The Federal Republic of Germany is a federal state with 16 Länder: Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thüringen. The parliaments of the individual Länder are called “Landtag“ in the thirteen non-city states, “Bürgerschaft“ in the city states of Hamburg and Bremen and “Abgeordnetenhaus” in Berlin.
Like the German Bundestag, the Länder parliaments are elected in general, direct, free, equal and secret elections. Basic principles such as the system of proportional representation and the five per cent clause also apply in the elections to Länder parliaments.
However, the details of the elections to the Länder parliaments differ considerably in some respects. They are laid down in the constitutions of the Länder and in the legislation and regulations governing elections to the Länder parliaments. For instance, the electoral term may be four or five years depending on the Land concerned. In contrast to the Bundestag, all Länder parliaments may dissolve themselves under certain circumstances. The electoral systems differ, too: Some Länder have a system of simple proportional representation with only one vote being cast. However, most of the Länder apply the principle of personalised proportional representation with voters deciding on a constituency candidate with their first vote and on a party list with their second vote. The weighing of direct constituency seats and seats obtained via the party list also differs. There are further differences in the way the five per cent clause works in detail, which in Bremen for instance is applied separately for the urban area of Bremen and that of Bremerhaven. In some Länder there also are exceptions for minorities, for example in Brandenburg for Sorbs and in Schleswig-Holstein for the “Südschleswigscher Wählerverband”.
There also are different procedures for allocating the seats. Niedersachsen, the Saarland, Sachsen and Schleswig-Holstein use the d'Hondt system, while Bayern, Berlin, Brandenburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Rheinland-Pfalz, Sachsen-Anhalt and Thüringen apply the Hare/Niemeyer system. The Sainte-Laguë/Schepers method to be employed at the next elections to the German Bundestag and the European Parliament is already used in Hamburg and Bremen and will be applied at the next elections to the Länder parliaments also in Baden-Württemberg and Nordrhein-Westfalen.
On the following pages you will find
• the results of the latest elections to the Länder parliaments and
• the dates of all elections to Länder parliaments since 1946.
As the Federal Returning Officer is responsible only for elections to the Bundestag and the European Parliament, these only are results at Land level. If you need more detailed results please contact the competent Land Returning Officers.©2012 The Federal Returning Officer