Talk:German federal election, 2005

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Famous Elefantenrunde[edit]

Right after the results are in (a few hours after the election ends) the leaders of the important partys meet to have a first debate about what's happening now. This is called the "Elefantenrunde" and it's live on TV. The 2005 election is famous for still-chancellor Schröder acting like a drunken fool, totally ignoring his defeat. He even 'decided' that other partys would have to change their leadership and made fun of Merkel (who would become chancelor in the end) because (paraphrasing here) "No one in a clear state of mind would even think about discussing a coalition with her on top."

This should be noted as it is definately a very well known detail and it was discussed for years. I provide a link to the log of the discussion from STERN, a well established german magazin. (talk) 12:00, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

German wikipedia article about this: (talk) 12:05, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Missing references[edit]

It says in the text...

Early election polls show a solid lead for the CDU/CSU at 49%, and the SPD trailing at 28%. The poll further shows the FDP, a possible coalition partner for the conservatives at 7% and the Greens, the current coaltion partner for the SPD, at 8%.

Please provide sources (together with the date, the survey was made)! Ben T/C July 4, 2005 08:11 (UTC),5532,11572,00.html (a flash application) gives an overview about the ten or twenty polls until today. -- till we | Talk 4 July 2005 17:53 (UTC)

Far left alliance?[edit]

In light of what the article already says about the far right alliance:

Since common lists of two or more parties are not permitted under German election law, in practice the DVU will not enter the election, and members of that party will go on the NPD list.

Have the PDS and WASG worked out how they will handle their own alliance's presentation on German ballots? The information on Labor_and_Social_Justice_Party on the subject seems to not have been updated since early June. --Jfruh 6 July 2005 20:44 (UTC)


The start of the Campaign sections refers to the CDS planning on presenting a complete program on July 11. This should be removed, and any information anyone has on that programme added in its place.

Layout Mess[edit]

Is it just me or is the layout messy, on my screen the images are all over and block text and overlap tables. -- User:Charmed88 | Talk 21:10, 18 September 2005 (BST)

I was having a problem with pictures overlapping text in the first section earlier so I shrank the photos down and it looks OK to me now. The results tables aren't overlapping for me.

Correct information?[edit]

The Results section here says "Gerhard Schroeder said he would negotiate with all parties that had won seats except the Left Party", but [1] says this about Angela Merkel. Are both right? Or is there a mistake? Nick8325 21:52, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Both said it. - 01:58, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Where are these voting figures coming from? I can't find any. Adam 07:51, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Lop-sided article?[edit]

How about some of the preliminary results, and mention of the possible coalitions in the lead? Pcb21| Pete 09:36, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

I have donated some material from [my website]. Adam 10:41, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Surely the actual voting figures belong somewhat further up the article, before all the detail about the campaign. And what purpose is the second results table now serving? Adam 11:31, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for adding that info - it hasn't come across the news in the UK yet. I don't have a view about the placement of the results table, but I think they normally go quite far down, with articles following a rough timeline (so, background and campaign before the result table, consequences after, etc.).

I moved the results up, becuse I think they are more important than the background about the different campaigns and so on. Maybe one could also include two pictures from commons (from the German article):

File:BTW05 VAE ARD.jpg
preliminary offcial result
File:BTW05 SV VAE ARD.jpg
party seats in the next Bundestag

-- till we | Talk 13:23, 19 September 2005 (UTC)


"Many commentators have suggested that Angela Merkel stands the best chance of becoming Chancellor, whatever the ultimate make-up of the coalition." Can we get some references for this? Given that the three "left" parties have a comfortable majority between them, it would seem on the face of it that Schroeder is much better placed - all he has to do is overcome his dislike of Lafontaine. If German commentators are saying that Merkel is better placed, I'd like to know who is saying it and on what basis. Adam 14:15, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Incidentally, as someone has already spotted, there are some errors is my table, caused by me looking at the wrong column of figures at the (rather confusing) Bundeswahlleiter website. Dumbkopf me. Someone should check all my figures, but I am going to bed now. Adam 14:26, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

