2021 Baden-Württemberg state election

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2021 Baden-Württemberg state election

← 2016 14 March 2021

All 154 seats in the Landtag of Baden-Württemberg (including 34 overhang and leveling seats)
78 seats needed for a majority
Turnout4,895,238 (63.8%)
Decrease 6.6%
  First party Second party Third party
  Winfried Kretschmann 2012 (cropped).jpg
KDB3460.jpg
Andreas-stoch-mdl-bw.png
Candidate Winfried Kretschmann Susanne Eisenmann Andreas Stoch
Party Green CDU SPD
Leader's seat Nürtingen (1st) ran in Stuttgart II
(not elected)
Heidenheim (2nd)
Last election 47 seats, 30.3% 42 seats, 27.0% 19 seats, 12.7%
Seats won 58 42 19
Seat change Increase 11 Steady Steady
Popular vote 1,585,903 1,168,745 535,462
Percentage 32.6% 24.1% 11.0%
Swing Increase 2.3% Decrease 2.9% Decrease 1.7%

  Fourth party Fifth party
  Rülke.JPG Goegel-4707.jpg
Candidate Hans-Ulrich Rülke Bernd Gögel
Party FDP AfD
Leader's seat Pforzheim (2nd) Enz (2nd)
Last election 12 seats, 8.3% 23 seats, 15.1%
Seats won 18 17
Seat change Increase 6 Decrease 6
Popular vote 508,278 473,309
Percentage 10.5% 9.7%
Swing Increase 2.2% Decrease 5.4%

Winners of each constituency
Winning candidates in the single-member constituencies, with second mandate seats shown in the top right.

Government before election

Second Kretschmann cabinet
GreenCDU

Government after election

Third Kretschmann cabinet
GreenCDU

The 2021 Baden-Württemberg state election was held on 14 March 2021 to elect the 17th Landtag of Baden-Württemberg.[1] The outgoing government was a coalition of Alliance 90/The Greens and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) led by Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann.

The Greens remained the largest party with 32.6% of votes, an increase of two percentage points. Their junior coalition partner, the CDU, suffered its worst result in state history, falling to 24%. The opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD) also recorded a decline, but rose from fourth to third place. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) made small gains. Alternative for Germany (AfD) lost more than a third of their vote share and became the smallest party in the Landtag.[2]

The CDU and SPD each recorded no net change in seats thanks to an increase in the size of the Landtag caused by a number of overhang seats won by the Greens. Overall, the governing coalition was returned with an increased majority, but an alternative coalition between the Greens, SPD, and FDP also won a majority; the Greens and SPD together fell one seat short of a majority.[3] On 2 April, the Greens voted to enter negotiations with the CDU.[4] The two parties finalised a coalition agreement on 1 May.[5] Kretschmann was re-elected as Minister-President on 12 May.[6]

Election date[edit]

The period of the 16th Landtag formally ends on 30 April 2021. The election of the 17th Landtag must take place before this date. On 24 March 2020, the state government designated 14 March 2021 as the date for the next election, in accordance with Section 19 of the State Parliament Election Act.[1] A state election was held on the same day in neighbouring state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

Electoral system[edit]

The Landtag is elected via mixed-member proportional representation. 70 members are elected in single-member constituencies via first-past-the-post voting. 50 members are then allocated using compensatory proportional representation, distributed in each of Baden-Württemberg's four government districts. Unlike other states, Baden-Württemberg does not use party lists to fill proportional seats; instead, they are filled by the best-performing candidates who failed to be elected in the single-member constituencies. Candidates elected in this manner are listed as winning a "second mandate" (Zweitmandat) in the constituency in which they ran. The minimum size of the Landtag is 120 members, but if overhang seats are present, proportional leveling seats will be added to ensure proportionality. An electoral threshold of 5% of valid votes is applied to the Landtag; parties that fall below this threshold are excluded.[1]

Background[edit]

In the previous election held on 13 March 2016, The Greens became the largest party for the first time in any German state, winning 30.3% of votes cast. The CDU lost 12 percentage points, falling to second place on 27.0%. Alternative for Germany contested their first state election in Baden-Württemberg, placing third with 15.1%. The Social Democratic Party (SPD) lost almost half its voteshare and finished with 12.7%. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) won 8.3%.

The Greens had led a coalition with the SPD since 2011, but this government lost its majority in the election. The Greens subsequently formed a coalition with the CDU, which took office as Cabinet Kretschmann II.

Parties[edit]

The table below lists the parties represented in the 16th Landtag.

