Gains for the CDU and AfD, losses for the traffic light parties SPD and FDP and only a small loss for the Greens: In the partial repeat of the federal election in Berlin, the federal trend has prevailed.
After all electoral districts have been counted, the SPD remains the strongest party in the capital with 22.2 percent (-1.2 percentage points), closely followed by the Greens with 22.0 percent (-0.3). The CDU improved to 17.2 percent (+1.3), the Left practically maintained its result from the 2021 election at 11.5 percent (-0.1). The AfD climbs to 9.4 percent (+1.0) and pushes past the FDP, which falls to 8.1 percent (-0.9).
Four Berlin MPs are no longer in the Bundestag, and the FDP even loses a seat
This means that the partially repeated election has direct consequences for the FDP: The Bundestag will shrink to 735 members because the Liberals will lose one seat and from now on only hold 91 seats. The Federal Returning Officer announced this on Monday night. Other parties do not lose any seats, but there are changes here too: the Berlin Green Party state chairwoman Nina Stahr, Berlin's FDP general secretary Lars Lindemann, the SPD MP Ana-Maria Trasnea and the left-wing parliamentarian Pascal Meiser are all in No longer in the Bundestag in the future.
All four entered the Bundestag via their parties' state lists. It was already foreseeable before the election that things could be tight for those in last place on their party's respective state list, which was enough to get into the Bundestag in 2021, in the partial repeat of the election on Sunday. However, two other Berlin MPs, whose return to the Bundestag via the state list was also not considered certain, have made it: AfD MP Götz Frömming is represented in parliament, as is the general secretary of the state CDU, Ottilie Klein.
Direct mandates remain safe
The counting of votes for the twelve Berlin direct mandates brought no changes to 2021. All candidates prevailed again.
However, Berlin's former governing mayor Michael Müller (SPD) only narrowly defended his direct mandate. According to the state election authorities on Sunday, he received a total of 25.6 percent of the vote in his constituency in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, only just ahead of the competition from the Greens and the CDU. This corresponds to a minus of 2.3 percentage points. Directly behind are Federal Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) with 25.1 and the CDU candidate Klaus-Dieter Gröhler with also 25.1 percent.
AfD candidate in custody makes gains in election
There was a special feature in the Steglitz-Zehlendorf constituency: AfD candidate Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, who was in custody, improved her 2021 result slightly. According to the state election authorities, she received 5.5 percent of the initial votes. That is 0.2 percentage points more than in the original election. At that time, Malsack-Winkemann was not returned to the Bundestag. In December 2022, like numerous other suspects, she was arrested in a major raid. The Federal Prosecutor's Office accuses her of membership and support of a (right-wing) terrorist organization. She has admitted some of the allegations, but denies that the group has a terrorist aim.
Malsack-Winkemann received a total of 9,277 votes in the partial repeat election. The result is made up of the repeat election votes cast on Sunday and those from the original 2021 election in electoral districts with still valid results. It was on the ballot paper again because parties are not allowed to put forward new candidates in a repeat election.
Voter turnout lower than 2021
On Sunday, around a fifth of Berlin's eligible voters were called to vote again because there were numerous organizational breakdowns in the capital during the 2021 federal election.
The voter turnout was lower than in 2021. As a result, the election management in its preliminary results table now reported the turnout for the entire Berlin federal election as 69.5 percent (2021: 75.2 percent). That would be the lowest value for a federal election in the state of Berlin.
The turnout remained below what state returning officer Stephan Bröchler had hoped for. “It is significantly lower than what I was aiming for,” Bröchler told the German Press Agency (dpa) on Sunday evening. It was significantly less attractive for Berliners to take part in a partial repeat election, which did not change the political majority in the German Bundestag. “That is the core of democratic elections, that we as citizens can at least influence the majority situation to some extent.”
Berlin's Green Party leader Nina Stahr made a more positive assessment: “Due to the fragmented electoral area, it was a challenge to get people to the ballot box,” Stahr told dpa. “But the voter turnout is better than expected, given some people's fears before the election. This shows that people want to use their vote for democracy.”
According to the state election authorities, the voting process on Sunday went largely smoothly despite continuous rain. “From an organizational point of view, the election went well,” said state returning officer Bröchler. However, there were some “mistakes” that are common for an election of this magnitude. There were delays in at least two cases. In a polling station in the Pankow district, a key was missing for a locked room with the voting documents that were then delivered by the district.