North Rhine-Westphalia state election, 2012

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North Rhine-Westphalia state election, 2012[1][2]
North Rhine-Westphalia
2010 ←
13 May 2012
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All 237 seats of the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia
119 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 59.6%
  First party Second party Third party
  Hannelorekraft.jpg Röttgen-800.jpg Sylvia Löhrmann.jpg
Leader Hannelore Kraft Norbert Röttgen Sylvia Löhrmann
Party SPD CDU Green
Last election 67 seats, 34.5% 67 seats, 34.6% 23 seats, 12.1%
Seats before 67 67 23
Seats won 99 67 29
Seat change Increase32 Steady Increase6
Popular vote 3,050,160 2,050,633 884,136
Percentage 39.1% 26.3% 11.3%
Swing Increase4.6% Decrease8.3% Decrease0.8%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Joachim Paul.jpg K Schwabedissen.jpg
Leader Christian Lindner Joachim Paul Katharina Schwabedissen
Party FDP Pirates Left
Last election 13 seats, 6.7% 0 seats, 1.6% 11 seats, 5.6%
Seats before 13 0 11
Seats won 22 20 0
Seat change Increase9 Increase20 Decrease11
Popular vote 669,971 608,957 194,539
Percentage 8.6% 7.8% 2.5%
Swing Increase1.9% Increase6.2% Decrease3.1%

Wahlkreise NRW 2012 1st vote majorities.svg

First votes in the electoral districts.
  CDU
  SPD

Minister-President before election

Hannelore Kraft
SPD

Minister-President designate

Hannelore Kraft
SPD

The North Rhine-Westphalia state election, 2012 was a snap election held on 13 May 2012, to elect members to the Landtag of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, after the former Landtag was dissolved on 14 March 2012. The red-green minority government led by Minister-President Hannelore Kraft was returned with a 19 seat majority and were able to continue governing the state.

The opposition consisted of the CDU, led by Norbert Röttgen since 2010, the FDP and The Left.

Background[edit]

Germany's largest state has often been described as a bellwether in recent years.[3][4] The Social Democrats led the state's governments continuously from 1966 until a CDU-FDP coalition took control in the 2005 election. The defeat in the 2005 election led to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder calling early federal elections, which he lost.

The Red-Green coalition formed a minority government with Hannelore Kraft as Minister President after emerging one seat short of a governing majority in the previous election.[5] The Landtag was dissolved after the government failed to pass the budget on 14 March 2012.[5][6] All 3 opposition parties voted against the budget.[6] The coalition were expecting the Free Democrats to abstain from voting on the budget and this would have allowed the Red-Green coalition to continue governing.[7]

Campaign and issues[edit]

The Social Democratic Party and Green Party campaigned for a majority and were predicted to gain seats in the polls. The SPD won a landslide of constituencies, winning 99 seats to the CDU's 29 - more than the 72/181 seats they would be entitled to under the mixed member proportional representation system. The Landtag was increased from 181 to 237 seats to accommodate the "overhang".

The Christian Democratic Union nominated Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen to lead their campaign in North Rhine-Westphalia. However, Röttgen was criticised for not explaining whether he intended to stay in federal politics or continue to lead the party on a state level if he lost, and opinion polls showed that voters preferred Kraft as a Minister-President by a wide margin. The CDU made tackling the state's €230bn debt a key issue, including using a giant inflatable "debt mountain" as a prop.[8]

The Free Democratic Party had fallen below the 5% threshold in six state elections since the 2009 federal election, but had managed to win 8% of the vote in Schleswig-Holstein a week before. In North-Rhine Westphalia, the FDP increased their share of the vote for the first time since 2009. This was attributed to the leadership of Christian Lindner.[9]

The Pirate Party, running on a loose platform of Internet freedom and grassroots democracy, won seats in its fourth consecutive state election.

The Left Party, which had won seats in the Landtag for the first time in 2010, lost half its votes and all of its seats.

