After the disaster in 2021, the federal election in Berlin will be partially repeated. The CDU and AfD can make slight gains. According to Wegner, the CDU’s plus is thanks to his state party. Kühnert can breathe a sigh of relief.
In the partial repeat of the federal election in Berlin, interim results indicate slight gains for the CDU and AfD. The traffic light parties SPD, Greens and FDP are losing some ground compared to 2021. This is based on information from the state election authority on the Internet, according to which around 97.5 percent of all electoral areas had been counted as of 8:45 p.m.
This information is made up of the valid results from September 26, 2021 and the results of the partial repeat on Sunday that were already counted in the evening.
Based on this interim result, the CDU and AfD can expect an increase of around one percentage point. The SPD, Greens and FDP must expect losses of less than one percentage point each. The left remains roughly stable.
There will initially be no change to the order of the parties in the 2021 federal election. At the first attempt at the election in Berlin almost two and a half years ago, the SPD was in the lead (23.4 percent of the second votes), followed by the Greens (22.4), CDU (15.9), Left (11.4), FDP (9 .1) and AfD (8.4).
Wegner: CDU-Plus is thanks to the state party
Berlin’s Governing Mayor Kai Wegner attributed the expected growth of his CDU to the work of the state party. “This is mainly because we do good government work in Berlin,” said Wegner on RBB television. His party, which governs the capital together with the SPD, conducted an intensive election campaign. “We have a good mood for the CDU in the city.”
Kühnert retains direct mandate
SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert defended his direct mandate in the Bundestag. According to the state election authorities, Kühnert lost slightly in the first votes compared to the first attempt in 2021, but ended up in first place in the Tempelhof-Schöneberg constituency in the overall result with 26.7 percent. The overall result is made up of the votes cast on Sunday and those still valid in the original election on September 26, 2021.
Green MP Renate Künast, who entered the Bundestag via the party’s state list in 2021, came in second place with 25.2 percent. CDU politician Jan-Marco Luczak confirmed third place with 22.4 percent.
Voter turnout is falling
According to the state election authority, 40.2 percent of eligible voters cast their votes by 4 p.m. – two hours before the polling stations closed. In 2021 it was 57 percent in the electoral districts in question at the same time. In all Berlin electoral districts combined – including those that did not vote again – voter turnout in the federal election was 75.2 percent.
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 Stephan Bröchler in the RBB.
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.
Start of an important election year
The election marks the start of an important election year in Germany: the European elections take place on June 9th, followed by state elections in Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg in September. Even before the repeat election in Berlin, it was clear that this would not change the majority in the Bundestag or the majority of the traffic light coalition – the proportion of those entitled to repeat voting out of all eligible voters nationwide is only 0.9 percent.
Election day 2021 was chaotic
On September 26, 2021, in addition to the election for the Bundestag, the elections for the Berlin House of Representatives, the district council assemblies and a referendum took place in the capital. A lot went wrong back then: long queues in front of polling stations, missing or incorrect ballot papers, a temporary interruption in voting in some places – the list of problems was long. Some voters cast their votes well after 6 p.m., when forecasts and projections had already been published.
For this reason, the two botched elections at the state and district level were completely repeated on February 12, 2023 by order of the Berlin Constitutional Court. Organizationally, everything went largely smoothly at the time; the political consequence was a change of government from red-green-red to black-red.
The Karlsruhe judges, in turn, only partially declared the federal election invalid in a ruling from December 2023. Nevertheless, it was the first repeat election in history ordered by the Federal Constitutional Court.
Repeat with some special features
The partial repetition had some peculiarities. The parties were not allowed to put forward any new candidates; the ballot paper had to look like it did in 2021. This led, for example, to the former AfD member of the Bundestag Birgit Malsack-Winkemann formally running again, who had not made it into the Bundestag in 2021. She was arrested in a large-scale raid in December 2022 and is in custody. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office accuses her of membership and support of a (right-wing) terrorist organization.
Voting took place in all twelve Berlin federal parliamentary constituencies, although to very different degrees. In Pankow, 85 percent of the polling districts were affected, in Lichtenberg only 2.9 percent.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.