The parliamentary elections in Berlin will take place on February 12, 2023. The vote will decide who will govern the capital in the coming five-year legislative period.
In 2016, Berlin dared an experiment that was unique in Germany: the first red-red-green state government led by the Social Democrats. The governing mayor Michael Müller was succeeded at the end of 2021 by the Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey, who resigned after a plagiarism scandal. The SPD's top candidate won the election in Berlin, which took place on September 26, 2021, at the same time as the federal elections, clearly ahead of the Greens and the CDU. She again formed a red-red-green government with the Greens and the Left.
However, there were massive irregularities and faulty processes in the conduct of the election due to the simultaneous referendum on the expropriation of large housing groups and the Berlin marathon. The consequences of this concentration and poor preparation were incorrect or missing ballot papers, too few ballot boxes, the temporary closure of polling stations and long queues in front of them. Some voters voted after 6 p.m. or on hastily copied ballot papers because there were no supplies.
In November 2022, the constitutional court in Berlin then declared the elections to the House of Representatives and the district assemblies to be invalid. The election must be repeated, which was also confirmed by the Federal Constitutional Court on January 31 - albeit with reservations. The legislative period ends in 2026.
According to a decision by the German Bundestag, the Berlin federal elections are only to be partially repeated in some constituencies of the capital. In addition, a number of election examination complaints are pending in Karlsruhe, which the judges will decide on in a separate procedure. An election date will not be determined here until the review is complete.
Breakdowns like in September 2021 should not happen again. Franziska Giffey said it was "our shared responsibility" to ensure future elections run smoothly. “We have been working intensively on this for months.” At least 38,000 poll workers are to be deployed in the election to the House of Representatives instead of 34,000 in the previous year. They should also be trained much better and their refreshment allowance has been increased to 240 euros. There should also be more ballot boxes in the polling stations than last time. 39 million euros have been set aside for the repeat election in the supplementary budget.
Three and a half weeks before the repeat election, the CDU is ahead of the voters' favour. The Christian Democrats improved by two points to 23 percent, according to the "Berlin Trend" published on January 18 by the broadcaster RBB and the newspaper "Berliner Morgenpost". The Greens came second with 21 percent, they lost a point. The SPD followed in third place with an unchanged 18 percent.
The left reached eleven percent unchanged, the AfD improved by one point to eleven percent. The FDP also gained one point and reached six percent. The CDU pushed the Greens out of the top spot and, according to RBB information, was at the top of the poll for the first time since April 2020.
Based on the survey by the institute Infratest dimap, several government alliances are conceivable: the incumbent coalition of SPD, Greens and Left would still have a parliamentary majority. However, the weights within the alliance would shift: With such a result, the Greens would have a claim to the Red Town Hall.
A Jamaica coalition of CDU, Greens and FDP would also have a majority. Numerically, a Germany coalition of the CDU, SPD and FDP would also be possible. According to the survey, a traffic light coalition like the one in the federal government would not have a clear majority. A black-green coalition would not have a majority.
In order to be able to vote at the polling station by postal vote or with the polling card contained in the postal voting documents, you must first apply for this at the responsible district electoral office. The application can be submitted until February 10, 2023, 6:00 p.m. Eligible voters who have their postal voting documents sent to an address outside of Berlin – especially abroad – should take postal delivery times into account when submitting their application. The completed postal voting documents must be received by the responsible district electoral office by Sunday, February 12, 2023, 6:00 p.m.
Franziska Giffey (SPD)
Bettina Jarasch (Greens)
Klaus Lederer (The Left)
Kai Wegner (CDU)
Sebastian Czaja (FDP)
Kristin Brinker (AfD)
In Berlin, 2.5 million citizens are entitled to vote. 33 parties are taking part in the election to the House of Representatives with state or district lists, one fewer than in the 2021 election.
The elections to the Berlin House of Representatives are held according to a mixed electoral system, the so-called personalized proportional representation system. Each eligible voter has two votes. With the first vote, he votes for a candidate in his constituency. He casts the second vote for a party list. Each party receives a share of the seats in the House of Representatives that corresponds to the ratio of the number of votes it has achieved to the total number of second votes.
The House of Representatives has at least 130 members. 78 seats are directly elected in the constituencies with the first vote. There are currently 160 deputies, as some parties have received overhang mandates and other compensatory mandates.
All Germans who have reached the age of 18 on the day of the election, who have lived in Berlin for at least three months without interruption and who are not disqualified from voting have the right to vote in the elections to the House of Representatives.
The electoral area of the federal state of Berlin is divided into 78 constituencies for the election to the House of Representatives. The constituencies of a district form a constituency association.
SPD: 21.4 percent
Greens: 18.9 percent
CDU: 18 percent
Left: 14.1 percent
AfD: 8 percent
FDP: 7.1 percent