2013 German federal election

Federal elections were held on 22 September to elect the members of the 18th Bundestag of Germany.[1] At stake were all 598 seats to the Bundestag, plus 33 overhang seats determined thereafter. The Christian Democratic Union of Germany/Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CDU/CSU) of incumbent chancellor Angela Merkel won their best result since 1990 with nearly 42% of the vote and nearly 50% of the seats, just five short for an overall majority. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) failed to meet the 5% vote electoral threshold in what was their worst showing ever in a federal election, denying them seats in the Bundestag for the first time in their history.

2013 German federal election

 2009 22 September 2013 (2013-09-22) 2017 

All 631 seats in the Bundestag, including 33 overhang and leveling seats
316 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Registered61,946,900 Decrease 0.4%
Turnout44,309,925 (71.5%) Increase 0.7pp
  First party Second party Third party
Candidate Angela Merkel Peer Steinbrück Gregor Gysi[lower-alpha 1]
Party CDU/CSU SPD Left
Last election 33.8%, 239 seats 23.0%, 146 seats 11.9%, 76 seats
Seats won 311 193 64
Seat change Increase 72 Increase 47 Decrease 12
Popular vote 18,165,446 11,252,215 3,755,699
Percentage 41.5% 25.7% 8.6%
Swing Increase 7.7pp Increase 2.7pp Decrease 3.3pp

  Fourth party Fifth party
Candidate Jürgen Trittin &
Katrin Göring-Eckardt
Rainer Brüderle
Party Greens FDP
Last election 10.7%, 68 seats 14.6%, 93 seats
Seats won 63 0
Seat change Decrease 5 Decrease 93
Popular vote 3,694,057 2,083,533
Percentage 8.4% 4.8%
Swing Decrease 2.3pp Decrease 9.8pp

The left side shows constituency winners of the election by their party colours. The right side shows party list winners of the election for the additional members by their party colours.

Government before election

Second Merkel cabinet

Government after election

Third Merkel cabinet

As the FDP, the CDU/CSU's junior coalition partner, failed to get any seats and a red–green alliance, which governed Germany from 1998 to 2005, did not have enough seats for a majority, the only possible coalition without the CDU/CSU was a left-wing red–red–green coalition government. Merkel scared it off, and both the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and Alliance 90/The Greens ruled out governing with The Left. Ultimately, Merkel's party reached a coalition agreement with the then-main opposition party, the SPD, to form a grand coalition, the third in the country's history since World War II. The SPD leadership conducted a ratification vote by their broader membership before the agreement was made final. The grand coalition was renewed after the 2017 German federal election due to failure during the negotiations of a Jamaica coalition.

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