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Elections in Germany

Elections in Germany


Democracy means having a choice. Dictatorship means being subjected to a choice.

Jeannine Luczak, Literary Scholar

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At a glance

  • Elections are the foundation of every democracy. They determine the political course of the country for a fixed period of time.
  • In the past, voter loyalty to certain parties was widespread. For years,  however, voters’ willingness to switch allegiances has dramatically increased.
  • In conjunction with changes in the electoral market and swing voters, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s electoral research work is also dedicated to the issue of who votes which party and why.
  • Methodologically, a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches are suitable for our election and social research.
  • We regularly commission representative surveys in order to research the fundamental patterns of attitudes towards political electoral behaviour.



1. The electorate is undergoing change

2. Electoral research at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

3. Methods of empirical election and social research

4. Our offers and projects on the topic

5. Publications, events and media contributions on the topic


Elections are the cornerstone of democracy. Their outcome determines the political course for a set period of time. The decision of voters and electorate analysis are therefore of major importance beyond the boundaries of electoral research.


The electorate is undergoing change

Election polls have always enjoyed great popularity. Having said that, the voters’ enormous willingness to switch allegiances has dramatically increased over the years. Instead of a fundamental preference for one party, many voters in Germany now have a diverse openness to parties. Hence, poll data and the actual election results differ time and again.


Electoral research at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

Fundamental and long-term changes on the electoral market are just as much a focus of our studies as the explanation on who votes which party and why. “The goal is to use scientific means to create the foundations for political action and identify future developments at an early stage. […] At the interface between politics and science, research is to be conducted on such developments that have an impact on politics, the party system and political decision-making processes”, writes GESIS (Gesellschaft Sozialwissenschaftlicher Infrastruktureinrichtungen) as a background on the foundation regarding data sets of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s empirical studies.


Methods of empirical election and social research

In order to research electoral behaviour, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung applies a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. For instance, in-depth psychological interviews on the qualitative side provide insights into the rationale, unconscious and emotional perceptions surrounding the voting decision and underlying motives. These can then be tested for range and correlations in quantitative surveys.

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung regularly commissions representative surveys and thus researches, often as a time series, basic patterns of attitudes towards political voting behaviour.

Our offers and projects on the topic

Website project “Election Analyses and Demoscopy”

With the website project “Election Analyses and Demoscopy”, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung provides a comprehensive knowledge portal relating to the topic of elections in Germany. In addition to analyses on federal or state elections, here you will find overviews of outcomes of elections that have taken place since 1946 as well as detailed information and relevant studies on opinion and survey research.

Election Analyses of Bundestag Elections


Our overview page on the Bundestag elections will provide you with election analyses since 2005 with major determinants of the election outcome, changes in vote shares, voter migration and voting behaviour in various population groups.


Learn more about the election analyses of Bundestag elections

Election Analyses of State Parliament Elections


Our overview page on all state parliament elections will provide you with election analyses since 2004 with major determinants for state election results, voter migration balances and voting behaviour in various population groups.


Learn more about the election analyses of state parliament elections

Election Outcomes and Representative Election Statistics since 1946


On our overview page on election outcomes and representative election statistics you can view all election results in Federal and State governments since 1946 based on publications of the Federal Statistical Office or the State Statistical Offices.


Learn more about the election outcomes and statistics

Demoscopy (Opinion Polls)


On our overview page on demoscopy you will find current surveys on voting intention (Sunday poll), on the most pressing problems and problem-solving skills, on politicians’ ratings, on the assessment of the economic situation as well as on the assessment of government and opposition in the long-term trend.


Learn more about current opinion polls


Historical election results at a glance

Elections had already taken place in Germany before 1946. Both in the Weimar Republic and the German Empire, elections to the German Reichstag were an integral part of the political system. Although elections also took place in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), these were not free and fair elections in the democratic sense, but rather so-called sham elections in which results were already known in advance and merely served the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) as an instrument of apparent democratic legitimacy. It was not until 1990, in the wake of the successful Peaceful Revolution, that the GDR’s People’s Chamber was freely elected for the first and last time. We have compiled the historical election results for you below.

