State election in North Rhine-Westphalia 2017
The state election in North Rhine-Westphalia 2017 was the election for the 17th state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia and took place on May 14, 2017. The ruling coalition of the SPD and the Greens lost its majority. The CDU was the strongest party with 33.0% of the second vote. In terms of the share of votes, this was her second worst result in a NRW election. The SPD, led by Prime Minister Hannelore Kraft , received its worst result in North Rhine-Westphalia since 1947 with 31.2%, while the FDP achieved its best result to date with 12.6%. The alternative for Germany entered the state parliament for the first time with 7.4%. The result of the Greens almost halved compared to 2012 to 6.4%. The left narrowly missed entry into the state parliament with 4.9%, while the pirates clearly missed re-entry with 1.0%.
As a result of the state elections, a black-yellow coalition under the new Prime Minister Armin Laschet (→ Laschet cabinet ) replaced Hannelore Kraft's red-green state government (→ Kraft II cabinet ) at the end of June 2017.
The North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament is elected according to a system of personalized proportional representation with closed lists, which is similar to the federal election law . The state parliament has at least 181 members, 128 of whom are directly elected in constituencies with the first vote. However, the second vote is decisive for the relative size of the parliamentary groups in the state parliament. Overhang mandates are balanced out by compensatory mandates, so that a composition of the state parliament that is proportional to the share of second votes is practically always ensured. The nominations had to be submitted by 6 p.m. on the 48th day before the election (March 27, 2017) at the latest.
Compared to the last state election in 2012, some of the constituencies have been adapted to the changed population situation.
The five-year electoral period of the state parliament of the 16th electoral period, which arose from the state elections on May 13, 2012 and met for the first time on May 31, 2012, ended according to Art. 34 and Art. 36 of the state constitution on May 31, 2017. According to Art 34 the election to the state parliament must be held “in the last quarter of the electoral period”. According to Art. 31, the election takes place on a Sunday or a public holiday . The first Sunday or public holiday within the last three months of the electoral period was March 5, 2017, the latest possible date was May 28, 2017. Since 1975 the state elections have always been held on a Sunday in May. On March 8, 2016, the state government set May 14, 2017 as election day.
From the 2012 state elections , the SPD emerged as the strongest parliamentary group after significant growth, the CDU became the second-strongest parliamentary group with a historically poor election result, and the Greens and the FDP had once again entered the state parliament. The pirates were able to move into the state parliament for the first time after having won strong votes. The left could not move into the state parliament again. The red-green state government under Prime Minister Hannelore Kraft , still a minority government in the 15th electoral term , had achieved a majority in favor of continuing its coalition.
Parties and candidates
Only parties can stand for election with state lists. District election proposals can also be submitted by groups of voters and individual eligible voters. By March 27, state lists had to be submitted to the state returning officer and district election proposals to the responsible district returning officer.
1000 support signatures must be submitted for a state list and 100 for each district nomination . Parties that are not represented in any state parliament nationwide must also prove their party status . Parties that are represented in the state parliament or are represented in the Bundestag on the basis of an election proposal from North Rhine-Westphalia do not require support signatures.
In the 128 constituencies, a total of 967 constituencies were approved. The state lists of 31 parties were approved by the state election committee on April 4, 2017, the lists of four parties ( Alliance C , Die Einheit , LKR and Tierschutzpartei ) were rejected. The parties appear in the following order on the ballot papers:
The candidate who takes the first place on the list of a party is called the top candidate . Occasionally, parties also come up with two or more top candidates who take the first two (or more) places on the list. Spitzenkandidat is a term that is not anchored in the electoral law. The Prime Minister is not elected directly in the state elections, but by the members of the state parliament. In large political parties, these persons are often also candidates for the office of prime minister in the event that the party is able to form a government coalition.
|Hannelore Kraft||Armin Laschet||Sylvia Löhrmann||Christian Lindner||Christian Leye &
|Marcus Pretzell||Michele Marsching|
WDR candidate check
The West German Broadcasting Corporation carried out a "candidate check" for the state elections. Each candidate for the state parliament should introduce themselves briefly in a video. As of April 19, 2017, a total of 966 of the 1329 candidates who entered were available with an interview video in the WDR database. The general conditions were the same for all respondents: The length of the video recording was limited to four minutes and no repetitions were possible. The questions asked were the same for everyone.
