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This is what you need to know about the state elections in Lower Saxony

On October 9th, the 19th Lower Saxony state parliament will be elected.

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This is what you need to know about the state elections in Lower Saxony

On October 9th, the 19th Lower Saxony state parliament will be elected. A total of 6.1 million voters are called upon to cast their votes at the ballot box. In the second largest federal state in terms of area, a new state parliament is elected every five years. This year, 23 parties are standing for election, 14 are represented on the state list.

Stephan Weil (SPD) has been Prime Minister of Lower Saxony since 2013. Weil has governed together with the CDU in a red-black coalition since 2017. Satisfaction with the coalition in the state is high overall, even if it has decreased somewhat compared to the previous year: 62 percent stated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the work of the state government.

The biggest challenger for top candidate Weil is, of all people, a member of his government: the current Economics Minister, Bernd Althusmann, from the CDU. The polls show a very close race, the high flight of the Greens has slowed down a bit recently. The election campaign is currently in full swing. The most important issues are the shortage of skilled workers, energy supply, internal security, education, agriculture, care, transport policy and medical care.

Insa, 04. October 2022

SPD: 31 percent

CDU: 28 percent

Greens: 16 percent

FDP: 5 percent

AfD: 11 percent

Left: 4 percent

Other: 5 percent

All persons over the age of 18 who have German citizenship are entitled to vote. In addition, the person must have been registered with their main residence in Lower Saxony for at least three months.

In the election to the Lower Saxony state parliament, each and every voter has two votes. With the first vote, the direct candidate from the respective constituency is elected. The state list of a party is supported with the second vote. The first and second votes can be cast independently of each other, i.e. a candidate from party A can be supported with the first vote and the state list of party B with the second vote.

The Lower Saxony state parliament has at least 135 members. Of these, 87 are elected by first vote as direct candidates from the constituencies, the so-called direct mandates. The candidate with the most first votes wins the constituency. Accordingly, a relative majority is sufficient to move directly into the state parliament.

At least 48 MPs will also receive seats in parliament via the state lists of the parties. However, only candidates whose party has received more than five percent of the valid votes can enter the state parliament via the state lists.

The SPD was the strongest party with 36.9 percent, followed by the CDU with 33.5 percent. The Greens and FDP lost support, but once again became the third and fourth strongest party in the state parliament. The AfD achieved 6.1 percent when it first took office and thus entered the state parliament, the Left just missed out with 4.6 percent.

Due to the losses of the Greens, the red-green state government lost its majority and was replaced by a red-black coalition of SPD and CDU. Stephan Weil remained prime minister. With 105 out of 137 seats, this governing coalition has the second largest parliamentary majority of all 16 German state governments, only in Saarland is this even clearer.

SPD: 36.9 percent

CDU: 33.6 percent

Greens: 8.7 percent

FDP: 7.5 percent

AfD: 6.2 percent

Left: 4.6 percent

Other: 2.5 percent

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