2011 Berlin state election
All 152 seats in the Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin
77 seats needed for a majority
The 2011 Berlin state election was held on 18 September 2011 to elect the members of the 17th Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin. The incumbent government consisting of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and The Left lost its majority.
The SPD lost five seats, remaining the largest party, while The Left lost three. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) made small gains, while The Greens moved into third place with 30 seats. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) lost three-quarters of its votes and all its seats. The Pirate Party contested its first Berlin state election and won fifteen seats with 8.9% of the vote. This was the first time the party had been elected to a state parliament anywhere in Germany.
The SPD initially sought a coalition with The Greens, but talks broke down over the extension of the Bundesautobahn 100. A coalition agreement between the SPD and CDU was finalised in November, with Mayor Klaus Wowereit continuing in office.
The table below lists parties represented in the 16th Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin.
|SPD||Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands
|Social democracy||Klaus Wowereit||30.8%|
53 / 149
|CDU||Christian Democratic Union of Germany
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands
|Christian democracy||Frank Henkel||21.3%|
37 / 149
|Democratic socialism||Harald Wolf||16.3%[b]|
23 / 149
|Grüne||Alliance 90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
|Green politics||Renate Künast||13.1%|
23 / 149
|FDP||Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei
|Classical liberalism||Christoph Meyer||7.6%|
13 / 149
Issues and campaign
Christian Democratic Union
The CDU considered safety on the Berlin U-Bahn an issue after a number of attacks on the property of the U-Bahn. The party published material using images from attacks captioned with the question "Safe?" These were later recalled. The CDU also posted billboards comparing the number of police officers cut from the force by the red-red coalition with the number of crimes committed on the city's buses and U-Bahn trains. Nils Diederich, a professor of political science at the Free University of Berlin, stated prior to the election that he did not believe this would be much of an issue due to a positive mood within the city.
Social Democratic Party
The SPD top candidate and mayor Klaus Wowereit stated, after "well-publicized attacks" in late winter and spring, that he planned to heighten security by increasing the number of police officers by 200 and lengthening the time video surveillance recordings are kept before being erased from 24 to 48 hours.
Election results and analysis
The Free Democratic Party (FDP) representation was removed from the Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin after they failed to reach the 5% threshold. This was the fifth time in 2011 in Germany that the Free Democrats failed to obtain representation in a state parliament. They also lost representation in Saxony-Anhalt, Rhineland-Palatinate, Bremen and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Baden-Württemberg and Hamburg are the only states in which they reached the 5% electoral threshold in that year. The win in Berlin marks the 7th time out of seven elections in 2011 that the Social Democrats got into government.
On 21 September 2011, election officials found that the results of the Green Party and The Left were inadvertently swapped in the Lichtenberg district. Evrim Baba-Sommer of the Green Party will replace Karin Seidel-Kalmutzki of the Social Democratic Party.
On 22 September 2011, Norbert Kopp, the district mayor for Steglitz-Zehlendorf, confirmed at least 379 postal ballots had found their way into the bin of a block of flats. The ballots were properly sent to the Zehlendorf city hall and the votes could change a number of the local council seats. The police have started an investigation over the incident.
Initially, the Social Democrats concentrated on forming a coalition with the Greens. However, on 5 October 2011, coalition talks between the SPD and the Greens broke down. The disagreement was about the extension of Bundesautobahn 100. The Green Party platform had insisted on not extending the Bundesautobahn 100. The Social Democrats offered a compromise to not go ahead with the 3.2 km extension A100 if the €420 million provided by the federal government could be invested in other transportation infrastructure projects. However, the federal government rejected the possibility of transferring the money to other projects. Green Party head Bettina Jarasch stated that “There was not really the will within the SPD to work together with us on a coalition” while the Berliner Zeitung wrote that "the left-wing of the SPD felt Wowereit and Müller had actually wanted to form a coalition with the CDU and had deliberately put the Greens in an impossible situation." Michael Müller, chairman of Berlin chapter of the Social Democratic Party, had "threatened to look towards the CDU" over the past weekend, because the Greens "stuck to their opposition to the motorway extension". Müller pointed out to the Greens "that the Red-Green coalition would only have a one-vote majority compared to the stable 10-vote majority which would be achieved in coalition with the CDU". Wolfgang Thierse, deputy Parliamentary group leader, stated "that he was surprised and a little disappointed at the breakdown of talks" and "Just as Red-Green would not have been heaven for Berlin, Red-Black would not be hell". Renate Künast, leader of the Berlin Chapter of the Green Party, stated that Klaus Wowereit "wanted a surrender, and no coalition".