The WDR candidate check was awarded the Grimme Online Award in the information category. The jury recommends the project "expressly for imitation by other broadcasters".
The Federal Center for Civic Education (bpb), in cooperation with the State Center for Civic Education North Rhine-Westphalia, presented the Wahl-O-Mat for the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2017 , the content of which was developed by an editorial team of 17 young voters from North Rhine-Westphalia . They were advised by the project management of the bpb and the lpb, a “scientific Wahl-O-Mat-Team” and state political advisors (political scientists).
The Wahl-O-Mat has been controversial in the past; u. a. This is because complex points of view cannot always be clearly reduced to yes, no and neutral statements (the reasons and explanations of the parties on the individual points of view can be found on the Wahl-O-Mats website).
The following table compares the positions of the parties represented in the state parliament on various topics. It refers to the answers given by the parties in the election-O-Mat of the bpb.
|Theses of Wahl-O-Mats|
- Both child day care and training to become a master craftsman should be free during core times. The model project “Leave no child behind” is to be expanded nationwide. The SPD wants to set up further regional innovation networks (RIN) for digitization . A gigabit fiber optic network will be built in North Rhine-Westphalia by 2026 under her leadership. A training guarantee is also mentioned as an electoral target, which was already in the coalition agreement of the previous legislative period and which was not implemented. 14 billion euros are to be invested in the expansion of motorways in the country by 2030, with at least 8 billion in the maintenance and expansion of the rail network. By promoting emission-free buses, pollution in city centers will be reduced significantly by 2025. 2,300 police officers are to be trained instead of the previous 2,000. Research and development would be promoted through taxation. At the same time, despite this additional financial burden, the budget will continue to be consolidated.
- In order to reduce bureaucracy , many requirements, in particular the requirements adopted by Environment Minister Remmel , the hygiene traffic lights , the tariff compliance and awarding law and the climate protection law are to be abolished. Approval procedures would thus be accelerated, making it easier for family businesses to expand into their surroundings in North Rhine-Westphalia. In view of a per capita debt of more than 10,000 euros and a total debt of 141 billion euros, all expenditures have to be put to the test. North Rhine-Westphalia must be attractive to investors again. In terms of school policy, the CDU calls for a representation pool for which all schools would have to both measure and report missed lessons and in which school failures across the country would be collected. The closure of special schools for disadvantaged children is to be stopped. In order to counteract the shortage of trainees , there should be a transition system for young people with problems that always ends with recognized vocational training. Medical study places would have to be made more available in order to put an end to the shortage of doctors. Veil searches are to be made possible for the police in North Rhine-Westphalia , as in almost all other federal states. This also allows one to take more decisive action against rocker gangs, family clans and Islamism.
- Digital learning methods are to be used to a much greater extent in schools in North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition, schools should be free to decide for themselves about finances, pedagogy, personnel, G8 or G9. “Personalities from research and business” should teach in schools. When buying the first house, young families should be given financial relief. Instead of tightening laws, the Liberals are calling for more modern equipment and more staff for the police. In order to eliminate the congestion problem, especially for commuters, investments in the road network of NRW will be increased. In terms of data protection, a NRW data protection seal is to be introduced. Like the CDU, the FDP wants to put public spending, programs, subsidies and state-owned companies to the test; the debt brake will be introduced at the state level. The previous solidarity surcharge will be waived and instead an allowance for real estate transfer tax of 500,000 euros will be introduced. Immigration should be controlled by an immigration law and integration should be made binding. In order to be able to organize work more flexibly, shops should also open on Sundays and B. Set product names more freely. In addition to deregulation , the FDP also focuses on digitization . So are Wi-Fi hotspots in public authorities and a digital public office be set up.
- The farewell to coal in the next 20 years is to be made legally binding. By 2030, 50% of the electricity will be covered by renewable forms of energy. By 2025 the Greens want to create around 100,000 new jobs in the environmental economy. Barrier-free regional trains with area-wide WiFi are required. Instead of building new roads, the existing ones should be kept in good condition. Genetic engineering should be banned nationwide. The inclusion of disabled children is to be further promoted by closing special schools .
