From teddy bears as an election gift, refreshments and special rules in the voting booth: everything you need to know in terms of interesting information and curious facts about this year's general election.
Berlin - Triell after Triell, interview after interview.
The tension in view of the upcoming federal elections is not only increasing for the Chancellor candidates Armin Laschet, Olaf Scholz and Annalena Baerbock.
More than 60 million eligible voters will soon have to cast their votes.
This year's election campaign has some interesting and curious facts that are summarized in this article.
(Election data, live ticker, background coverage - all information about the federal election 2021 can be found in our politics newsletter.)
Interesting facts: With the CDU, SPD and the Greens three candidates in the running for the federal election
Traditionally, only those parties that have the prospect of forming the government decide on a candidate for chancellor.
For many years, the duels between the candidates for chancellor of the CDU / CSU and the SPD were formative for the Bundestag election campaign.
But in 2002 a third candidate for Chancellor was added for the first time and turned the duel into a triumph: At that time it was the FDP, with Guido Westerwelle as the third official candidate, competing with the CSU Chancellor candidate Edmund Stoiber and the SPD Chancellor candidate Gerhard Schröder.
For this year's election, the Greens are sending Annalena Baerbock, a third candidate, into the race for the first time.
Constellations in the Bundestag: The parties in the election campaign for entry into the Bundestag
Since the last election in 2017, the German Bundestag has consisted of six parliamentary groups made up of seven parties. The CDU and CSU result in the Union faction. 96 parties have applied to join the Bundestag - the Federal Electoral Committee has approved a total of 53 parties to participate in this year's election. In addition to the usual large parties, there are also groups such as the “Party for Change, Vegetarians and Vegans” or “The Urbane”. A hip-hop party ”. But parties around individual candidates have also made their place on the list of some constituencies: for example the “Team Todenhöfer” initiative led by former CDU member Jürgen Todenhöfer.
As an analysis of the online magazine “Flip” shows, the average member of the Bundestag in the current Bundestag is male, white and 49 years old.
Female MPs only make up 30.7 percent.
Even MPs with a migration background, lower level of education or disability are currently only rarely represented in the Bundestag.
So it remains exciting to see what results the next general election will deliver.
Facts about the Bundestag election: Seats in the Bundestag and their occupation by MPs
For all 53 parties admitted to the election campaign, the electoral law currently only provides 589 seats in parliament.
Due to numerous overhang and compensatory mandates, the 19th Bundestag with 709 members of parliament is currently the largest Bundestag in the history of the FRG.
However, since the number of places is not limited, it could also happen that the Bundestag will be even bigger after this year's election.
A reform commission should remedy the situation by mid-2023 - among other things, there should be fewer constituencies.
For this year's elections, the number of 299 constituencies remains unchanged for the time being - starting with Schleswig Flensburg (1) to Saarpfalz-Kreis (constituency 299).
An overview of the regions, direct candidates and results of the 46 Bavarian constituencies can be found here.
An overview of the regions, direct candidates and results of the 46 Bavarian constituencies can be found here.
Tension in the constituency of Potsdam: Two candidates for chancellor compete for entry into parliament
There is a premiere in the constituency of Potsdam (61): For the first time in German electoral history, two candidates for chancellor from the same constituency are competing against each other.
Both Green leader Annalena Baerbock and Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) are fighting for their entry into parliament in Potsdam.
But the duel between direct candidates could also be exciting in other constituencies: In the constituency of Leverkusen / Cologne-Mülheim (101), SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach competes against CDU board member Serap Güler, while in southern Thuringia former biathlon world champion Frank Ullrich ( SPD) and Hans-Georg Maaßen (CDU) are fighting for a direct mandate in the 196 constituency.
Interesting facts about the federal election: Why September 26th was set as election day
In general, the election date must fall on a Sunday or a public holiday.
The exact time frame for the Bundestag election is stipulated in Article 39 of the Basic Law: Accordingly, new elections must take place no earlier than 46 and no later than 48 months after the start of the current legislative period.
Since the electoral period of the 19th German Bundestag began with the constituent session on October 24, 2017, the date for 2021 will therefore be between August 25 and October 24.
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has therefore set the date for this year's general election for Sunday, September 26, 2021.
On this day, the polling stations are open to all eligible voters in the respective constituency from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for voting.
Shortly after the polling stations close, the first projections are usually made.
Facts about the 2021 Bundestag election: Bundestag is the only organ of the German legislature to be directly elected
The legislature (legislative power) in Germany consists of the Bundestag and Bundesrat.
The Bundestag is composed of the results of the first and second elections by the citizens who are entitled to vote.
The Federal Council, on the other hand, does not consist of directly elected representatives of the people and therefore cannot be directly elected by those entitled to vote.
Likewise, the direct election of the organs of the other two state powers, the executive (executive power) and the judiciary (judiciary), by the people is not possible.