# Name Ideology Lead
candidate
2016 result
Votes (%) Seats
1 Grüne Alliance 90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Green politics Winfried Kretschmann 30.3%
47 / 143
2 CDU Christian Democratic Union of Germany
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands
Christian democracy Susanne Eisenmann 27.0%
42 / 143
3 AfD Alternative for Germany
Alternative für Deutschland
Right-wing populism Bernd Gögel 15.1%
23 / 143
4 SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands
Social democracy Andreas Stoch 12.7%
19 / 143
5 FDP Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei
Classical liberalism Hans-Ulrich Rülke 8.3%
12 / 143

In addition to the parties already represented in the Landtag, sixteen other parties contested the election:[7]

# Name Candidates
6 The Left (LINKE) 70
7 Ecological Democratic Party/Family and Environment (ÖDP) 67
8 Pirate Party Germany (Piraten) 4
9 Die PARTEI (PARTEI) 52
10 FREE VOTERS (Freie Wähler) 69
11 Humane World (Menschliche Welt) 2
12 Alliance C – Christians for Germany (Bündnis C) 9
13 German Communist Party (DKP) 1
14 dieBasis – Grassroots Democratic Party of Germany (DieBasis) 60
15 Democracy in Motion (DiB) 3
16 One for All – Party 1
17 Climate List Baden-Württemberg (KlimalisteBW) 67
18 Party of Humanists (PdH) 3
19 Party for Health Research (Gesundheitsforschung) 2
20 Party WIR2020 (W2020) 68
21 Volt Deutschland (Volt) 44

Campaign[edit]

Lead candidates[edit]

On 29 May 2019, state Minister for Education, Youth, and Sports Susanne Eisenmann was confirmed as the CDU's lead candidate for the election.[8]

On 12 September 2019, Winfried Kretschmann stated that he would stand as the lead candidate for The Greens in the 2021 election, seeking a third term as Minister-President.[9]

On 1 February 2020, state party leader Andreas Stoch was nominated as the SPD's lead candidate for the election.[10]

On 8 December 2019, the FDP state executive nominated Hans-Ulrich Rülke as their preferred lead candidate for the election. He was formally selected at a party conference in July 2020.[11] Rülke had served as leader of the FDP Landtag faction since 2009, and was the party's lead candidate in the 2016 election.[12]

In August 2020, AfD parliamentary group leader Bernd Gögel advocated against the selection of a lead candidate for the election. He stated that due to the party's position and the state's unusual electoral system, the lead candidate might fall short of election to the Landtag. "If the top candidate missed entry, that would be embarrassing."[13] In January 2021, Gögel defeated deputy parliamentary group leader Emil Sänze to become lead candidate after four rounds of voting in an online member survey.[14]

On 6 December 2020, The Left nominated state spokeswoman Sahra Mirow as their lead candidate for the election.[15]

Opinion polling[edit]

Graphical summary[edit]

Local regression of polls conducted.

Party polling[edit]

Polling firm Fieldwork date Sample
size
Grüne CDU AfD SPD FDP Linke Others Lead
2021 state election 14 Mar 2021 32.6 24.1 9.7 11.0 10.5 3.6 8.5 8.6
INSA 11–12 Mar 2021 1,066 32 23 13 11 11 4 6 9
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 8–11 Mar 2021 1,867 34 24 11 10 11 3 7 10
INSA 1–7 Mar 2021 1,558 32 25 12 10 11 3 7[a] 7
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 1–4 Mar 2021 1,032 35 24 11 10 10 3 7 11
Infratest dimap 1–3 Mar 2021 1,185 33 25 12 10 10 4 6 8
INSA 8–11 Feb 2021 1,009 31 28 11 11 10 4 5[b] 3
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 1–4 Feb 2021 1,032 34 28 11 10 9 3 5 6
Infratest dimap 1–2 Feb 2021 1,000 34 27 10 11 9 3 6 7
INSA 5–11 Jan 2021 1,010 30 30 12 12 8 4 4 Tie
Infratest dimap 14–16 Dec 2020 1,001 35 30 11 10 7 3 4 5
INSA 10–16 Nov 2020 1,001 29 31 12 11 7 5 5 2
Infratest dimap 8–13 Oct 2020 1,001 34 29 11 11 6 4 5 5
INSA 2–9 Sep 2020 1,000 28 31 12 12 7 5 5 3
Infratest dimap 27–28 Apr 2020 1,003 34 30 12 11 6 3 4 4
INSA 15–20 Apr 2020 1,523 29 31 11 13 7 4 5 2
Infratest dimap 5–10 Mar 2020 1,001 36 23 14 11 7 5 4 13
INSA 23–28 Oct 2019 1,036 30 27 13 11 9 4 6 3
Infratest dimap 16–17 Sep 2019 1,004 38 26 12 8 8 3 5 12
INSA 6–8 May 2019 1,040 28 27 12 11 10 6 6[c] 1
Infratest dimap 20–26 Mar 2019 1,002 32 28 11 12 9 4 4 4
INSA 7–12 Feb 2019 1,006 29 27 12 13 9 5 5 2
Forsa 29 Jan–1 Feb 2019 1,007 33 23 13 9 9 6 7 10
Infratest dimap 5–10 Sep 2018 1,003 29 28 15 11 7 7 3 1
INSA 1–6 Sep 2018 1,046 27 25 18 12 9 5 4 2
Forsa 8–22 Feb 2018 1,003 32 27 12 12 9 4 4 5
Infratest dimap 26–30 Jan 2018 1,003 29 29 12 12 8 6 4 Tie
Infratest dimap 3–7 Mar 2017 1,004 27 28 11 20 7 4 3 1
Infratest dimap 9–13 Sep 2016 1,001 31 26 17 13 7 3 3 5
2016 state election 13 Mar 2016 30.3 27.0 15.1 12.7 8.3 2.9 3.7 3.3

