Electoral system for national legislature - Germany

Country: 
Germany
Question: 
Electoral system for national legislature
Answer: 
MMP
Source: 

Germany, Federal Elections Act (1993, last amended 3 June 2021), accessed 3 August 2021

Section 1. Composition of the German Bundestag and Principles of Franchise

(1) The German Bundestag shall, subject to variations resulting from this Act, consist of 598 members. They shall be elected in a general, direct, free, equal and secret ballot by the Germans eligible to vote, in accordance with the principles of proportional representation combined with uninominal voting.

(2) Of the members, 299*) shall be elected from nominations in the constituencies and the rest from Land nominations (Land lists).

Section 4. Votes

Each voter shall have two votes, a first vote for electing a member of parliament for the constituency and a second vote for electing a Land list.

Section 5. Election in the Constituencies

Each constituency shall elect one member. The candidate obtaining the majority of the votes cast shall be considered elected. In the event of a tie, the election shall be decided by the Constituency Returning Officer by drawing lots.

Section 6. Election by Land List

(1) For the distribution of seats to be occupied on the basis of Land lists, the second votes cast for each Land list shall be added together. The second votes of such voters shall be disregarded as cast their first votes for a successful constituency candidate nominated in accordance with Section 20 subsection (3) or by a party disregarded in the distribution of seats pursuant to subsection (3) or not permitted to submit a Land list in the Land in question. The number of successful constituency candidates specified in the second sentence shall be deducted from the total number of members of parliament (Section 1 subsection (1)).

(2) For an initial distribution, first the total number of seats (Section 1 subsection (1)) shall be allocated to the Länder on the basis of their respective population proportion (Section 3 subsection (1)) in accordance with the calculation procedure described in the second to seventh sentences, then the number of seats remaining in each Land pursuant to subsection (1), third sentence, shall be allocated to the Land lists on the basis of the second votes to be taken into consideration. The number of seats received by each Land list shall be determined by dividing the total of second votes cast for that list by a divisor used for the allocation of seats. Decimal fractions under 0.5 shall be rounded down to the

nearest whole number, decimal fractions above 0.5 shall be rounded up to the nearest whole number. Decimal fractions equal to 0.5 shall be rounded up or down so as to ensure that the number of seats to be distributed is adhered to; in case there are several possible allocations of seats, the Federal Returning Officer shall decide by drawing lots. The divisor for the allocation of seats shall be determined in such a way that the number of seats falling to the Land lists is equal to the number of seats to be distributed. To this end, the total number of second votes of all Land lists to be taken into account is first divided by

the number of seats remaining pursuant to subsection (1), third sentence. If more seats fall to the Land lists than there are seats to be distributed, the divisor shall be increased so that the calculation yields the number of seats to be allocated; if too few seats fall to the Land lists, the divisor shall be lowered accordingly.

(3) In the distribution of seats among Land lists, only parties that have obtained at least five per cent of the valid second votes cast in the electoral area or have won a seat in at least three constituencies shall be taken into consideration. The first sentence shall not apply to the lists submitted by parties representing national minorities.

(4) The number of seats won by a party in the constituencies of a Land (Section 5) shall be deducted from the number of seats thus established for each Land list. A party shall retain seats it has gained in the constituencies even if their number exceeds the number established in accordance with subsections (2) and (3).

(5) The number of seats remaining pursuant to subsection (1), third sentence, shall increase until each party, for the second distribution of seats as per subsection (6), first sentence, has received at least the total number of seats falling to their Land lists pursuant to the second and third sentence. To this end, the higher value shall be allocated to each Land list, be it the number of seats obtained as per Section 5 by the party’s candidates in the constituencies of the Land, or the average, rounded up to whole seats, of these and the number of seats allocated to the party’s Land list by the initial distribution pursuant to subsections (2) and (3). Each party shall receive at least the number of seats allocated to its Land lists by the initial distribution pursuant to subsections (2) and (3). Up to three seats won in the constituencies which cannot be deducted from the number of seats established for each Land list as per Section 4, first sentence, shall be disregarded when the number of seats is increased. The total number of seats (Section 1 subsection (1)) shall increase by the difference.

(6) The seats to be allocated in keeping with subsection (5) shall in any event and throughout the Federal Republic of Germany be distributed on the basis of the number of second votes to be considered by the calculation procedure described in subsection (2), second to seventh sentences, among the parties to be taken into consideration pursuant to subsection (3). For each party, the seats shall be distributed among the Land lists in accordance with the calculation procedure described in subsection (2), second to seventh sentences on the basis of the number of second votes to be considered; each Land list shall be allocated at least the number of seats determined pursuant to Section 5, second sentence. The number of seats won by each party in the constituencies of a Land (Section 5) shall be deducted from the number of seats established for the respective Land list. A party shall keep the seats won in the constituencies also where they exceed the number determined pursuant to the first sentence. In this event, the total number of seats (Section 1 subsection (1)) shall increase by the difference; there shall be no recalculation in accordance with the first sentence. The remaining seats shall be occupied by candidates from the Land list in the order laid down in it. Candidates who have been elected in a constituency shall be disregarded in the Land list. If more seats fall to a Land list than there are candidates nominated in it, these seats shall remain vacant.

(7) If a party which has received more than half of the total number of second votes of all parties to be taken into account does not receive more than half of the seats when the seats are distributed in accordance with subsections (2) to (6), further seats shall be allocated to that party until it has received one seat more than half of the seats. The seats shall be distributed within the party pursuant to subsection (6), second to sixth sentences.  In such an event, the total number of seats (Section 1 subsection (1)) shall increase by the difference.