For the Sunday question, the polls indicated the following proportions in the individual surveys in North Rhine-Westphalia.
|Research group elections||05/11/2017||31%||32%||6.5%||13.5%||-||6%||6.5%||4.5%|
|Research group elections||05/05/2017||32%||32%||7.5%||12%||-||6%||6%||4.5%|
|Infratest dimap||05/04/2017||32%||31%||7%||13%||-||5%||8th %||4%|
|Infratest dimap||04/23/2017||34%||34%||6%||10%||-||5%||8th %||3%|
|Research group elections||02/10/2017||36%||32%||7%||8th %||-||5%||9%||3%|
|State election 2012||05/13/2012||39.1%||26.3%||11.3%||8.6%||7.8%||2.5%||nk||4.4%|
Prime Minister Survey
When asked who the citizens would vote for as prime minister directly, the polling institutes gave the following values:
|Institute||date||Hannelore Kraft (SPD)||Armin Laschet (CDU)|
|Research group elections||05/14/2017||48%||37%|
|Research group elections||05/11/2017||46%||38%|
|Research group elections||05/05/2017||51%||33%|
|Research group elections||02/10/2017||55%||29%|
|YouGov||December 18, 2014||48%||19%|
- Eligible voters: 13,164,887
- Voters: 8,577,221
- Turnout: 65.15%
- Valid first votes: 8,455,190
- Valid second votes: 8,487,413
|First votes||Second votes|
|Animal welfare list||59,747||0.70|
|AD Democrats NRW||12,688||0.15|
|FBI / FWG||2,877||0.03|
|Non-party WG "BRD"||634||0.01||1||2.002||0.02|
- In the run-up to the election, the FDP office sent the state election committee a state list for approval in which the list positions of two candidates were reversed. The candidate Christian Sauter, who was elected to the promising place 24 by the positioning conference, was listed in place 48, the candidate Martina Hannen , who was intended for this place, took his list position. The error was only noticed after the nominations had been announced and could not be remedied. Hannen initially announced that she would renounce her mandate, but then decided to become a member of the state parliament and justified this, among other things, with the fact that the seat would remain in her district association Lippe. In the event of a waiver of the mandate, Sauter, who also comes from Lippe, would not have moved into the state parliament for them, but Alexander Brockmeier from Steinfurt , Westphalia , who, with 29th place in the list, is the first to succeed. Sauter said he would not contest the election.
- Due to a typographical error, around 450,000 ballot papers for Essen and other ballot papers for Cologne, Aachen and Dortmund were destroyed and reprinted before the election: The DKP's lettering was not 12 point, as it was for all other parties, but smaller 11 point has been set. In order to rule out possible unequal treatment, the regional returning officer had recommended that the district returning officers concerned recruit.
Suspicion of election fraud
- According to the quick report, there were first votes in several voting districts on election evening, but not a single second vote for the AfD. At the same time, one of the small parties AD Democrats and Aufbruch C , between which the AfD was listed on the registration form, recorded significantly above-average second votes in these electoral districts. After such results had been checked in some electoral districts and recording errors had been found, the Land Returning Officer ordered a general plausibility check of the electoral district results. It emerged that deviations to the detriment of the AfD had occurred in 50 of the 15,000 or so electoral districts and 2204 votes had not been taken into account for the party. Errors to the detriment of other parties were discovered in a further 35 voting districts (a total of 298 votes not taken into account). The correction had no effect on the number of mandates, the AfD was missing around 9800 votes for an additional seat. The deputy regional returning officer described the corrections as not uncommon in terms of size, but a few errors gave the impression that “they were not all by chance”. In the affected districts, the electoral boards would now be heard; if there were any indications of deliberate manipulation, they would be asked to file a criminal complaint.
- In the Mönchengladbach electoral district “Altenheim Eicken”, the five-person voluntary electoral committee declared all 37 ballot papers that contained votes for the AfD to be invalid. Due to the abnormality of the result, the district returning officer initiated a recount, in which the validity of the votes was determined. The police opened an investigation into suspected election fraud , and the prosecution closed them in April 2018.
Investigations into AfD party donation
In March 2019, the Bundestag administration set a fine of 100,000 euros for illegal party donations in favor of Guido Reil's election campaign from the Swiss PR agency Goal AG . Jörg Meuthen announced that the AfD would object to this.
|Absolute majority (from 100 seats)|
|CDU and SPD||141|
|SPD, FDP and Greens||111|
|CDU and FDP||100|
All other parties represented in the new state parliament rejected a coalition with the AfD. The FDP rejected any coalition with the Greens and the Greens rejected any coalition with the FDP, which eliminated both a traffic light and a Jamaica coalition as possible coalitions. The SPD had ruled out any coalition with the Left Party. The day after the election, the SPD rejected a grand coalition .
