German federal election, 2017

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German federal election, 2017
2013 ←
Between 27 August and 22 October 2017

All 598+ seats in the Bundestag
300+ seats needed for a majority
  Angela Merkel 2015 (cropped).jpg Sigmar Gabriel 2015 (cropped).jpg Katja Kipping 2014 (cropped).jpg
Leader Angela Merkel Sigmar Gabriel Katja Kipping
with Bernd Riexinger[1]
Party CDU/CSU SPD Left
Leader since 10 April 2000 13 November 2009 2 June 2012
Leader's seat Vorpommern-Rügen-Greifswald I Salzgitter–Wolfenbüttel Saxony list (stood in Dresden I)
Last election 311 seats, 41.5% 193 seats, 25.7% 64 seats, 8.6%

  Cem Özdemir 2012 (cropped).jpg Christian Lindner 2013 (cropped).jpg Frauke Petry 2015 (cropped).jpg
Leader Cem Özdemir
with Simone Peter[2]
Christian Lindner Frauke Petry
with Jörg Meuthen[3]
Party Green FDP AfD
Leader since 19 October 2013 7 December 2013 14 April 2013
Leader's seat Baden-Württemberg list (stood in Stuttgart I) No seat (stood in Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis II) No seat
Last election 63 seats, 8.4% 0 seats, 4.8% 0 seats, 4.7%

Incumbent Chancellor

Angela Merkel

The next German federal elections will elect the members of the Bundestag, the federal parliament of Germany, on a date to be determined.

German law requires that the next election should take place on a Sunday between 46-48 months after the assembly's first sitting. Since the current Bundestag first sat on 22 October 2013, the latest date for the next election is 22 October 2017 (a Sunday). The earliest date is 27 August 2017, the first Sunday after 22 August. By convention, recent elections have been held in late September, avoiding the school holidays. Elections can be held earlier under certain conditions, for instance if a government loses a confidence motion.


At the previous federal election, in 2013, the incumbent government—composed of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union (CSU, the CDU's Bavarian sister party), and the Free Democratic Party (FDP)—failed to achieve a majority of seats. The FDP failed to get over 5% of the vote, denying the party seats in the Bundestag for the first time in their history. In contrast, the CDU/CSU obtained their best result since 1990, with nearly 42% of the vote and just short of 50% of the seats. The CDU/CSU successfully negotiated with the Social Democrats (SPD) to form a grand coalition for the third time.[4]

Electoral system[edit]

The Bundestag has 598 nominal members, elected for a four-year term. Half, 299 members, are elected in single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting, while a further 299 members are allocated from party lists to achieve a proportional distribution in the legislature, conducted according to a form of proportional representation called the Mixed member proportional representation system (MMP). Voters vote once for a constituency representative, and a second time for a party, and the lists are used to make the party balances match the distribution of second votes. Seats are allocated using the Sainte-Laguë method. If a party receives more seats than its vote share entitles it to (overhang seats), additional "compensatory" seats are added to the total of 299 to give other parties a proportional number of seats.[5]

Voters have two votes, one for the candidate in the single-member constituency and one for the party list in the multi-member constituency.[5]

Parties and leaders[edit]

This is a list of the parties (and their respective leaders) which would likely participate in the election.

Party Ideology Leader(s)
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Christian democracy, Liberal conservatism Angela Merkel
Social Democratic Party (SPD) Social democracy Sigmar Gabriel
The Left Democratic socialism, Left-wing populism Katja Kipping, Bernd Riexinger
Alliance '90/The Greens Green politics, Ecologism, Social Liberalism Cem Özdemir, Simone Peter
Christian Social Union (CSU) Bavarian regionalism, Christian democracy Horst Seehofer
Free Democratic Party (FDP) Liberalism, Classical liberalism Christian Lindner
Alternative for Germany (AfD) Right-wing populism, Euroscepticism Frauke Petry




If Merkel does not stand for re-election, media speculated that the following politicians become possible candidates to run for CDU/CSU in a future election.



  • Sigmar Gabriel — current leader of SPD, Minister for Economics and Vice Chancellor of Germany[12]

The Left[edit]





Opinion polling[edit]


The polls are from September 2013 (the last federal election) up to the current date. Each colored line specifies a political party. Note: Months are recorded as end of month, meaning that the ticks on the date axis of the graph end at the end of their respective month.

  Social Democratic Party
  The Left
  Green Party
  Free Democratic Party
  Alternative for Germany


  1. ^ with Bernd Riexinger as co-chair of the Left party. Kipping was first in leadership vote.
  2. ^ as co-chair of the Greens. Özdemir was first in leadership vote.
  3. ^ with Jörg Meuthen as co-chair of the AfD. Petry beat the former speaker Bernd Lucke in the leadership vote in the first round.
  4. ^ "Bundesregierung: Die Große Koalition ist besiegelt" [The grand coalition (deal) is sealed]. Die Zeit (in German). 2013-12-16. ISSN 0044-2070. Retrieved 2016-08-20. 
  5. ^ a b Electoral system IPU
  6. ^ Bundestagswahl 2017: Kanzlerin Merkel will vierte Amtszeit, (German), 1st Aug 2015
  7. ^ Julia Klöckner, AKK und der "totale Quatsch", (German), 12th Oct 2015
  8. ^ Merkel-Nachfolge: Alternativlos?, (German), 14th Oct 2014
  9. ^ Will er Kanzler werden?, (German), 31st Oct 2015
  10. ^ Seehofer erwägt eigenen CSU-Wahlkampf, (German), 7th May 2016
  11. ^ Nachfolge im Kanzleramt: Merkels Plan K, (German), 25st Jun 2014
  12. ^ a b Wer aus der SPD könnte Kanzler?, (German), 11th Aug 2015
  13. ^ SPD-Hoffnungsträger Maas: Kanzlerkandidat der Reserve, (German), 13th Nov 2015
  14. ^ a b Katrin Göring-Eckardt kündigt Spitzenkandidatur an, (German), 16th Oct 2015
  15. ^ Hofreiter will Spitzenkandidat der Grünen werden, (German), 6th Nov 2015
  16. ^ Özdemir bewirbt sich um Spitzenkandidatur, (German), 16th April 2016
  17. ^ Grüne Politiker*innen: Kennen Sie diese Zehn?, (German), 20th Nov 2015