Präsident des Statistischen Bundesamtes
Press release - September 13, 2005
Regarding the calculation and announcement of the provisional result of the elections to the 16th German Bundestag, the Federal Returning Officer points to the following:
- Notwithstanding the by-election that has become necessary in constituency 160 (Dresden I) according to Article 43 Paragraph 1 No. 2 of the Federal Electoral Law and that has been scheduled for 2 October 2005, I will calculate and announce on 18 September this year, after the polling stations will have closed, the provisional result of the Bundestag elections in the electoral area, as far as it will have been possible to calculate, on the basis of the rapid reports of the Land Returning Officers.
- That provisional election result will contain only the result for 298 constituencies.
- It must remain open which constituency candidate has obtained the simple majority of valid first votes in constituency 160, so that I can include in the election result only 298 constituency candidates provisionally elected.
- Also, to calculate the provisional election result, I will take as a basis only the second votes cast in the 298 constituencies in which the main election will have taken place. Thus I will not follow the procedure applied in the 1965 Bundestag elections, where also by-elections had become necessary in two constituencies; in that case, calculating the result on the day of the main election in those two constituencies in that case was based on the results of the second votes cast there in the preceding Bundestag elections of 1961.The reason is the following: The provisional election result, too, must be based on analysing the voters’ will expressed by votes actually cast. Assumptions regarding the possible voting behaviour in a constituency in which a by-election is still to be held, for example by using previous election results, current election results of neighbouring constituencies or a current “average” election result of the other constituencies of the Land concerned, would – at least temporarily – add an external decision to the democratic electoral decision to be made only by the electorate; such an external decision could not claim to provide any concrete guarantee of correctness. Furthermore, in the last Bundestag elections in 2002, the party whose candidate was elected in constituency 160 obtained an overhang mandate in the Free State of Saxony. Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that, in the coming Bundestag elections, the party whose direct candidate will have been elected in constituency 160 will again obtain one or more overhang mandates in the Free State of Saxony. The latter will depend, among other things, on that party’s result of second votes in constituency 160 and in the other 16 constituencies of the Free State of Saxony. Therefore, assumptions regarding the result of second votes in constituency 160 could lead to premature conclusions regarding overhang mandates in the Free State of Saxony and place unnecessary imponderables on the provisional election result.
- When calculating the provisional election result, I will therefore use the provisional result of second votes from the 298 constituencies in which the main election will have taken place to allocate the 598 mandates in accordance with Article 6 Paragraph 2 of the Federal Electoral Law (Niemeyer calculation method). Apart from exceptional cases where an independent constituency candidate has been elected or where constituency candidates of a party have been elected which has not surpassed the threshold according to the restrictive clause (Article 6 Paragraph 1 Sentence 3 of the Federal Electoral Law), it is laid down in federal electoral law that all Bundestag mandates (598) must be allocated according to the relation of the second votes. This also applies if a by-election is still to be held. Therefore the provisional election result will show 298 constituency mandates and 300 list mandates unless there are overhang mandates to be allocated.When the by-election will have been held in constituency 160 and if a constituency candidate will have been elected there who belongs to a party that has surpassed the threshold of the restrictive clause, that is of a party that participates in the distribution of list mandates, that constituency mandate will have to be subtracted from the list mandates of that party in the Free State of Saxony. Therefore, in the provisional election result, the last list places of the parties in the Free State of Saxony that will have been included in the distribution of mandates will be subject to special uncertainty.
Also, it cannot be ruled out that the result of the by-election in constituency 160 on 2 October this year may have an impact on the last list places that will have been included in the distribution of mandates in other Länder.
For further information please contact:
tel: (0611) 75-2345,