Polls[edit]

Opinion polls[edit]

The following opinion polls have been conducted during the campaign:

Pollster Date CDU SPD Greens FDP The Left Pirates Others
INFO GmbH 11.05.2012 33% 38% 11% 5% 4% 8% 1%
YouGov 07.05.2012 31% 37% 11% 5% 4% 9% 3%
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 04.05.2012 31% 38% 11% 6% 3% 8% 3%
Infratest dimap 03.05.2012 30% 38,5% 11% 6% 4% 7,5% 3%
YouGov 03.05.2012 31% 36% 11% 5% 4% 10% 3%
Forsa 02.05.2012 32% 37% 10% 5% 3% 10% 3%
Emnid 27.04.2012 32% 38% 10% 5% 4% 9% 2%
Infratest dimap 22.04.2012 31% 39% 11% 4% 3% 9% 3%
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 20.04.2012 34% 37% 11% 4% 3% 8% 3%
YouGov 18.04.2012 32% 36% 13% 4% 4% 8% 3%
INFO GmbH 14.04.2012 29% 40% 10% 3% 3% 11% 3%
Infratest dimap 25.03.2012 32% 40% 12% 4% 3% 5% 4%
Forsa 21.03.2012 33% 39% 11% 4% 4% 6% 3%
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 15.03.2012 34% 37% 13% 2% 4% 6% 4%
Infratest dimap 14.03.2012 34% 38% 14% 2% 4% 5% 3%
YouGov 14.03.2012 33% 33% 17% 2% 5% 7% 3%
Infratest dimap 26.02.2012 35% 35% 17% 2% 3% 5% 3%
YouGov 08.02.2012 33% 31% 15% 3% 6% 7% 5%
YouGov 19.01.2012 31% 33% 17% 3% 5% 8% 3%

Seat forecast[edit]

Analysts on election.de forecast the proportion of the 128 first-past-the-post seats (the other 109 being elected using party lists) after the next election. These seats traditionally have been held by either CDU or SPD.

Institut Datum CDU SPD
election.de[10] 12.05.2012 39 89
election.de[11] 05.05.2012 38 90
election.de[12] 28.04.2012 41 87
election.de[13] 21.04.2012 54 74
election.de[14] 14.04.2012 39 89
election.de[15] 7.04.2012 46 82

Minister-President preference[edit]

Some pollsters also included the question on locals preference on the next Minister-President:

Pollster Date Hannelore Kraft (SPD) Norbert Röttgen (CDU)
INFO GmbH[16] 11.05.2012 53% 22%
YouGov[17] 07.05.2012 46% 19%
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen[18] 04.05.2012 63% 27%
Infratest dimap[19] 03.05.2012 58% 26%
Forsa[20] 02.05.2012 56% 25%
Infratest dimap[21] 22.04.2012 58% 30%
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen[22] 20.04.2012 55% 32%
INFO GmbH 14.04.2012 49% 21%
Infratest dimap[23] 25.03.2012 57% 28%
Forsa[24] 21.03.2012 56% 26%
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen[25] 15.03.2012 54% 30%
Infratest dimap[23] 14.03.2012 57% 26%
YouGov[26] 14.03.2012 42% 21%
Infratest dimap[23] 26.02.2012 51% 29%
YouGov 19.01.2012 36% 17%

Results[edit]

