2018 Hessian state election
All 137 seats of the Landtag of Hesse, including 27 overhang and leveling seats
69 seats needed for a majority
It followed the vote in Bavaria two weeks earlier. Like in Bavaria, the parties of Chancellor Angela Merkel's federal government coalition − CDU and SPD − lost more than 20 percentage points combined (CDU -11.3%, SPD -10.9%), while the Hessian CDU's coalition partner The Greens and the opposition party Alternative for Germany (AfD) won the biggest increases in votes compared to the last election in 2013. The AfD's gains (+9%) were slightly larger than those of The Greens (+8.7%), making it the greatest net winner by additional votes and seats. Smaller parties also made gains. Turn-out decreased by 5.9 points to 67.3%.
Despite suffering the biggest net loss of votes, the Christian Democratic Union maintained its leading position. The Greens and the Social Democrats finished with equal numbers of seats, although the Greens beat the Social Democrats by 66 votes. AfD, which ran for the first time for a state legislature in Hesse in 2013 and failed to win any seats, was the only new addition to the Hessian Landtag, and, by entering it, became present in all German state legislatures, a trait shared only by SPD and CDU/CSU, though the latter are technically two separate parties.
Like the preceding Bavarian election, the election in Hesse was overshadowed by federal politics and the poor condition of the German coalition government after two government crises, the "asylum quarrel" in June/July and the crisis around Hans-Georg Maaßen in September. As a consequence of the severe losses, the day after the election, chancellor Angela Merkel announced that that she will not seek re-election as party head at the party convention in Hamburg in early December and as German chancellor in 2021.
The incumbent Hesse government coalition consisted of CDU and the Greens.
The regional election for Hesse, along with the Bavarian state election held just two weeks before, was widely seen as a test for the ruling CDU/CSU and SPD coalition of Angela Merkel's fourth federal cabinet.
|Polling firm||Fieldwork date||Sample
|2018 state election||28 Oct 2018||–||27.0||19.8||19.8||6.3||7.5||13.1||6.5||7.2|
|Forschungsgruppe Wahlen||24–25 Oct 2018||1,025||28||20||20||8||8||12||4||8|
|Civey||18–24 Oct 2018||4,467||27.0||22.0||18.5||7.5||8.0||13.0||4.0||5.0|
|INSA||18–22 Oct 2018||1,004||26||21||21||8||7||13||4||5|
|Infratest dimap||16–17 Oct 2018||1,002||26||21||20||8||9||12||4||5|
|Forschungsgruppe Wahlen||15–17 Oct 2018||1,035||26||20||22||8||8||12||4||4|
|Civey||2–12 Oct 2018||4,549||28.5||24.9||18.2||7.5||5.6||11.8||3.5||3.6|
|Forschungsgruppe Wahlen||24 Sep–1 Oct 2018||1,038||29||23||18||8||6||13||3||6|
|Civey||19–26 Sep 2018||4,509||28.6||23.0||15.8||8.8||7.6||12.4||3.8||5.6|
|Forschungsgruppe Wahlen||17–19 Sep 2018||1,039||32||25||15||8||6||11||3||7|
|Infratest dimap||13–19 Sep 2018||1,000||28||23||17||8||7||14||3||5|
|INSA||3–6 Sep 2018||1,039||29||24||14||8||7||14||4||5|
|Civey||14–30 Aug 2018||4,532||31.1||23.9||13.4||7.9||7.1||12.7||3.9||7.2|
|Infratest dimap||14–19 Jun 2018||1,003||31||22||14||7||7||15||4||9|
|Forschungsgruppe Wahlen||4–11 Jun 2018||1,049||31||25||13||8||8||11||4||6|
|INSA||9–16 May 2018||1,067||33||24||13||8||7||11||4||9|
|Forschungsgruppe Wahlen||19–21 Mar 2018||1,011||31||26||13||8||7||10||5||5|