The Social Democrats therefore continued talks with the Christian Democrats so that a grand coalition that would govern Berlin was finalized on 16 November 2011. According to the 100-page coalition agreement, Wowereit will continue as mayor. Also, each party receives four ministries: Social Democrats will be in charge of the Finance, City development/Environment, Education/Youth/Science, and Jobs/Integration/Women portfolios, whereas the Christian Democrats will have Interior/Sports, Economy/Technology/Research, Health/Social, and Justice/Consumer protection. Disagreements between the two parties have been settled. There will be for example a "City tax" of 5% for hotel guests beginning in 2013 and the minimum wage for public contract jobs will increase by €1 per hour (currently at €7.50). Plans were dropped for making teachers civil servants again and requiring property owners to contribute to street improvement costs. Wowereit summarised the talks by saying “We want Berlin to become richer and to stay sexy.”
|Polling firm||Fieldwork date||Sample
|2011 state election||18 Sep 2011||–||28.3||23.4||11.6||17.6||1.8||8.9||8.3||4.9|
|INFO GmbH||9–11 Sep 2011||1,504||31||22||12||18||2||9||6||9|
|Forschungsgruppe Wahlen||5–8 Sep 2011||1,492||32||21||11||19.5||3||5.5||8||11|
|Infratest dimap||6–8 Sep 2011||1,000||29.5||22||12||20||3||6.5||8||7.5|
|Emnid||29 Aug–1 Sep 2011||1,001||32||23||11||20||4||4||6||9|
|Forsa||5–30 Aug 2011||1,100||32||21||11||19||4||5||8||11|
|Infratest dimap||26–29 Aug 2011||1,000||30||22||11||22||3||4.5||7.5||8|
|Emnid||22–25 Aug 2011||576||33||24||11||19||5||4||4||9|
|Forschungsgruppe Wahlen||22–25 Aug 2011||933||33.0||20.5||10.5||20.5||3.5||4.5||7.5||12.5|
|INFO GmbH||8–12 Aug 2011||1,047||36||23||8||22||2||4.5||5||13|
|Infratest dimap||5–8 Aug 2011||1,000||31||22||12||22||4||3||6||9|
|Forsa||18–28 Jul 2011||1,003||30||19||13||24||3||–||11||6|
|INFO GmbH||11–14 Jul 2011||1,042||29||21||13||26||2||–||9||3|
|Emnid||6–14 Jul 2011||1,002||32||21||14||22||3||–||8||10|
|Infratest dimap||1–4 Jul 2011||1,000||29||23||14||24||3||2||5||5|
|Forsa||20–29 Jun 2011||1,001||31||18||11||27||3||–||10||4|
|INFO GmbH||6–8 Jun 2011||1,002||33||17||12||29||3||–||6||4|
|Infratest dimap||3–6 Jun 2011||1,000||30||21||12||25||4||–||8||5|
|Forsa||18–26 May 2011||1,005||31||17||10||27||3||–||12||4|
|INFO GmbH||May 2011||1,000||28||20||11||31||2||–||7||3|
|Infratest dimap||6–9 May 2011||1,003||29||21||13||26||3||–||8||3|
|Forsa||18–28 Apr 2011||1,004||29||18||10||29||2||–||12||Tie|
|INFO GmbH||8–14 Apr 2011||1,043||27||20||13||30||3||–||?||3|
|Emnid||6–7 Apr 2011||1,000||27||20||14||29||3||–||7||2|
|Infratest dimap||1–4 Apr 2011||1,000||26||21||15||28||3||–||7||2|
|INFO GmbH||16–21 Mar 2011||1,002||32||19||11||29||3||–||?||3|
|Forsa||14–24 Mar 2011||1,001||29||19||13||24||4||–||12||5|
|INFO GmbH||18 Feb–1 Mar 2011||1,018||30||20||13||22||4||–||11.7||8|
|Forsa||15–24 Feb 2011||1,006||30||18||13||23||4||–||12||7|
|Infratest dimap||11–14 Feb 2011||1,000||28||23||16||23||3||–||7||5|
|Forsa||5–13 Jan 2011||1,001||28||19||14||24||3||–||12||4|
|Infratest dimap||5–6 Jan 2011||1,000||29||20||17||25||4||–||5||4|
|Forsa||7–16 Dec 2010||1,004||27||19||15||25||4||–||10||2|
|Forsa||16–25 Nov 2010||1,002||27||21||17||27||3||–||5||Tie|
|Forsa||16–25 Nov 2010||1,002||26||18||16||28||3||–||9||2|
|Forsa||19–28 Oct 2010||1,004||27||17||14||29||3||–||10||2|
|Infratest dimap||25–26 Oct 2010||1,000||22||20||17||30||3||–||8||8|
|Forsa||21–29 Sep 2010||1,006||26||16||15||30||3||–||10||4|