Minister-President polling[edit]

Polling firm Fieldwork date Sample
size
Winfried Kretschmann 2012 (cropped).jpg Thomas Strobl Portrait 2013.jpg
KDB3460.jpg
None/Unsure Lead
Kretschmann
Grüne
Strobl
CDU
Eisenmann
CDU
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 1–4 Mar 2021 1,032 70 11 19 59
Infratest dimap 1–3 Mar 2021 1,185 65 17 18 48
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 1–4 Feb 2021 1,032 70 13 17 57
Infratest dimap 1–2 Feb 2021 1,000 65 16 13 49
INSA 5–11 Jan 2021 1,010 52 12 23 40
Infratest dimap 8–13 Oct 2020 1,001 66 13 12 53
Infratest dimap 16–17 Sep 2019 1,004 69 13 9 56
Infratest dimap 20–26 Mar 2019 1,002 63 17 12 46
Forsa 29 Jan–1 Feb 2019 1,007 59 5 54
Infratest dimap 5–10 Sep 2018 1,003 67 14 10 53

Preferred coalition[edit]

Polling firm Fieldwork date Sample
size
Assessment Grüne
CDU
CDU
Grüne
CDU
SPD
FDP
Grüne
SPD
FDP
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 1–4 Mar 2021 1,032 Positive 49 34 25 28
Negative 27 40 51 46
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen Archived 2021-02-05 at the Wayback Machine 1–4 Feb 2021 1,032 Positive 44 39 30 26
Negative 32 37 48 51

Results[edit]

First mandates by constituency (Wahlkreis)
2021 Baden-Württemberg state election - composition chart.svg
Party Votes % Swing Seats +/–
1st 2nd Total
Alliance 90/The Greens (GRÜNE) 1,586,192 32.6 Increase 2.3 58 0 58 Increase 11
Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) 1,168,975 24.1 Decrease 2.9 12 30 42 Steady 0
Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) 535,489 11.0 Decrease 1.7 0 19 19 Steady 0
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 508,429 10.5 Increase 2.2 0 18 18 Increase 6
Alternative for Germany (AfD) 473,485 9.7 Decrease 5.4 0 17 17 Decrease 6
The Left (LINKE) 173,317 3.6 Increase 0.7 0 0 0 Steady 0
Free Voters (FW) 146,259 3.0 Increase 2.9 0 0 0 Steady 0
Die PARTEI 59,463 1.2 Increase 0.9 0 0 0 Steady 0
Grassroots Democratic Party of Germany 48,497 1.0 New 0 0 0 New
Climate List Baden-Württemberg 42,685 0.9 New 0 0 0 New
Party WIR2020 41,128 0.8 New 0 0 0 New
Ecological Democratic Party 37,819 0.8 Increase 0.1 0 0 0 Steady 0
Volt Germany 22,782 0.5 New 0 0 0 New
Alliance C – Christians for Germany 4,081 0.1 Increase 0.1 0 0 0 Steady 0
Pirate Party Germany 2,878 0.1 Decrease 0.3 0 0 0 Steady 0
Democracy in Motion 1,005 0.0 New 0 0 0 New
Party of Humanists 976 0.0 New 0 0 0 New
Humane World 975 0.0 Increase 0.0 0 0 0 Steady 0
Party for Health Research 468 0.0 New 0 0 0 New
One for All – Party 178 0.0 New 0 0 0 New
German Communist Party 107 0.0 Decrease 0.0 0 0 0 Steady 0
Independents 4,463 0.1 Increase 0.1 0 0 Steady 0
Total 4,859,651 100.0 70 84 154 Increase 11
Invalid/blank votes 34,849 0.7
Registered voters/turnout 7,671,039 63.8 Decrease 6.6
Source: State Returning Officer
Popular vote
GRÜNE
32.64%
CDU
24.05%
SPD
11.02%
FDP
10.46%
AfD
9.74%
LINKE
3.57%
FW
3.01%
Other
5.51%
Landtag seats
GRÜNE
37.66%
CDU
27.27%
SPD
12.34%
FDP
11.69%
AfD
11.04%