I don't have a source for Merkel stands the best chance, but the left majority only exists on paper -- SPD and Greens (and not only Schröder alone) have said that they won't go together with the Linkspartei, regardless what the situation is; on the other hand the Linkspartei told before and after the election that they see their role as opposition party. Scenarios in which they support a red-green minority government are highly unlikely. And if it comes to a chancellor election without a majority coalition, the chances of Merkel to be elected in the third round of the chancellor's election, which requires only relative majority, are much higher than Schröders. -- till we | Talk 15:09, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

I just found this and thought it was interesting. Though it may have absolutely no place in this article I thought I would share this picture caption from the 9-19-2005 Deutsche Welle web page:

"A supporter of Bavaria's Christian Social Union on Monday waved a Jamaican flag in front of an election poster of Bavarian Premier Edmund Stoiber. The Caribbean island's national colors have become popular among Germany's conservatives (often called the blacks) as they see a coalition government with the free-market liberal Free Democrats (yellow) and the Greens as a possible solution to the election outcome that has left them without a clear majority."

Is this true?! Would the Greens really go for this? Politics can make strange bedfellows so the saying goes. Anyway, this page is bound to undergo some interesting edits in the following weeks!!! Tscüß Khirad Talk 21:07, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Thanks to Tillwe for his comment above. If no German commentator can be quoted as saying Merkel is best placed to be Chancellor the statement should be deleted. On the facts of the situation, it's all very well to say that the Left will be an opposition party, but they have the balance of power in the Bundestag and (unless there is a Grand Coalition) they will have to use their numbers to put either Schroeder or Merkel in power. Even if they abstain, that will put Merkel in office. I can't believe they would support Merkel and her Thatcherite policies. Why do they think people in the East voted for them? I also find it very hard to see Fischer going into government with Merkel and Stoiber. It would cause a split in the Greens even if he was persuaded. So the options seem to be: Grand Coalition (but under who?) or the present government carrying on as a minority and daring the Left to put them out, followed by fresh elections in a year or so. Yes? Adam 00:07, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

@Adam: Yes and no, a grand coalition is still the most realistic thing, at the moment the newspapers are discussing an Israeli model with two politicians (not Schröder and Merkel, but "second row") taking turns at being chancellor. No, because the carrying on as a minority government is not so easy. I don't now exactly about the timing, but sometimes after the election a chancellor election has to be done. If the left abstains, this would mean a minority government lead by Merkel (or some other CDU/CSU politican), if the left (or parts of them) vote for Schröder, this would mean carrying on as minority government. In both minority government cases, new elections are to be expected soon. The "traffic lights coalition" options are discussed at the moment rather as method for Merkel/Schröder to raise the stakes for a grand coalition.
@Khirad: Green politicians have said they will talk with the CDU/CSU and FDP, but they also have said that they see it as highly unrealistic that a "Jamaica coalition" would be possible, given the broad differences between the party programmes (see the Fischer quote in the article, other chairpersons said things like "It would be interesting to speak with Stoiber (CSU) about gen food and renewable energies", guessing that they won't agree). There is some media pressure ("Greens have to show that they are able to put the state first and their party second"), and there are discussions about black-green coalitions at the level of single states for years, but it would be a big surprise if possible coalition talks between CDU/CSU, FDP and Greens would result in a do-able coalition. I do not think so.
till we | Talk 16:06, 20 September 2005 (UTC)


I just want to say I find it obnoxious that in the results table I'm forced to add the CDU and CSU percentages together in my head. Why can't they be combined, perhaps in a third row specifically for that purpose? Everyking 05:32, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Poor baby. Adam 01:02, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Colors and misc[edit]

1.,1518,375587,00.html is a good (not very deep) overview about the current situation.

2. I adjusted the party colours so that they resemble more the colours used in Germany's TV and statistics.

3. The article says "38. federal elections". In fact, these are the elections to the 16th Bundestag (the 16. federal elections). It is highly unusal to count the imperial elections or the Weimar republic elections. The same is true for the other "German federal election" articles.

till we | Talk 16:10, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

I changed it to "16th" only yesterday, which is the proper denomination in Germany. -- 20:49, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Left party alliance?[edit]

Both Angela Merkel (CDU) and Gerhard Schröder (SPD) claimed victory and the Chancellorship, and both have said that they would negotiate with all parties that had won seats except the Left Party.