|Emnid||13 Sep 2010||?||28||19||15||25||4||–||9||3|
|Infratest dimap||3–6 Sep 2010||1,000||24||22||16||28||4||–||6||4|
|Forsa||17–26 Aug 2010||1,001||26||17||16||27||4||–||10||1|
|Forsa||19–29 Jul 2010||1,005||27||17||15||27||4||–||10||Tie|
|Forsa||17–24 Jun 2010||1,001||27||19||17||25||3||–||9||8|
|Infratest dimap||4–7 Jun 2010||1,001||25||25||17||23||5||–||5||Tie|
|Forsa||18–27 May 2010||1,003||26||21||17||22||4||–||10||5|
|Forsa||19–29 Apr 2010||1,006||26||20||15||23||7||–||9||6|
|Forsa||15–25 Mar 2010||1,003||25||22||17||21||5||–||10||3|
|Infratest dimap||19–22 Mar 2010||1,000||23||25||19||21||6||–||6||2|
|Forsa||12–25 Feb 2010||1,001||25||22||18||19||6||–||10||3|
|Forsa||25 Jan–5 Feb 2010||1,005||24||23||17||20||5||–||11||1|
|Forsa||14–22 Dec 2009||1,005||21||25||18||19||7||–||10||4|
|Infratest dimap||4–7 Dec 2009||1,000||23||25||17||19||9||–||5||2|
|Forsa||19–26 Nov 2009||1,002||22||23||17||21||7||–||10||1|
|Forsa||26–29 Oct 2009||1,004||20||24||16||20||8||–||12||4|
|Forsa||15–24 Sep 2009||1,007||24||21||15||20||8||–||12||3|
|Infratest dimap||4–7 Sep 2009||1,000||24||22||16||20||10||–||8||2|
|Forsa||19–27 Aug 2009||1,005||22||23||16||20||9||–||10||1|
|Forsa||14–23 Jul 2009||1,003||22||23||15||19||12||–||9||1|
|Infratest dimap||2–6 Jul 2009||1,000||25||23||14||20||12||–||6||2|
|Forsa||16–25 Jun 2009||1,007||22||24||16||19||11||–||8||2|
|Forsa||18–28 May 2009||1,007||26||21||16||18||11||–||8||5|
|Forsa||20–27 Apr 2009||1,000||27||21||16||16||11||–||9||6|
|Infratest dimap||6–9 Apr 2009||2,500||29||22||15||17||11||–||6||7|
|Forsa||16–26 Mar 2009||1,004||29||20||14||18||12||–||7||9|
|Forsa||3 March 2009||1,001||27||21||15||16||14||–||7||6|
|Forsa||29 Dec 2008||?||28||20||17||16||11||–||8||8|
|Infratest dimap||4–8 Dec 2008||1,000||28||24||16||17||9||–||6||4|
|Forsa||17–27 Nov 2008||1,006||26||20||19||17||9||–||9||6|
|Forsa||20–30 Oct 2008||1,003||27||22||19||15||8||–||9||5|
|Forsa||29 Sep 2008||1,002||28||18||18||17||10||–||9||10|
|Infratest dimap||4–8 Sep 2008||1,000||29||21||16||18||9||–||7||8|
|Forsa||18–28 Aug 2008||1,008||27||21||18||16||9||–||?||6|
|Forsa||14–24 Jul 2008||1,001||26||20||20||17||8||–||9||6|
|Forsa||16–26 Jun 2008||1,000||28||21||18||15||9||–||?||7|
|Infratest dimap||6–9 Jun 2008||1,000||27||23||18||18||9||–||5||4|
|Forsa||19–29 May 2008||1,000||27||23||18||15||8||–||9||4|
|Forsa||14–24 Apr 2008||1,204||28||23||16||16||8||–||9||5|
|Infratest dimap||11–16 Apr 2008||2,500||29||25||17||16||7||–||6||4|
|Forsa||13–27 Mar 2008||1,000||26||23||16||16||8||–||11||3|
|Infratest dimap||7–10 Mar 2008||1,000||29||23||18||16||7||–||7||6|
|Forsa||18–28 Feb 2008||1,000||28||22||16||14||8||–||12||6|
|Forsa||14–24 Jan 2008||1,000||28||25||15||15||7||–||10||3|
|Forsa||11–20 Dec 2007||1,002||28||23||16||14||7||–||12||5|
|Infratest dimap||7–10 Dec 2007||1,000||31||23||15||16||7||–||8||8|
|Forsa||5–15 Nov 2007||1,000||30||22||15||15||7||–||11||8|
|Infratest dimap||9–12 Nov 2007||1,000||31||25||16||16||5||–||7||6|
|Forsa||8–18 Oct 2007||1,003||28||22||15||14||9||–||12||6|
|Infratest dimap||5–8 Oct 2007||1,000||33||25||14||14||6||–||8||8|
|Forsa||11–20 Sep 2007||1,001||26||24||17||13||8||–||12||2|
|Infratest dimap||7–9 Sep 2007||1,000||31||24||16||16||5||–||8||7|
|Forsa||13–23 Aug 2007||1,002||28||22||16||15||6||–||13||6|
|Forsa||16–26 Jul 2007||1,001||26||24||15||14||7||–||14||2|
|Infratest dimap||29 Jun–2 Jul 2007||1,000||31||24||16||15||7||–||7||7|
|Forsa||18–28 Jun 2007||1,001||24||22||17||15||8||–||14||2|