Aftermath[edit]

The CDU suffered its worst ever result in the state, falling to 24%. Lead candidate Susanne Eisenmann, whose approval ratings as a minister were described by the Tagesschau as "moderate to bad", claimed responsibility for the poor result. However, factors such as disputes about the state government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the "mask scandal" which broke a few days before the election, were cited as contributing factors.[16]

Both the incumbent Green–CDU coalition and an alternative centre-left "traffic light coalition" of the Greens, SPD, and FDP garnered a majority, leading to speculation about a possible change in the governing arrangement.[16] Combined with the successful re-election of a traffic light government in neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate the same day, this sparked discussion about the arrangement nationally, including its viability on the federal level.[17]

Government formation[edit]

After the election, Minister-President Kretschmann invited all parties except the AfD to exploratory talks, beginning with the CDU. This somewhat dampened speculation about a possible realignment of the governing coalition, though Kretschmann stated there was no special significance behind the decision to meet with the CDU first.[18] On 2 April, the state Greens voted to enter negotiations with the CDU.[4] The two parties finalised a coalition agreement on 1 May.[5]

On 12 May, Kretschmann was elected as Minister-President for a third term by the Landtag. He won 95 votes with 55 against. The new ministry was sworn in the same day, comprising six Green and five CDU ministers.[6]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Free Voters 2%, Others 5%.
  2. ^ Free Voters 1%, Others 4%.
  3. ^ Free Voters 2%, Others 4%.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Landtagswahl 2021". Baden-Württemberg Ministry for the Interior, Digitalisation, and Migration.
  2. ^ "This is how Baden-Württemberg voted - current results". Der Spiegel. 15 March 2021.
  3. ^ Knight, Ben (14 March 2021). "Angela Merkel's CDU takes major hit in regional elections — early results". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Greens want to continue to govern with the CDU". Mdr.de. 2 April 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Green-black coalition in Baden-Württemberg is in place". Der Spiegel (in German). 1 May 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Third term: Landtag elects Winfried Kretschmann as Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg". Südwestrundfunk (in German). 12 May 2021.
  7. ^ "Which parties are standing for election?". Baden-Württemberg State Returning Officer. 22 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Volle Understützung für Eisenmann". Tagblatt.de. 29 May 2019. Archived from the original on 5 June 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Winfried Kretschmann will bei Landtagswahl 2021 erneut antreten". Spiegel Online. 12 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Stoch soll Südwest-SPD in Landtagswahl 2021 führen". stimme.de. 1 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Group leader Rülke leads the southwest FDP in state elections". Schwäbische Zeitung. 18 July 2020.
  12. ^ "Baden-Württemberg: FDP-Vorstand für Rülke als Spitzenkandidat für Landtagswahl". n-tv.de. 8 December 2019.
  13. ^ "Gögel against the creation of an AfD top candidate". N-tv.de. 18 August 2020.
  14. ^ "AfD has chosen Gögel as the top candidate in the fourth attempt". N-tv.de. 31 January 2021.
  15. ^ "Sahra Mirow nominated as the top candidate of The Left". Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung. 6 December 2020.
  16. ^ a b "A green election winner with options". Tagesschau. 15 March 2021.
  17. ^ "Landtag elections in Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg: a traffic light signal for the republic". Der Spiegel. 14 March 2021.
  18. ^ "Kretschmann initially wants to conduct exploratory talks with the CDU". Der Spiegel. 14 March 2021.