End of the "Schulz hype"
The defeat of the SPD or the red-green state government in their "heart chamber" was brought into the media in connection with the prospects of success of the Federal SPD and its candidate for Chancellor Martin Schulz in the 2017 federal election . After Schulz was surprisingly proclaimed the top candidate in January, he enjoyed great popularity at times, which was reflected in the SPD's polls. This phenomenon, which is unique in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, was given the terms Schulz-Zug or Schulz-Hype . After the SPD, shortly after Schulz's election as federal chairman and candidate for chancellor, successively lost the state elections in Saarland , Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia, which had previously been considered promising , at least one serious impairment of this phenomenon was found.
Personal consequences for the SPD and the Greens in NRW
The election results had personal consequences for the losers, the SPD and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen : Prime Minister Hannelore Kraft announced her immediate resignation as state chairman and deputy federal chairwoman of the SPD just a few minutes after the polling stations had closed and the first predictions were made Follow back from the public. On May 19, the SPD state executive nominated the previous building minister Michael Groschek as her successor . The day before, the Secretary General of the NRW SPD André Stinka had announced his resignation. The previous Minister of Science Svenja Schulze took over his office . The social democratic parliamentary group leader Norbert Römer , who was controversial after the defeat , was provisionally confirmed in office on May 30th.
The green top candidate Sylvia Löhrmann also announced on election evening that she would no longer take on political office. On May 18, she announced that she was renouncing her mandate in the state parliament. Two days after the election, the Green parliamentary group leader Mehrdad Mostofizadeh also announced that he would not seek another term of office.
Formation of a black-yellow coalition under Armin Laschet
On the evening of the election, based on the election results, both a black-yellow coalition (with only one vote in the state parliament) and a large coalition led by the CDU were initially considered possible. However, the SPD's state executive rejected a grand coalition the day after the election. The CDU top candidate Armin Laschet had announced shortly before that he wanted to speak to the SPD, Greens and FDP. Ultimately, however, only the CDU and FDP agreed on talks.
After the boards of both state parties had unanimously approved the start of coalition negotiations on May 22nd, the coalition round met for the first time on May 23rd in the Düsseldorf Youth Hostel . Another venue for the negotiations was the “Startplatz Düsseldorf” coworking space. After the negotiations were successfully concluded in mid-June 2017, the top representatives of the CDU and FDP submitted the negotiated coalition agreement to their parties for a vote. In an online membership decision by the NRW-FDP, 97 percent approved the coalition agreement. At a state party convention of the CDU in Neuss , 100 percent of the delegates voted unanimously in favor of the government agreement. As a result, twelve representatives of the party leaders, including the chairmen Christian Lindner and Armin Laschet , signed the coalition agreement on June 26 in Düsseldorf-Oberkassel on the banks of the Rhine.
On June 27, 2017, Laschet was elected Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia with 100 votes in the coalition in the state parliament . On June 30th, the ministers of his cabinet were appointed and sworn in.
- Graphics and results from the regional returning officer
- State election of North Rhine-Westphalia 2017 on the information portal on political education
- Final result , State Returning Officer North Rhine-Westphalia
- MIK NRW: Postal election Landtag election. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on April 28, 2017 ; accessed on April 27, 2017 (English). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Art. 34 ff. Atrecht.nrw.de
- Art. 31 atrecht.nrw.de
- Press release of the Ministry of the Interior and Municipalities ( Memento of the original from May 18, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Final result for North Rhine-Westphalia ( Memento of the original from December 17, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. The State Returning Officer, Ministry of the Interior and Municipalities of North Rhine-Westphalia
- - ( Memento of the original from January 12, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Statistical overview of the regional returning officer ( memento of the original from April 19, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Archived copy ( memento of the original from April 6, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Announcement of the approved state lists
- FAQ: About the candidate check. Westdeutscher Rundfunk , April 18, 2017, accessed on April 23, 2017 .
- Your choice - the WDR candidate check. Westdeutscher Rundfunk , 2017, accessed on April 23, 2017 .
- Grimme Online Award 2017: Your choice - the WDR candidate check. Grimme Online Award , 2017, accessed July 4, 2017 .