Can someone explain why this is so? Sortan 01:43, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

The Left Party are loonies. But we can't say that. ;) (The far right don't have any seats, but the big parties wouldn't work with them either). Mark1 02:23, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

The Left. party aren't loonies - by the platform on which they ran, they're virtually indistinguishable from a mainstream centre-left party now. But the loonies in the CDU/CSU would never work with them, and Schroeder wouldn't either because several of their leaders quit the SPD and he views them as traitors.

I think we should eschew calling people loonies. The problem with the Left.PDS is that is directly descended from the SED, and therefore not acceptable to many people - people in the SPD as well as on the right. The problem is people like Gysi, not Lafontaine, although the hostile Schroeder-Lafontaine relationship is obviously a problem. Adam 12:32, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Numbering again[edit]

I re-numbered all the elections linked from Elections in Germany according to the different political systems they took place in, synching the FRG elections with the Bundestag legislatures (now the 16th). An anyonymous user (from Norway, if I read the IP numbers correctly) changed them back and argued with some obscure Bundesverfassungsgericht decision about the continuing identity of the German Reich in the Federal Republic of Germany today. From a political or historical point of view, this legal continuity of identity is of second importance, the first importance is the political system -- the Kaiser of the Empire, the Weimar Republic Constitution, the Nazi Germany abolishment of all parties besides the NSDAP, the GDR Sonderweg and the political system of the FRG Grundgesetz. So I think there are good arguments for numbering elections according to this different political systems, not in continuity (the German Wikipedia does it the same way). The anonymous user reverts back (now from different IPs and calling me the vandal to be banned), I revert back, something that seems very much like an edit war in the beginning. Maybe some arguments from parties not involved would be helpful. See Talk:Elections in Germany for a starting point. -- till we | Talk 21:41, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Other potential candidates for Chancellor[edit]

Is there a source for these four as potential candidates (apparently to the exclusion of others)? And does the Chancellor not have to be a member of the Bundestag (which none of these four seems to be)?

Anyone opposed to deleting this list of names, now it looks Merkel has it?
I would be. The Chancellor is proposed by the President and elected by the Bundestag. Until that vote has happened, clos to anybody is fair (if unlikely) game. I would wait on making these changes until a final decision in regards to the Chancellor and the Cabinet have been made sebmol 12:26, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, I deleted the list yesterday.[2] You can put it back if you feel strongly about it. Do you know whether or not the Chancellor needs to be a member of the Bundestag, as I think only three people on the list are?
He does not actually have to be a member. Neither do the ministers for that matter. sebmol 02:58, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Final results[edit]

Today, the final results of the election were made public. The complete results (I don't have time to put them in the article at the moment) can be found here:

The results for the article table are in the "Zweitstimmen" column of the table. "Wahlberechtigte" is number of people that could have voted theoretically, "Wähler" ist people that actually went to the election, "Ungültige" means "votes not valid" and "Gültige" is the number of valid votes (equally to 100 % for the percentage given for the parties). The rest of the table are different parties. -- till we | Talk 12:01, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Where are the constituency-level (Wahlkreis) figures? The Bundeswahlleiter website is very difficult to navigate. Adam 03:24, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Here. If you go to this page and use the links in the left-hand column, results tabulated in various ways at various levels are all fairly logically laid out. The problem is that the main (right-hand) frame doesn't seem to link logically. Valiantis 12:42, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

That doesn't give me candidate names. I want the candidates in each wahlkreis and the votes they polled. I would have thought that was fairly basic information to expect from a national election authority website. Any other suggestions? Adam 13:23, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

One reason may be that much of the election procedure is subsidized and takes place at state and municipial levels. So you could have a look at every state's election authority. Another way would be the following:
Bringing both together will give you the information you want.
-- till we | Talk 20:01, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for that. Last time tagesschau gave full details by wahlkreis, but so far this time they haven't done so. I will try the Land websites and see what they have. Adam 00:42, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Heading "Party Leaders"[edit]

In my oppinion it is wrong to have the heading "Party Leader" and show Gerhard Schröder (who is "only" chancellor and has said not to participate in the new parliament) and not Franz Müntefering who is "Parteivorsitzender" (Party Leader) and is supposed to be a Secretary in the new Gouvernment. Similiarily neither Oskar Lafontaine nor Gregor Gysi are Party Leaders of the Left Party, that would be Lothar Bisky, the "Vorsitzender des Parteivorstands" (don't know how to say that in English...)

