS 09/12/2005 42% 33% 8th % 7% 7% 3%
TNS research 09/12/2005 41% 34% 7% 6.5% 8.5% 3%
Research group elections 09/09/2005 41% 34% 7% 7% 8th % 3%

After the election - problems in forming a government

The election result brought a majority neither for the Union parties and the FDP , nor for the SPD and the Greens . This made the black-yellow and red-green coalitions preferred by the parties mentioned impossible.

In detail, the following applied to the parties or party alliances:

  • The CDU and CSU lost votes compared to the last election, received one of the worst results since the founding of the Federal Republic and failed to meet general expectations. On the other hand, for the first time since the lost 1998 election, they made up the largest parliamentary group in the Bundestag. Their goal, that red-green no longer got a majority, was achieved.
  • The SPD also lost votes compared to the last election, even more than the Union parties; the red-green coalition she led no longer had a majority. Due to the weakness of the Union, the gap between the mainstream parties was not as great as expected. Social Democrats also pointed out that at times they were far worse in polls.
  • The FDP won votes and got an unexpectedly good result. For the first time since 1990 it was again the third strongest force in the Bundestag, in particular it received more votes than the Greens or the CSU. On the other hand, the black-yellow coalition she was aiming for had not achieved the majority she had hoped for.
  • The left party PDS achieved the best result ever, ended up in front of the Greens and was able to more than double its share of the vote, especially in West Germany. Since none of the other parties wanted to negotiate with her, she was denied participation in the government; however, she had already declared during the election campaign that she definitely wanted to remain in the opposition after the election. Their goal of preventing a black-yellow coalition, however, was achieved.
  • The Greens lost votes slightly, but still performed well compared to expectations. The red-green coalition they favored did not materialize, and they were behind the FDP and Linkspartei.PDS.
  • The other parties did not make the leap above the 5% and received rather few votes overall. The NPD , supported by the DVU , achieved its best nationwide result since 1969, becoming the strongest party not represented in the Bundestag for the first time since 1987, and for the first time was able to outperform the competing Republicans .

Media event "Elephant Round"

On the evening of the election, the top candidates from all parties elected to parliament took a stand in the so-called " elephant round " from the ZDF capital city studio on the vote of the Germans and possible coalition prospects. Participants were Gerhard Schröder, Angela Merkel, Edmund Stoiber, Joschka Fischer, Guido Westerwelle and Lothar Bisky . Hartmann von der Tann (ARD) and Nikolaus Brender (ZDF) took over the moderation , the latter again presented the current projections at the beginning and stated: "The matter is complicated."

In particular, Schröder's appearance, which was often perceived as arrogant, caused irritation and lasting debates. The Chancellor combined his interpretation of the election results in view of the clearly missed polls with a harsh attack on the media for allegedly partisan reporting and surprisingly claimed the government mandate for himself despite the Union's lead due to the narrow result. So he stated:

“… I'm really proud of my party, of the people who supported me, who voted for us and who gave us a result that is clear. In any case, it is clear that nobody but me is in a position to provide a stable government. Nobody but me. "

And when addressing Merkel, Schröder commented on her result, which was significantly worse than in the surveys:

“Do you seriously believe that my party will accept an offer from Ms. Merkel to discuss this matter by saying that she would like to become Chancellor? Well, I mean, we have to leave the church in the village. The Germans voted clearly on the candidate question. You can't seriously deny that. "

During the discussion there were sometimes incomprehensible arguments, especially with Guido Westerwelle, who categorically ruled out a traffic light coalition and criticized Schröder's "artificial" appearance, Edmund Stoiber accused the Chancellor of arrogance.

Towards the end of the broadcast, after it had become clear that small coalitions would remain unlikely and Merkel, with the support of Stoiber and Westerwelle, claimed the mandate to form a government for the strongest parliamentary group and thus for herself, according to custom, von der Tann asked in Schröder's lecture inside: “And you don't believe in a grand coalition with a Chancellor Schröder? Or is it? "To which he replied:

"Yes what else? When it comes to such a story? How else is that supposed to work? "

The media also criticized Schröder's behavior as a continuation of the election campaign. Schröder himself was self-critical on election night by quoting his wife Doris Schröder-Köpf : She had criticized his appearance as “a bit too rowdy”. A few days later he described it as "suboptimal" compared to the time and said literally: "Was not good, I know"; at the same time he and others assured them that there was no alcohol involved.

In the ARD documentary “Chancellor Years” the then parliamentary group chairman Franz Müntefering reports that during the discussion of whether Schröder or Müntefering should take part in the round, projections were seen on television speculating whether the SPD might be due to the overhang seats could become the strongest force in the Bundestag. This fact, as well as the SPD's election results, which were significantly better than those of the election researchers, led Müntefering's opinion to Schröder's highly euphoric behavior in the discussion group.