In contrast to the members of the Bundestag, the Chancellor is not directly elected either.
However, the individual citizens can certainly influence the election of the Federal Chancellor.
Because: The members of parliament elected by the people ultimately also vote on the Federal Chancellor, who is previously proposed by the Federal President.
Eligibility and participation in the Bundestag election: Who can vote and how many will participate?
According to estimates by the Federal Statistical Office, around 60.4 million Germans will be eligible to vote on election day (September 26, 2021) - including 31.2 million women and 29.2 million men.
72.6 percent of the population are therefore eligible to vote.
In fact, 12.8 million voters in this year's federal election are older than 69, 10.2 million between 60 and 69 and 11.8 million between 50 and 59. That means: 57.8 percent of all eligible voters are older than 49. These are decisive in determining how the election on September 26th will turn out.
Most of the voters (12.8 million) come from North Rhine-Westphalia - the home of CDU chancellor candidate Armin Laschet, followed by Bavaria with 9.4 million.
Around 2.8 million people are voting for the first time in a federal election.
Unfortunately, nowadays not everyone uses their right to vote.
Until the 1980s, a high voter turnout of over 90 percent in the federal government was the rule.
But with the first all-German election in 1990, the rate fell significantly and in the federal and state levels fell to historic lows - only 70.9 percent in the 2009 Bundestag election, and 76.2 percent in 2017.
The participation increased for the second time in a row.
Election campaign for the federal election 2021: teddy bears, folding rules and polo shirts
Especially now in the hot phase of the election campaign, the parties are doing everything they can to win many voters over the last few meters.
Parties like to resort to unusual means: For example, the AfD advertises in its shop with corona masks, folding rules and labeled polo shirts, while the SPD tries its luck with teddy bears and the FDP with ice scrapers.
Federal election 2021: facts about postal voting
Since 1957 it has also been possible to vote from home by letter - since 2009 without giving an important reason.
Since then, the proportion of postal voters has risen dramatically over the decades: from an initial 4.9 percent to 28.6 percent in the 2017 Bundestag election. That corresponded to around 13.4 million postal voters.
Experts assume that this year even more than half of all votes could be cast by postal vote.
Facts about the ballot paper: rules and special features of the federal election
The voting slip may only be provided with two markings: One mark for the first election of a direct candidate and one for the second election of a party.
A pencil, a ballpoint pen or a felt pen can be used for this.
What the marking looks like, whether a cross or a tick or another neutral marking is not relevant.
But: If it is not clear who was elected, if too many or too few markings were made, the ballot paper was labeled in some other way or a smiley face was made instead of a neutral mark such as a cross, the ballot paper is invalid.
Here are other interesting facts about the ballot for the federal election:
To ensure accessibility, the upper right corner of the voting paper is punched or cut off so that blind people can use templates that make it easier to read.
The “longest” ballot in Germany - measured by the number of listed state lists (27) and non-party members (7) - came from the 2017 federal election in the constituency of Berlin-Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg - Prenzlauer Berg Ost.
After all votes have been counted and the official result has been announced, the valid ballot papers and other voting documents are sealed and stored at the municipal authority.
In this way, the results can be accessed again if the election results are contested or there are indications of manipulation.
They can only be destroyed 60 days before the next federal election - sometimes even earlier.
Selfies have been banned in the voting booth since the 2017 general election.
The main purpose of this is to protect the privacy of voters.
Merkel and her new successor: when will the Chancellor change?
The Basic Law does not set a deadline by when a new Chancellor must be elected.
The timing of the change depends on the length of the previous coalition negotiations.
Since none of the parties will provide sole government - as the current survey results also predict - there will be coalition negotiations.
Only when the coalition partners have finished negotiating can the Chancellor be elected.
Interesting fact: At the 2017 federal election, due to lengthy coalition negotiations, there were 171 days between the federal election and Angela Merkel's re-election to parliament - the period has never been so long.
Federal election 2021: More expensive than ever
According to reports, the Federal Ministry of the Interior is planning a budget of around 107 million euros for the federal election in 2021, while the costs for the 2017 federal election were still 92 million. This could make the federal election more expensive than ever before - also because of the corona pandemic: The ministry expects the number of postal voters to increase in the course of the pandemic. But also voluntary election workers - this year around 650,000 in number - receive a so-called refreshment allowance of 25 euros per day, electoral officers receive 35 euros. In Bielefeld, the refreshment
the highest at 80 euros, as the
found out in analyzes.
In a European comparison, Germany is in a good position despite the high costs: The election of the British House of Commons in 2017 cost the United Kingdom the equivalent of around 159 million euros, the general election in France in 2017 even more than 200 million euros.
you can always find out up-to-date in advance what the polls say for the federal election in 2021.
You will also find an interactive map here with all the results for constituencies and municipalities.
(dpa / klb)