I believe it would be more helpful to call the caption something like "Important fgures" and add Franz Münteferings portrait, but I will wait if any of you has something to say about that. If one wanted to keep the Party Leaders Heading Gerhard Schröder should be replaced by Franz Müntefering and Lafontaine and Gysi by Lothar Bisky, but I don't think that would be a good decision.

I'm not sure about including Müntefering, as he wasn't a leading figure in the election (although it would even the gallery up), but the title change seems sensible given the points you make. I'm going to change it to "Key people" and see if that takes. If we do include Müntefering, we need a good head-and-shoulders shot of him (the picture on his article would not fit with the others). 01:47, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

This strange system where German parties have several different kinds of leaders needs to be explained for the benefit of we auslanders. In Westminster parliaments the Prime Minister is always also the leader of their party. Adam 00:42, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

The UK system has party chairmen: that's about the same as party leader in Germany, 'cept the German party leaders have a bit more clout because of the federal nature of government. --- Charles Stewart 06:39, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, I live in federal country (Australia) and no-one would dream of regarding the party presidents here as being the leaders of their parties. Not one person in 100 could even name the Federal President of the Liberal Party. The Parliamentary Leader is always "the Leader". And I don't think anyone would think that anyone other than Tony Blair was Leader of the British Labour Party - our article doesn't even say who the party chairman is. Adam 07:41, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

I also live in a federal country (Belgium) and here it is the other way around: party presidents are quite powerfull, as they are considered to be vital to the political process of communication between the federal and regional levels. The political power in the hands of party presidents is so significant that it is considered impractical (though exceptions exist; two such currently) for a party president to seat as minister in any government. Therefore, no recent Prime Minister of Belgium has been leader of his party at the same time, if my historic knowledge serves me well. Wouter Lievens 08:04, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Since this is the English Wikipedia, the German (and Belgian) practice needs to explained to Anglophone readers. I had never heard of Franz Müntefering until after these elections, and I'll bet very few other people outside Germany had either. Adam 08:10, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

An imperfect analogy in the English-speaking world is the USA, where the congressional and senate leaders have a lot of clout independent of the President. --- Charles Stewart 14:32, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Also I have a question. Does Germany have a formal position of Leader of the Opposition? If so, who will that be now that the SPD is in coalition with the CDU-CSU? Adam 08:12, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Not as far as I know. The strongest fraction usually takes that role (CDU-CSU so far), but considering the opposition parties are rather small and the Liberals are not representative for the current opposition (their views strongly conflict with those of the Greens and the Left party), the "Leaders of the Opposition" will probably be the leaders of the individual parties.
I'm pretty sure there is no formal either way. Ashmodai 09:49, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
There is definitely no "leader of the opposition" in a formal way, but I think there are some special payments to all opposition parties (I'm not sure about that). The "Geschäftsordnung des Deutschen Bundestages" [3] does not say anything about opposition. -- till we | Talk 10:38, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Does anyone think this horrible coalition will last four years? What does the SPD rank and file think about it? Adam 14:33, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Can't answer the 2nd, but on the first, it's clearly going to be troubled, but if the parties can work out some common ground on economic reform, then they have a chance. The most reachable common ground is most probably to do nothing significant, but it's notable that the CDU blocked SPD reforms that they didn't seem to have principled objections to, but were doing so out of part political advantage. I don't think Stoiber in Economics is good news. --- Charles Stewart 15:16, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

My assumption is that the SPD will find a new leader, wait a year or so for their stocks to recover, sabotage Merkel in the meantime so she doesn't achieve anything, then walk out of the government over some issue or other and force new elections. Adam 14:46, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

I think they will last longer than expected, not at least because informally there was a grand coalition even in the last three years (most bills must be voted also by the Bundesrat, and the Bundesrat majority was CDU/CSU for the last years). So the situation for the SPD is not that different. -- till we | Talk 18:35, 20 October 2005 (UTC)


Looks like a hung parliament to me, is it not? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:40, August 22, 2007 (UTC)

Results table[edit]

Put it back you wallies —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:53, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

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