- cf. Imprint Wahl-O-Mat NRW 2017
- Helga Hochwind: CDU and Wahl-O-Mat: You shouldn't fool. Spiegel Online, September 23, 2009
- The NRW Plan. Speed dial program 2017–2022
- Parties argue about the state of North Rhine-Westphalia on faz.net, from April 25, 2017. Retrieved on May 1, 2017
- NRW election 2017 - This is in the CDU election program on rp-online.de. Retrieved May 1, 2017
- Listen. Decide. Act. Government program of the CDU for North Rhine-Westphalia 2017–2022 - 39th state party conference resolves election program on cdu-nrw.de, from April 3, 2017. Accessed on May 1, 2017
- Abbreviated dialing program Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen
- Wahlrecht.de : Election polls on the state election in North Rhine-Westphalia .
- Neue Westfälische: Reversed list position: FDP politician Martina Hannen accepts mandate , message from May 29, 2017
- Seda Hagemann: Candidates swapped: A breakdown at FDP costs Lipper Christian Sauter's seat in the state parliament , LZ.de from May 1, 2017
- Spiegel Online: FDP swapped candidates on state list , message from May 15, 2017
- WAZ.de: Breakdown: Cities have tens of thousands of ballot papers reprinted , message from April 13, 2017
- WAZ.de: Layout glitch with ballot papers is expensive for the city of Essen , message from April 22, 2017
- Clemens Boisserée: State Returning Officer has all constituencies checked , Rheinische Post Online on May 23, 2017
- Clemens Boisserée: AfD received 2,200 votes too few , Rheinische Post Online on May 24, 2017
- Police are investigating electoral fraud - AfD in North Rhine-Westphalia receives a lookup vote. In: welt.de. May 24, 2017. Retrieved May 24, 2017 .
- Election fraud in Mönchengladbach: investigations stopped , WDR.de on April 4, 2018.
- Donation affair: AfD threaten more than 100,000 euros fine. March 7, 2019, accessed on March 8, 2019 (German).
- FDP leader Lindner: Clear rejection of the Greens ( memento of October 9, 2017 in the Internet Archive ). In: wdr.de , October 9, 2016.
- Gerhard Voogt: Jamaica Coalition: NRW Greens exclude cooperation with FDP . In: ksta.de , April 25, 2017, accessed on April 29, 2017.
- Kraft categorically excludes red-red-green . In: tagesschau.de , May 10, 2017, accessed on May 10, 2017.
- After the election: Relentless analysis - clear stance , decision of the SPD state executive on the outcome of the election on May 15, 2017
- After the NRW debacle: SPD excludes grand coalition , welt.de, May 15, 2017
- Press comments on the NRW election - "Will Schulz still have something?". In: Spiegel Online . May 15, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
- Martin Schulz: "I warned about the Schulz hype from the start". In: Zeit Online . May 17, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
- Hannelore Kraft on the outcome of the election. Accessed May 14, 2017 on May 19, 2017
- SPD is about to take an inventory in North Rhine-Westphalia. WAZ from May 19, 2017
- State executive proposes Mike Groschek as the new chairman of the NRW-SPD. Accessed May 19, 2017 on May 21, 2017
- André Stinka resigns. Accessed May 18, 2017 on May 21, 2017
- SPD parliamentary group elects Norbert Römer as its chairman. Accessed May 30, 2017 on June 2, 2017
- Thank you for a committed election campaign. Accessed May 18, 2017 on May 19, 2017
- Green group leader Mostofizadeh resigns. General-Anzeiger from May 16, 2017, accessed on May 21, 2017
- Ticker of the Tagesspiegel from 14./15. May 2017 accessed on May 19, 2017
- After the election: Relentless analysis - clear stance , decision of the SPD state executive on the outcome of the election on May 15, 2017
- After the NRW debacle: SPD excludes grand coalition , welt.de, May 15, 2017
- Laschet wants to talk to the FDP, SPD and the Greens. Deutschlandfunk from May 15, 2017 , accessed on May 19, 2017
- CDU and FDP start talks to form a NRW government coalition. Accessed May 22, 2017 on May 24, 2017
- CDU NRW and FDP NRW: CDU and FDP start talks to form a NRW government coalition. Accessed May 22, 2017 on May 24, 2017
- North Rhine-Westphalia: CDU and FDP agree on coalition , tagesschau.de, June 13, 2017
- Unanimously for black-yellow coalition ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , heute.de, June 24, 2017
- Black and yellow coalition agreement sealed , wdr.de, June 26, 2017