Election Results in the German Empire 1871 to 1918


Our overview of election results in the German Empire shows the election results of all Reichstag elections in the period between 1871 and 1918.


Learn more about the election results in the German Empire

Election Results in the Weimar Republic 1919 to 1933


Our overview of election results in the Weimar Republic shows the election results of all Reichstag elections in the period between 1919 and 1933.


Learn more about the election results in the Weimar Republic

Election Results in the GDR 1990

In 1990, as a result of the Peaceful Revolution in the GDR, free elections were held for the first and only time. We will present the rules of the election to the People’s Chamber on the following overview page.


Learn more about the election results in the GDR from 1990

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Dr. Viola Neu


Deputy Head of Division Analysis and Consulting,
Head of Department Electoral and Social Research +49 30 26996-3506
Single title
Marco Verch / ccnull
June 1, 2022
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Single title
February 2, 2021
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Monitor Election and Social Research
David McKelvey / flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 /
July 19, 2021
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Publications, events and media contributions on the topic

Our contributions are as wide-ranging and multifaceted as the topic itself!

Whether it's an expert interview, specialist publication or hot debate - click through and you're guaranteed to find the right format for you!

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Publications to the topic

Gruppe von Menschen protestiert mit der Flagge der Europäischen Union Adobe Stock / GMZ

My First European Election

A Representative Survey about Political Attitudes on Europe among First-Time-Voters

Zukünftiges Altersheim - drei ältere Männer mit VR-Headset Adobe Stock / Dr.Söd

The digital divide in society

Results from a representative survey on artificial intelligence

Wähler auf einem Hintergrund mit der Flagge der Europäischen Union. Adobe Stock / Rawf8

Public Opinion on the European Union before the European Election 2024

A representative survey on attitudes on the EU

Baum im Sommer und Winter Adobe Stock / by-studio

Changing political attitudes

Results from three representative trend surveys

EU Parlament mit Flaggen Adobe Stock / akkash

Enthusiastic, Critical, Unimpressed, Weary – the Germans and Europe

How do people in Germany evaluate the EU? Attitudes on Europe in a representative survey

Alter Mann und Kind pflanzen eine kleine Pflanze ein Adobe Stock / Yakobchuk Olena

Forgoing for the sake of the climate?

Representative survey on attitudes toward climate protection and climate-friendly behaviour among the German population

Frau mit der Flagge der Europäischen Union in der Stadt weyo / Adobe Stock

The pro-European

Representative survey on attitudes toward Europe in the German population

Hessischer Landtag mit Landesflagge im ehemaligen nassauischen Stadtschloss IMAGO / imagebroker

Analysis of the parliamentary election in Hesse on 8 October 2023

Report on the preliminary final result, the main voting determinants, voter migration and social structure.

Generation Adobe Stock / Sheviakova

Generation is less than Age

Representative surveys on age differences in voting behaviour, values, anxieties and political participation

Man at two crossroads Adobe Stock / Blue Planet Studio

“You don’t know what the future holds …”

Results of two representative trend surveys

Mann im Kapuzenpulli mit einer Puppe. Adobe Stock / svetazi

“It's all been proven”

Results from representative and qualitative surveys on conspiracy theories in Germany

Flagge Israels pexels / cottonbro studio

Anti-Semitic Attitudes in Germany

Representative survey on the prevalence of anti-Semitic Attitudes in the German Population

Mexico Bundesstaat Wahlen Juni 2023 IMAGO / NurPhoto

Gubernatorial elections in Mexico

Clear results and no surprises

Frau mit Handy in der Hand Adobe Stock / nikkimeel

Is politics worthwhile on TikTok?

