What are federal mandates

Bundestag elections

709 mandates were awarded in the 2017 federal election. How many MPs do the individual parties send to the Bundestag? Which countries do the MEPs come from? And where did compensation and overhang mandates arise?

After the federal election, 709 members were represented in the 19th German Bundestag. The largest group is the CDU with 200 seats. Compared to the 2013 election, the CDU had to give up 55 seats. The SPD was allowed to send the second largest number of MPs to parliament: 153 seats, 40 fewer than in 2013.

The third strongest party in the German Bundestag was the AfD with 94 seats after the Bundestag election. After the federal election in 2013, it was not represented in parliament, nor was the FDP, which in 2017 was the fourth strongest party to send 80 elected officials to parliament.

DIE LINKE won 69 seats in the 2017 Bundestag election - five more than in 2015. The GRÜNEN were also able to gain ground compared to 2013. 67 seats mean an increase of four. The CSU, on the other hand, has fewer MPs than before and was allowed to occupy 46 seats in parliament (-10).

With 142 MPs, most of the elected representatives came from North Rhine-Westphalia after the 2017 federal election. Bavaria (108) and Baden-Württemberg (96) also provided large contingents. The number of MPs who move into the Bundestag from one state is closely related to the number of the German population there. Therefore, very few MPs come from the smallest states of Bremen (6) and Saarland (10).

About 31 percent of all MPs were female after the election. Only from Bremen did women make up the greater proportion (67%, 4 out of 6). But Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (44%, 7 of 16), Rhineland-Palatinate (43%, 16 of 37), Berlin (43%, 12 of 28) and Schleswig-Holstein (42%, 11 of 26) had one clearly above-average proportion of women. At the opposite end, Saarland (20%, 2 out of 10), Saxony-Anhalt (22%, 5 out of 23) and Thuringia (23%, 5 out of 22) were well below the national average.

The right to vote in the German Bundestag provides for a multi-stage seat allocation procedure. On the basis of this, the Bundestag will increase significantly beyond the minimum size of 598 seats, depending on the outcome of the election. After the 2017 federal election, the number of MPs rose to the new maximum of 709 seats, which is 18.6 percent larger than the minimum size. In the seat allocation process, the increase comes about through two phenomena: Surplus mandates arise when a party in a country has more successful direct candidates than it is entitled to according to the second vote result in that country. Compensatory mandates, on the other hand, have been provided for in the federal election law since the 2013 election in order to exclude or minimize the percentage distortion of the seat allocation resulting from the overhang mandates and other non-constitutional effects of the electoral law.

In the 2017 federal election, there were a total of 46 overhang seats in thirteen federal states (not Berlin, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia). Most of the overhang mandates originated in Baden-Württemberg (11) and Bavaria (7). On the other hand, a total of 65 compensatory mandates were distributed in all federal states except Bremen through the seat allocation procedure. Most compensation mandates were created in North Rhine-Westphalia (14), Baden-Württemberg (9), Bavaria (8) and Lower Saxony (7).