|Infratest dimap||1–4 Jun 2007||1,000||30||23||15||17||7||–||8||7|
|Forsa||21–24 May 2007||1,005||27||21||13||17||8||–||14||6|
|Infratest dimap||27–29 Apr 2007||1,000||32||21||15||16||8||–||8||11|
|Forsa||18–26 Apr 2007||1,001||25||22||14||17||8||–||14||3|
|Infratest dimap||30 Mar–2 Apr 2007||1,000||33||22||13||15||8||–||9||11|
|Forsa||5–15 Mar 2007||1,001||26||20||13||17||8||–||16||6|
|Infratest dimap||2–5 Mar 2007||1,000||31||22||13||16||8||–||10||9|
|Forsa||12–15 Feb 2007||1,000||28||19||13||16||8||–||16||9|
|Infratest dimap||2–5 Feb 2007||1,000||33||21||14||14||8||–||10||12|
|Forsa||8–18 Jan 2007||1,000||30||19||12||15||8||–||16||11|
|Forsa||11–21 Dec 2006||1,001||29||17||15||16||8||–||15||12|
|Forsa||13–23 Nov 2006||1,014||28||19||14||14||9||–||16||8|
|Forsa||9–19 Oct 2006||1,001||28||20||13||15||8||–||16||8|
|2006 state election||17 Sep 2006||–||30.8||21.3||13.4||13.1||7.6||–||13.8||9.5|
|Social Democratic Party (SPD)||413,332||28.3||2.5||48||5||31.6|
|Christian Democratic Union (CDU)||341,158||23.4||2.1||39||2||25.7|
|Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne)||257,063||17.6||4.5||30||7||19.7|
|The Left (Linke)||171,050||11.6||4.6||20||3||13.2|
|Pirate Party Germany (Piraten)||130,105||8.9||New||15||New||9.9|
|National Democratic Party (NPD)||31,241||2.1||0.4||0||±0||0|
|Free Democratic Party (FDP)||26,943||1.8||5.8||0||13||0|
|Human Environment Animal Protection||21,612||1.5||0.6||0||±0||0|
|Pro Germany Citizens' Movement||17,829||1.2||New||0||New||0|
- "SPD and Greens set for power in Hamburg". The Local. 13 February 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- Berliner Wahlen 2011
- Warner, Mary Beth (9 September 2011). "Subway Beating Becomes Campaign Issue". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Germany's Pirate Party Celebrates Historic Victory". Financial Times. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- Scally, Derek (19 September 2011). "Berlin pirates force FDP to walk the plank". The Irish Times. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "Rot-Rot war gut für ein Jahrzehnt". Die Zeit (in German). 19 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "Germany's Pirate Party Celebrates Historic Victory". Der Spiegel. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "SPD wins Berlin vote as Pirates celebrate". The Local. 18 September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "'Something is deeply wrong when the NPD is more successful than the FDP'". The Local. 5 September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "Rot-Rot geht, die Generation Internet kommt". Die Welt. 18 September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "Hundreds of Berlin votes found in a bin". The Local. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- "Künast – "Wowereit wollte Rot-Grün scheitern lassen"". Die Welt. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- "SPD and Greens drop Berlin government talks". The Local. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- Chambers, Madeline (5 October 2011). "Merkel's CDU could get unexpected boost in Berlin". Reuters. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- "City of Berlin gets 'grand coalition' government". The Local. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
-  Announcement on official Berlin portal
- "Reicher werden und sexy bleiben". FAZ. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011. Original German: “Wir wollen, dass Berlin reicher wird und sexy bleibt.”