Press release no. 32/2014 of September 18, 2014

Highest share of postal voters ever at 25.3 %

WIESBADEN/BERLIN – In the 2014 European Election, 25.3 % of voters cast their votes by postal ballot. Their share was 6.9 percentage points higher than in the 2009 European Election and 1.0 percentage points above the result of the 2013 Bundestag Election. “The trend towards postal voting is increasing. The percentage of postal voters reached an all-time high in the 2014 European Election,” said Roderich Egeler, Federal Returning Officer and President of the Federal Statistical Office at a press conference in Berlin where he also presented results of ‘representative electoral statistics’. In particular, some postal voting rates are markedly lower in the new Länder than in the Länder of the former territory of the Federal Republic - they range from 16.4 % in Sachsen-Anhalt to 39.4 % in Rheinland-Pfalz.

At the press conference Roderich Egeler presented further results relating to voting behaviour. An analysis of the voter turnout shows that the difference between younger and older voters is growing continuously. The turnout of young and first-time voters between 18 and 24 years was 36.8 % or 12.4 percentage points below the average for all of Germany. By contrast, the participation of people from the age of 70 in the European Election was above average at 56.8 %. Compared with the Bundestag Election (13.1 percentage points), the difference between the two age groups was even larger at 19.9 percentage points. In addition to that, the percentage share of older persons entitled to vote is increasing continuously on account of the demographic development, so older voters have a growing influence on the outcome of elections.

The CDU continues to be a political party preferred by women. It won a larger share of the votes cast by women (31.9 %) than men (28.0 %). The same holds true for the GRÜNE. They obtained 12.3 % of women’s votes and only 9.0 % of men’s. In contrast, the PIRATEN (men 1.8%, women 0.8 %) and especially the AfD (men 9.1 %, women 5.1 %) were more popular with men.

CDU and SPD scored well especially among older voters. The CDU secured the highest percentage of votes (39.1 %) from voters aged 70 and over. The SPD obtained its highest share of votes (32.3 %) from voters between 60 and 69 years. In contrast, the GRÜNE and the PIRATEN got more support from the younger electorate.

The PIRATEN are a municipal party. A regional comparison shows that the PIRATEN managed to secure above-average percentages of the vote in the city states and in towns not attached to administrative districts. Among the city states, Bremen was top of the list, with 8.8 % of the votes cast by 18 to 24-year-old male voters going to the PIRATEN. The FREIE WÄHLER obtained votes especially in the South of Germany. The AfD secured their votes predominantly in the eastern and southern parts of Germany.

These and other results of representative electoral statistics, as well as comprehensive tables and charts, are contained in the German-language publication of the Federal Returning Officer entitled ‘Wahlbeteiligung und Stimmabgabe der Männer und Frauen nach Altersgruppen (Electoral participation of and votes cast by men and women by age groups)’, number 4 of the series on the 2014 European Election. It may be downloaded in pdf format on the website of the Federal Returning Officer at: → European Parliament election 2014 → Publications.

The publication may also be obtained directly from the Publication Service of the Federal Statistical Office at a price of 18 euros (

The data may be downloaded in csv format at: → European Parliament election 2014 → Results → Representative electoral statistics

The statement of the Federal Returning Officer and all press conference documents are available at → Presse → Pressekonferenzen.


For further information:
Office of the Federal Returning Officer
tel: +49 611 75-4863