Empirical Study on the Use of TikTok and Political Information on the Platform

Sozialwahl 2023 KAS/Jana Reimann-Grohs

Digital voting at last! The Social Election 2023

Interview with Peter Weiß (MdB, CDU), Federal Election Commissioner for the Social Election 2023

Bremer Stadtmusikanten IMAGO / Peter Schickert

Election analysis of the parliamentary elections in Bremen on 14 May 2023

Report on the preliminary final result, the main determinants as well as voter migration and social structure

Menschenmenge Adobe Stock / beeboys

Generations across generations – Results from qualitative group discussions

Social analysis of attitudes and values of different generations in Germany

Reichsbürger-Pässe, Reichsadler und Reichsbürger-Nummernschild. IMAGO / Christian Ohde

No state, my rules

Representative survey on the prevalence of Reichsbürger-affine attitudes in the German population

Lupe und Zeitungen Adobe / Pixel-Shot

Which News Can Still Be Trusted?

Fear of Fake News and Trust in Public Media – A Representative Survey

Zwei Toilettenschilder für Weiblich und Männlich hängen an einer grauen Wand. Unsplash / Kenneth Sørensen

Women, men and hardly any differences?

A representative survey on participation and representation of women in Germany

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Events on the topic






Angebote der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung rund um die Kommunalpolitik.



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Politik als Kunst des Möglichen
Gesellschaftliche Debatten und landespolitische Entscheidungen

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Stresstest für die liberalen Demokratien

Argumente gegen die totalitäre Versuchung

Jens Fischer, Josephine Ballon, Laura Krause - Hintergrund_ Prof. Dr. Andreas Jungherr Henning Schacht

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#IKPK21: Gesellschaftliche Vielfalt als Herausforderung für politische Kampagnen

Election Night

"Safe war ich wählen!" – Election Night

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Können Bürgerräte das Vertrauen in die Demokratie stärken?

Digitale Diskussionsveranstaltung im Rahmen des Projektes Gemeinsam.Demokratie.Gestalten.

Armin Laschet CDU / Laurence Chaperon

Die CDU nach der Vorstandwahl

Prof. Niedermayer: „Die Union kann nur gemeinsam erfolgreich sein“

Prof. Dr. Oskar Niedermayer, Leiter des Otto-Stammer-Zentrums für empirische Politische Soziologie an der Freien Universität Berlin | Foto: KAS KAS

Lehren aus der Landtagswahl in Brandenburg

Eine Nachlese zu den Wahlanalysen und den Folgerungen daraus

Deutschland und Niedersachsen nach den Wahlen

Trends, Analysen, Meinungen

Deutschland und Niedersachsen nach den Wahlen

Trends, Analysen, Meinungen

171016 IKPK17 Chris Young Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung / Stefan Stahlberg

„Bürgerkontakt statt Beweihräucherung“

#IKPK17: Warum deutsche und US-Wahlkämpfer auf die persönliche Ansprache setzen – und wie sie damit erfolgreich sind

Wahlanalyse der Bundestagswahl

Prof. Oskar Niedermayer erläuterte in Potsdam die Erbebnisse

Immer gern gesehen: Das gefüllte Forum der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Berlin. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung / Stefan Stahlberg

Paralysierte Parteien, verlorenes Vertrauen und Wahlkampf-Wunder

#IKPK17: Einschneidende internationale Trends und Erfahrungen aus Wahlkämpfen in Frankreich, Österreich und Venezuela

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Dr. Peter Tauber diskutiert über Wahlbeteiligung, Verdruss und Alternativlosigkeit

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Eine vielfältige Tagung des Krone/Ellwanger-Kreises

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"Parteien müssen in ihren Kernkompetenzen punkten"

Stadtteilgespräch mit Prof. Dr. Oskar Niedermayer

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Die CDU liegt bei Bundestagswahl in Hamburg knapp hinter der SPD

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Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert mit Anmerkungen zur Bundestagswahl 2021
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