Exploratory talks and coalition negotiations

Both Merkel and the SPD chairman Franz Müntefering offered talks to all other parties except the Linkspartei.PDS about forming a government in the following days. Talks were initially held by the Union and FDP on the one hand and the SPD and Greens on the other.

Guido Westerwelle had already given a clear rejection of a traffic light coalition in the “elephant round” on the evening of the election, referring to a unanimous decision by the FDP federal party conference. Since the Liberals also saw the government mandate with the Union, they rejected an exploratory offer by Franz Müntefering and reaffirmed this stance after further offers from leading SPD politicians.

The Greens had formally excluded no coalition and also responded to the offer of talks by the Union parties. Since the Union, FDP and Greens occasionally expressed interest in a so-called “ Jamaica coalition ”, this conversation attracted particular attention. For the first time since the failed negotiations in Baden-Württemberg in 1992, the Union and the Greens spoke again about cooperation above the municipal level. However, the explorations ended with no results.

In the absence of realistic alternatives, the Union and the SPD finally began to negotiate. Angela Merkel, Edmund Stoiber, Franz Müntefering and Gerhard Schröder took part in these “exploratory talks”. The claim of both camps to the office of Federal Chancellor for their respective candidate turned out to be a major obstacle. The CDU / CSU insisted on traditionally being the head of government as the strongest force. The SPD, however, at times argued that the CDU / CSU were two different parties and that the SPD was stronger than the CDU for itself. Both sides also ruled out giving their votes to the opposing candidate (Merkel and Schröder). At times the Israeli model was considered.

After a final exploratory meeting, the four people announced on October 10th that they would propose to their parliamentary groups and parties to start coalition negotiations. It had been agreed that Merkel would become Chancellor; The ministries' layout and party affiliation had also been agreed. The SPD then presented candidates for “their” eight posts, the Union parties did so for another six of their eight posts (in addition to Merkel, Stoiber was already appointed Minister of Economics) on October 17th. Gerhard Schröder announced on October 11th that he would not belong to the new government in any position.

There was initially criticism of the agreement from the SPD in particular. However, this was discontinued soon afterwards. The coalition negotiations began on October 17th. On November 1, Franz Müntefering announced his retirement from the SPD chairmanship after the candidate he preferred for the office of SPD general secretary failed to find a majority at an SPD executive committee meeting . Thereupon Edmund Stoiber announced his resignation from the Ministry of Economic Affairs due to the good cooperation between the two and the fear that Müntefering would now not belong to the government.

The negotiations continued regardless of this with the same leaders and ended on November 11 with the conclusion of a coalition agreement; The new chairman Matthias Platzeck signed for the SPD . Müntefering remained with the SPD leadership as Vice Chancellor. Finally, Angela Merkel was elected Chancellor on November 22, 2005. It received a secure majority of 397 out of 611 valid votes, but this fell far short of the number of seats in the grand coalition (448). At the age of 51, Merkel was the youngest person to hold this post in history and is also the first woman head of government in Germany. The Merkel I cabinet was sworn in on the same day .

Complete result

Constituency results
Political party First votes percent Second votes percent Seats Direct mandates Percent of
eligible voters
(second votes)
SPD 18.129.100 38.4 16,194,665 34.2 213 + 9 1 145 26.18
CDU 15,390,950 32.6 13.136.740 27.8 173 + 7 1 106 21.23
FDP 2,208,531 4.7 4,648,144 9.8 61 0 7.51
Die Linke.PDS 3,764,168 8.0 4,118,194 8.7 54 3 6.66
GREEN 2,538,913 5.4 3,838,326 8.1 51 1 6.20
CSU 3,889,990 8.2 3,494,309 7.4 46 44 5.65
NPD 857.777 1.8 748,568 1.6 - - 1.21
REP 38,678 0.1 266.101 0.6 - - 0.43
GRAY 6,340 <0.1 198,601 0.4 - - 0.32
FAMILY 76.064 0.2 191,842 0.4 - - 0.31
The animal welfare party 7,341 <0.1 110.603 0.2 - - 0.18
PBC 57.027 0.1 108.605 0.2 - - 0.18
MLPD 16,480 <0.1 45,238 0.1 - - 0.07
BüSo 40,984 0.1 35,649 0.1 - - 0.06
BP 16,047 <0.1 35,543 0.1 - - 0.06
THE WOMEN 1,327 <0.1 27,497 0.1 - - 0.04
AGFG 570 <0.1 21,350 <0.1 - - 0.03
PSG - - 15,605 <0.1 - - 0.03
50plus - - 10,536 <0.1 - - 0.02
The party 6,923 <0.1 10,379 <0.1 - - 0.02
Per DM - - 10,269 <0.1 - - 0.02
Germany 1,473 <0.1 9,643 <0.1 - - 0.02
APPD 3,018 <0.1 4.233 <0.1 - - 0.01
CENTER 1,297 <0.1 4.010 <0.1 - - 0.01
Offensive D 5,401 <0.1 3,338 <0.1 - - 0.01
INDEPENDENTS 11,703 <0.1 - - - - -
HP 2,029 <0.1 - - - - -
DSU 1,655 <0.1 - - - - -
CM 1.011 <0.1 - - - - -
HUMAN BUSINESS PARTY 639 <0.1 - - - - -
INSTEAD of party 496 <0.1 - - - - -
Rest 118.130 0.3 - - - - -
Non-voters 13,826,577 13,826,577 - - 22.35
Invalid votes 850.072 1.8 756.146 1.6 - - 1.22

