2019 Swiss federal election

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Federal elections are scheduled to be held in Switzerland on 20 October 2019 to elect all members of both houses of the Federal Assembly. They will be followed by the 2019 election of the Swiss Federal Council, the federal executive, by the United Federal Assembly.

Date[edit]

The elections for the National Council will be held nationally on 20 October 2019.

The cantons individually organise their elections for the Council of States, which all but one are to be held on 20 October 2019;[1] the exception is the election in Appenzell Innerrhoden which has already taken place on 28 April at the 2019 Landsgemeinde.[2] In some cantons, and depending on the result of the election on 20 October, a second round or runoff election may be required, typically during November 2019.

Electoral system[edit]

The 200 members of the National Council are elected from 26 constituencies, which are the 26 cantons. Six cantons are single-member constituencies in which seats are elected by first-past-the-post voting; the remaining 20 cantons each forms a multi-member constituency, in which members are elected by open list proportional representation; voters can cross out names on party lists, split their vote between parties (a system known as panachage) or draw up their own list on a blank ballot. Seats are allocated using the Hagenbach-Bischoff system.[3]

The number of National Council seats each canton has is reflective of their respective population (including foreigners resident) and compared to the 2015 elections, by virtue of the official populations recorded at the end of 2016, Bern and Lucerne have each lost a seat whilst Geneva and Vaud have each gained a seat. The least-populous cantons have just one seat in the National Council — in 2019 there are six such cantons, four of which are half-cantons.[4]

The rules regarding who can stand as a candidate and vote in elections to the National Council are uniform across the Confederation. Only Swiss citizens aged at least 18 can stand or vote and the citizens resident abroad can register to vote in the canton last resided in (or their canton of citizenship, otherwise) and be able to vote no matter how long since, or whether they ever have, lived in Switzerland.

The 46 members of the Council of States are elected in 20 two-seat constituencies (representing the 20 'full' cantons) and six single-member constituencies (representing the six half-cantons). Two 'full' cantons with small populations — Uri and Glarus — have therefore each two seats in the Council of States but only one seat each in the much larger National Council. In Jura and Neuchâtel the elections are held using proportional representation, whilst the other 24 use the majority system.[5]

As each canton regulates its election to the Council of States, the rules regarding who can stand as a candidate and vote in these elections varies canton-by-canton. Jura and Neuchâtel allow certain foreign residents to vote, whilst Glarus allows 16- and 17-year-olds the vote. Swiss citizens abroad registered to vote in a canton are permitted to vote in that canton's Council of States election only if the canton's law allows it. Schaffhausen has compulsory voting, though limited in implementation by way of only an insignificant fine.

Contesting parties[edit]

The table below lists parties represented in the 50th Federal Assembly.

Name Ideology Leader 2015 result
Votes (%) National Council Council of States
SVP / UDC Swiss People's Party National conservatism
Right-wing populism
Albert Rösti 29.4%
65 / 200
5 / 46
SP / PS Social Democratic Party Social democracy
Democratic socialism
Christian Levrat 18.8%
43 / 200
12 / 46
FDP / PLR FDP.The Liberals Liberalism
Conservative liberalism
Petra Gössi 16.4%
33 / 200
13 / 46
CVP / PDC Christian Democratic People's Party Christian democracy
Social conservatism
Gerhard Pfister 11.6%
27 / 200
13 / 46
GPS / PES Green Party Green politics
Progressivism
Regula Rytz 7.1%
11 / 200
1 / 46
GLP / PVL Green Liberal Party Green liberalism
Social liberalism
Jürg Grossen 4.6%
7 / 200
0 / 46
BDP / PBD Conservative Democratic Party Liberal conservatism Martin Landolt 4.1%
7 / 200
1 / 46
EVP / PEV Evangelical People's Party Christian democracy
Social conservatism
Marianne Streiff 1.9%
2 / 200
0 / 46
Lega Ticino League Regionalism
Right-wing populism
Attilio Bignasca 1.0%
2 / 200
0 / 46
PdA / PST Swiss Party of Labour Communism Gavriel Pinson 0.4%
1 / 200
0 / 46
MCG Geneva Citizens' Movement Regionalism
Right-wing populism
Francisco Valentin 0.3%
1 / 200
0 / 46

Other parties contesting in at least three cantons are:

Opinion polls[edit]

Graphical summary[edit]

The chart below depicts opinion polls conducted for the 2019 Swiss federal election; trendlines are local regressions (LOESS).

Opinion polling for the 2019 Swiss federal election.svg

Vote share[edit]

Polling firm Fieldwork date Sample
size
SVP/
UDC
SP/
PS
FDP/
PLR
CVP/
PDC
GPS/
PES
GLP/
PVL
BDP/
PBD
EVP/
PEV
Others Lead
Gallup 5 Sep–4 Oct 2019 2,065 26.9 18.5 15.9 10.5 10.5 7.4 3.1 7.2 8.4
Sotomo 26 Sep–2 Oct 2019 12,107 27.3 18.2 15.2 10.6 10.7 7.3 2.8 1.8 5.8 9.1
LeeWas 23–24 Sep 2019 20,515 27.9 18.0 15.6 10.4 10.2 7.2 3.2 7.4 9.9
Sotomo 19–25 Aug 2019 17,128 26.8 18.7 16.7 10.2 10.5 6.9 2.6 1.6 6.0 8.1
Sotomo 17–27 May 2019 10,388 26.5 19.1 16.2 10.6 10.1 6.4 2.9 1.8 6.4 7.4
LeeWas 22–23 May 2019 19,018 28.9 17.6 15.5 10.3 9.9 6.9 3.3 7.6 11.3
LeeWas 18–20 Feb 2019 22,326 29.2 18.4 15.9 9.9 9.6 6.7 3.9 6.4 10.8
Sotomo 1–7 Feb 2019 12,085 27.0 17.4 17.4 11.3 9.5 6.4 3.3 1.7 6.0 9.6
LeeWas 24–25 Sep 2018 19,412 29.7 17.9 17.0 9.9 7.1 5.7 4.0 8.7 11.8
gfs.bern 7–19 Sep 2018 27,105 28.0 18.7 17.3 11.0 9.1 5.9 2.0 1.9 6.1 9.3
Sotomo 13–18 Sep 2018 14,985 27.4 19.3 17.7 10.1 8.7 5.7 3.2 2.0 5.9 8.1
LeeWas 21–22 Jun 2018 14,851 29.2 18.0 16.4 10.0 7.2 5.7 4.7 8.8 11.2
LeeWas 4–5 Jan 2018 20,422 30.8 18.7 16.4 9.1 7.4 6.1 3.7 7.8 12.1
Sotomo 28 Sep–2 Oct 2017 14,063 28.7 17.7 17.1 10.9 8.1 5.4 3.4 8.6 11.0
gfs.bern 19 Feb–23 Mar 2017 1,210 28.3 20.3 17.3 10.7 8.8 4.9 3.0 6.7 8.0
gfs.bern 5 Sep–8 Oct 2016 972 29.9 18.7 16.7 10.5 7.6 5.6 3.5 7.5 11.2
OpinionPlus 29 Apr–4 May 2016 809 30.8 17.8 16.8 10.6 6.6 5.4 4.6 7.4 13.0
2015 election 18 Oct 2015 29.4 18.8 16.4 11.6 7.1 4.6 4.1 1.9 6.0 10.5

References[edit]

  1. ^ Swiss Confederation Council of States elections
  2. ^ SwissInfo
  3. ^ Electoral system IPU
  4. ^ Swiss Confederation How many seats does each canton have in Parliament
  5. ^ Electoral system IPU

External links[edit]