Elections to the Länder parliaments
The Federal Republic of Germany is a federal state consisting of 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 Länder have different names. They are called “Landtag” in the thirteen non-city states, “Bürgerschaft” in the city states of Hamburg and Bremen, and “Abgeordnetenhaus” in Berlin.
The constitutions of the individual Länder provide the framework for shaping electoral legislation at Land level. As long as the electoral principles are observed (elections have to be general, direct, free, equal and secret), the Länder may determine their election procedures and electoral systems by individual Land election acts and Land electoral regulations.
It is a common feature of election legislation, for example, that both Bundestag elections and the elections to all of the Länder parliaments are based on the principle of proportional representation. In most Länder, proportional representation is combined with a candidate-centred election. Voters elect a constituency candidate with their first votes and a party list with their second votes.
There are differences for instance in the length of the electoral term, which covers five years in all Länder except Bremen. The age at which people are entitled to vote or run for election also differs in some Länder.
The seats are allocated on the basis of different procedures. Some Länder use the highest average method of d’Hondt, others the Hare/Niemeyer system. The Sainte-Laguë/Schepers procedure applied in Bundestag and European elections is used also in Baden-Württemberg, Bremen, Hamburg, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz, and Schleswig-Holstein.
Results and election dates
On the following pages you will find
- the results of the latest elections to the Länder parliaments and
- the dates of all elections to the Länder parliaments since 1946.