1 According to the official final result, there were 16 overhang mandates , which were distributed among the parties as follows:

  • SPD: 9, of which
    • 1 in Hamburg
    • 3 in Brandenburg
    • 4 in Saxony-Anhalt
    • 1 in Saarland.
  • CDU: 7 of them

Regional differences

Bundestag election in West Germany 2005
Gains and losses
compared to 2002
 % p
Bundestag elections in East Germany 2005
Gains and losses
compared to 2002
 % p
West Germany
CDU / CSU 37.4%
SPD 35.1%
FDP 10.2%
Left Party.PDS 4.9%
Alliance 90 / Greens 8.8%
Others 3.5%
East Germany
CDU 25.3%
SPD 30.4%
FDP 8.0%
Left Party.PDS 25.3%
Alliance 90 / Greens 5.2%
Others 5.8%

Response rates and proportion of non-voters

Bundestag election 2005 with non-voters
Response rates of the parties and proportion of non-voters
Gains and losses
compared to 2002
 % p

Votes not counted

In March 2006 in Trier in 1147 not been counted absentee ballots in the constituency 205 discovered -Stimmzettel. These were no longer counted on the instruction of the Land Returning Officer and therefore not part of the official final result.

Elective test

Appeals against the validity of the Bundestag elections were lodged with the German Bundestag and, after their rejection, several complaints were filed with the Federal Constitutional Court.

The Federal Constitutional Court declared the provisions of the Federal Election Act, which lead to negative voting weight in the Bundestag electoral law and which became known not only to experts for the first time, as unconstitutional in the proceedings on two election review complaints. The court ordered the legislature to re-regulate the federal election law in this regard by June 30, 2011 at the latest. The Bundestag did not meet this deadline.

Further electoral review complaints are pending before the Federal Constitutional Court. The use of voting computers in the election was declared unconstitutional on March 3, 2009 because these computers do not allow the public to be able to trace the election in accordance with the constitution.

See also


Web links

Commons : Bundestag election 2005  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Final result of the 2005 Bundestag election. ( Memento from December 22, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) The Federal Returning Officer
  2. ^ Election to the 15th German Bundestag on September 22, 2002. ( Memento from January 12, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) The Federal Returning Officer
  3. Schröder wants new elections . Mirror online
  4. ^ Chancellor between trust and distrust , article from May 25, 2005 on nzz.ch
  5. BVerfGE : 62, 1, 44 ( Memento of February 2, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Ref .: 2 BvE 5/05
  7. Gz .: BvE 6/05, 8/05, 9/05 and 5/10
  8. Ref .: 2 BvR 1298/05
  9. a b Decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of July 3, 2008
  10. Constituency result Saxony constituency 160 - Dresden I . ( Memento from October 7, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) The Federal Returning Officer
  11. Carsten Volkery: New SPD design "Umbra", the color of success . Spiegel online , July 6, 2005
  12. Gregory Maynt: The new painting of the SPD . RP Online, July 5, 2005
  13. Christian-A. Thiel: To victory with umber? Hamburger Abendblatt, July 8, 2005
  14. ^ Mistrust - a German disease published in: Süddeutsche Zeitung on August 11, 2005
  15. ↑ Electoral manifestation of the CDU / CSU ( Memento from December 1, 2005 in the Internet Archive )
  16. Violence in the election campaign: Shots at the CDU information stand . In: Spiegel Online . Spiegel-Verlag, September 10, 2005, pp. 8–15, accessed on September 10, 2015
  17. Gabrielle Fleckenstein: Not a day for election campaigns. Stunned after attack on information stand and death of a Social Democrat. In: Main-Echo. September 12, 2005.
  18. Paul Wrusch: Power of opinion polls - The drug Demoskopie. In: The daily newspaper . September 23, 2009.
  19. a b Werner A. Perger: The player . In: Die Zeit , No. 39/2005
  20. ^ Report from SPIEGEL Online , accessed on June 10, 2008
  21. ^ Federal result - final result of the 2005 Bundestag election. ( Memento from July 1, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Federal Returning Officer; and own calculations
  22. ↑ Postal ballot by mistake not counted . ( Memento from January 17, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Trier.de, March 27, 2006.
  23. Trier: 1147 postal ballot papers accidentally not counted in the 2005 Bundestag election. volksfreund.de, March 27, 2006.
  24. BVerfG, 2 BvC 3/07 of March 3, 2009, paragraph no. (1 - 163)
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on December 10, 2005 .