|Allensbach||19 Dec 2017–31 Jan 2018||760||31||26||12||7||9||11||?||5|
|Forsa||8–22 Feb 2018||1,035||33||23||14||7||8||10||5||10|
|Infratest dimap||9–16 Jan 2018||1,006||31||25||13||8||8||12||3||6|
|2017 federal election||24 Sep 2017||–||30.9||23.5||9.7||8.1||11.5||11.9||4.4||7.3|
|Infratest dimap||5–10 Jan 2017||1,003||32||24||14||8||6||14||2||8|
|dimap||15–22 Aug 2016||1,000||36||27||13||6||4||9||5||9|
|Forsa||1–8 Apr 2016||1,004||33||27||11||6||7||10||6||6|
|Infratest dimap||12–16 Jan 2016||1,000||34||26||11||8||5||12||4||8|
|Forsa||17–26 Aug 2015||1,009||38||28||13||5||5||4||7||14|
|dimap||6–13 Jul 2015||1,003||41||27||14||6||6||2||4||14|
|dimap||10–14 Dec 2014||1,000||38||27||16||7||2||5||5||11|
|2014 European election||25 May 2014||–||30.6||30.3||12.9||5.6||4.1||9.1||7.3||0.3|
|Forsa||18–27 Feb 2014||1,002||39||27||12||7||5||5||5||12|
|2013 federal election||22 Sep 2013||–||39.2||28.8||9.9||6.0||5.6||5.6||4.9||10.4|
|2013 state election||22 Sep 2013||–||38.3||30.7||11.1||5.2||5.0||4.1||5.6||7.6|
|Party||Constituency||Party list||Total seats|
|Christian Democratic Union (CDU)||843,068||29.3%||−13.4||40||−1||776,910||27.0%||−11.3||0||−6||40||−7||29.2%|
|Alliance '90/The Greens (Grünen)||517,904||18.0%||+8.7||5||+5||570,512||19.8%||+8.7||24||+10||29||+15||21.2%|
|Social Democratic Party (SPD)||670,637||23.3%||−11.8||10||−4||570,446||19.8%||−1.9||19||−4||29||−8||21.2%|
|Alternative for Germany (AfD)||362,210||12.6%||+11.2||0||378,692||13.1%||+9.0||19||+19||19||+9||13.9%|
|Free Democratic Party (FDP)||205,384||7.1%||+4.1||0||215,946||7.5%||+2.5||11||+5||11||+5||8.0%|
|The Left (Die Linke)||164,535||5.7%||+0.5||0||181,332||6.3%||+1.1||9||+3||9||+3||6.6%|
State government formation
Despite heavy losses inflicted on the party, the CDU returned to government after negotiating a coalition agreement with the Greens, the second consecutive such arrangement between the two parties. The two parties formed the narrowest possible majority in the Landtag, occupying 69 seats. As part of the agreement, the Greens increased their representation in the Cabinet, holding four of the eleven portfolios. The returned coalition only became possible after a recount of votes took place several weeks after the election, due to computer glitches which affected some election night results. Following the recount, the state election commissioner announced that compared to the provisional figures, there were no significant shifts in the percentages, and the distribution of seats in the state parliament had not changed.
- https://statistik-hessen.de/l_2018/html/landesergebnis Official result
- Was die Hessenwahl für die Bundespolitik bedeutet, Frankfurter Allgemeine, 28 October 2018
- Schicksalswahl für Merkels Koalition, Frankfurter Allgemeine, 26 October 2018
- Angela Merkel bietet Verzicht auf Parteivorsitz an, Die Zeit, 29 October 2018
- "Hesse election: Merkel facing double trouble in German vote". BBC News. 26 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
- "How the unlikely team of CDU and Greens have reunited in Hesse". The Local. 20 December 2018.
- "Reissue of Black-and-Green in the state of Hesse on the home straight". ccdiscovery.com. 23 December 2018.
- "Merkel's CDU and Greens can breathe sigh of relief after Hesse vote recount". The Local. 16 November 2018.
Media related to Hesse state election 2018 at Wikimedia Commons