In the Bundestag election and in many state elections in Germany , you choose a direct candidate in your constituency with the first vote (also electoral district vote or direct vote) .
Each party within a constituency may run a candidate for the Bundestag election. Non-party candidacies are also possible. The candidate with the most first votes in his constituency receives a so-called direct mandate and becomes a member of the Bundestag; all other candidates are left empty-handed. In this way, 299 members of parliament, one for each constituency, enter the Bundestag. They make up about half of all members of the Bundestag.
Although the first vote is not seen as quite as influential as the second vote , it has important functions in the election: It is an opportunity for individuals to move into the German Bundestag without being put on a state list by a party (example: Hans-Christian Ströbele in the 2002 Bundestag election ). The first vote also guarantees the representation of all regions in parliament, because the constituencies are divided in such a way that approximately the same number of people with voting rights live in each constituency. In a non-personalized proportional representation without constituencies, this is not automatically the case.
The validity of the first vote remains unaffected by a possible invalidity of the second vote ( Section 39 (1) No. BWahlG ).
In contrast to the second vote, the first vote does not directly determine the strength of a parliamentary group , but only swaps a candidate from the list for the current constituency candidate. If more candidates of a party are elected to parliament by the first vote than the party is entitled to in percentage terms by the second votes, additional mandates arise, the overhang mandates . For this purpose, there have been compensation mandates since 2013 , which create a proportional distribution of seats.
In state elections in Hamburg, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia, the first vote is called a constituency vote , in Saxony a direct vote . Except in Bavaria, the meaning of the first vote is the same as in federal elections. However, in Hamburg three to five seats are distributed in each constituency by proportional representation. In Bavaria, the first votes also count in the proportional distribution of seats.
In all state elections with a first vote, there are compensatory mandates for overhang mandates . In several countries, however, the compensation is capped, so that proportional distortions can arise.
- Wahlrecht.de - Information on the first vote
- Wahlrecht.de - Tips for the first vote
- The unelected elected - Article about the first vote result of the Bundestag election 2009 in the Friday of October 10th, 2009
- Federal Agency for Civic Education - Information on the first and second votes from September 28, 2017