e • d Summary of the 13 May 2012 Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia elections results
< 2010  Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia.svg  Next >
Party Popular vote Seats
Votes % +/– Seats +/–
Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands - SPD
3,050,160 39.1% Increase4.6% 99 Increase32
Christian Democratic Union
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands - CDU
2,050,633 26.3% Decrease8.3% 67 Steady
Alliance '90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
884,136 11.3% Decrease0.8% 29 Increase6
Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei – FDP
669,971 8.6% Increase1.9% 22 Increase9
Pirate Party Germany
Piratenpartei Deutschland
608,957 7.8% Increase6.2% 20 Increase20
Left
Die Linke
194,239 2.5% Decrease3.1% 0 Decrease11
Other parties 335,730 4.4% Increase0.9% 0 Steady
Valid votes 7,794,126 98.6% Steady
Invalid votes 107,796 1.4% Steady
Totals and voter turnout 7,901,922 59.6% Increase0.3% 237 Increase56
Electorate 13,264,231 100.00
Source: Die Landeswahlleiterin des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.wahlergebnisse.nrw.de/landtagswahlen/2012/aktuell/dateien/a000lw1200.html
  2. ^ http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/wahlergebnisse-landtagswahl-nordrhein-westfalen-2012-a-829466.html
  3. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/world/merkels-austerity-push-rejected-in-bellwether-state-20120514-1ym1f.html
  4. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/may/13/eu-leaders-showdown-eurozone-crisis
  5. ^ a b "Biggest German state heads for early election". The Local. 14 March 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  6. ^ a b von Hellfeld, Matthias (15 March 2012). "Budget bungle forces snap state election". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "North Rhine-Westphalia Faces Snap Election". Spiegel Online. 14 March 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  8. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/angela-merkel-prepares-for-an-austerity-backlash-as-key-state-goes-to-the-polls-7734727.html
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "Wahlkreisprognose LTW Nordrhein-Westfalen - Stand 12.05.2012" (in German). election.de, Matthias Moehl. Retrieved 2012-05-12. 
  11. ^ "Wahlkreisprognose LTW Nordrhein-Westfalen - Stand 05.05.2012" (in German). election.de, Matthias Moehl. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  12. ^ "Wahlkreisprognose LTW Nordrhein-Westfalen - Stand 28.04.2012" (in German). election.de, Matthias Moehl. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  13. ^ "Wahlkreisprognose LTW Nordrhein-Westfalen - Stand 21.04.2012" (in German). election.de, Matthias Moehl. Retrieved 2012-04-22. 
  14. ^ "Wahlkreisprognose LTW Nordrhein-Westfalen - Stand 14.04.2012" (in German). election.de, Matthias Moehl. Retrieved 2012-04-22. 
  15. ^ "Wahlkreisprognose LTW Nordrhein-Westfalen - Stand 07.04.2012" (in German). election.de, Matthias Moehl. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  16. ^ Dietmar Neuerer (2012-05-10). "Handelsblatt-Umfrage: NRW-Wähler lassen Röttgen fallen" (in German). Handelsblatt. Retrieved 2012-05-13.  Umfrage des Meinungsforschungsinstituts Info im Auftrag von Handelsblatt Online
  17. ^ "Neue Umfrage: Liberale auch in NRW drin" (in German). BILD. 2012-05-07. Retrieved 2012-05-07.  Repräsentative Umfrage des Instituts YouGov im Auftrag der "Bild-Zeitung"
  18. ^ "Knappe Mehrheit für Rot-Grün – FDP bei sechs Prozent" (in German). ZDF. 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2012-05-04.  Repräsentative Umfrage des Instituts Forschungsgruppe Wahlen im Auftrag des ZDF
  19. ^ "ARD DeutschlandTrend: Rot-Grün bleibt in NRW klar vorn" (in German). ARD. 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2012-05-03.  Repräsentative Umfrage des Instituts Infratest dimap im Auftrag der ARD
  20. ^ "Es wird knapp für Rot-Grün in NRW" (in German). Forsa. 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2012-05-02.  Repräsentative Umfrage des Instituts Forsa im Auftrag des Stern
  21. ^ "LänderTrend. Nordrhein-WestfalenTREND April 2012" (in German). Gesellschaft für Trend- und Wahlforschung. 2012-04-22. Retrieved 2012-04-23.  Repräsentative Umfrage des Instituts Infratest dimap im Auftrag des WDR für WESTPOL
  22. ^ "NRW: Mehrheit für Rot-Grün" (in German). ZDF. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-04-20.  Repräsentative Umfrage des Instituts Forschungsgruppe Wahlen im Auftrag des ZDF
  23. ^ a b c "Deutliche Verschiebungen in der politischen Stimmung" (in German). ARD. 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2012-03-25.  Repräsentative Umfrage des Instituts Infratest dimap im Auftrag der ARD
  24. ^ "Kraft ist deutlich beliebter als Röttgen" (in German). Stern. 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2012-03-21.  Repräsentative Umfrage des Instituts Forsa im Auftrag von Stern/RTL
  25. ^ "Klare Mehrheit für Rot-Grün" (in German). ZDF. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-03-16.  Repräsentative Umfrage des Instituts Forschungsgruppe Wahlen im Auftrag des ZDF
  26. ^ "CDU und SPD in NRW gleichauf" (in German). Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-03-14.  Repräsentative Umfrage des Instituts YouGov im Auftrag von Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger und Sat 1/NRW