2005 North Rhine-Westphalia state election

The 2005 North Rhine-Westphalia state election was held on 22 May 2005 to elect the members of the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia. The incumbent coalition government of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and The Greens led by Minister-President Peer Steinbrück was defeated. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) became the largest party and formed a coalition with the Free Democratic Party (FDP). CDU leader Jürgen Rüttgers was subsequently elected Minister-President. This marked the first period of non-SPD government in the state since 1966.

2005 North Rhine-Westphalia state election

← 2000 22 May 2005 2010 →

All 187 seats of the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia
94 seats needed for a majority
Turnout8,244,014 (63.0%)
Increase 6.3%
  First party Second party
  Juergen Ruettgers hamm 2010.jpg Peer Steinbrück, Rhein-Ruhr-Halle Duisburg, 2005.jpg
Leader Jürgen Rüttgers Peer Steinbrück
Party CDU SPD
Last election 88 seats, 37.0% 102 seats, 42.8%
Seats won 89 74
Seat change Increase 1 Decrease 28
Popular vote 3,696,506 3,058,988
Percentage 44.8% 37.1%
Swing Increase 7.8% Decrease 5.7%

  Third party Fourth party
  Bhoehn.jpg Andreas Pinkwart2.jpg
Leader Bärbel Höhn Andreas Pinkwart
Party Green FDP
Last election 17 seats, 7.1% 24 seats, 9.8%
Seats won 12 12
Seat change Decrease 5 Decrease 12
Popular vote 509,293 508,266
Percentage 6.2% 6.2%
Swing Decrease 0.9% Decrease 3.6%

Minister-President before election

Peer Steinbrück
SPD

Elected Minister-President

Jürgen Rüttgers
CDU

Campaign and issuesEdit

Leading up to the election, the state was governed by a coalition of the SPD and the Greens, with Peer Steinbrück as Minister-President.

For much of 2004, there had been speculation that if the opposition Christian Democratic Union were to win this election, they would gain a two-thirds majority in the national upper house, the Bundesrat, and force a new election for the Bundestag by making the country ungovernable for Gerhard Schröder's coalition. Following the CDU's loss of a majority in Saxony, this risk was alleviated; however, North Rhine-Westphalia had been governed by the SPD alone or in coalition since 1966, so a defeat there would be perceived as a grave blow to the SPD.

Leading up to the election, polling in the state indicated a consistent lead (from 5-11% depending on agency) for a coalition of the CDU and the FDP over the SPD-Green share. In general, high German unemployment and the unpopularity of the national SPD and the Hartz IV reforms appeared to have taken a toll. Polls did indicate that SPD state leader Steinbrück was personally more popular than CDU state leader Jürgen Rüttgers, though.

This election marked the debut of Labour and Social Justice – The Electoral Alternative, a left-wing party including many former SPD members who opposed perceived neoliberalism within the federal Schröder government.

PartiesEdit

The table below lists parties represented in the previous Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Name Ideology Leader(s) 2000 result
Votes (%) Seats
SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands
Social democracy Peer Steinbrück 42.8%
102 / 231
CDU Christian Democratic Union of Germany
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands
Christian democracy Jürgen Rüttgers 37.0%
88 / 231
FDP Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei
Classical liberalism Andreas Pinkwart 9.8%
24 / 231
Grüne Alliance 90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Green politics Bärbel Höhn 7.1%
17 / 231

Opinion pollingEdit

Polling firm Fieldwork date Sample
size
SPD CDU FDP Grüne WASG Others Lead
2005 state election 22 May 2005 37.1 44.8 6.2 6.2 2.2 3.5 7.7
Forsa 18 May 2005 1,326 36 43 7 7 7 7
Infratest dimap 12–13 May 2005 1,000 37 43 7.5 7.5 5 6
Infas 10–12 May 2005 750 36 43 8 7 6 7
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 9–12 May 2005 1,062 35 44 7 9 5 9
Infratest dimap 10–11 May 2005 1,000 37 43 7 8 2 3 6
Forsa 26 Apr–6 May 2005 1,017 34 45 7 7 2 5 11
Infratest dimap 2–3 May 2005 1,010 35 45 7 8 5 10
Emnid 3 May 2005 ? 34 44 7 9 2 4 10
Forsa 25–29 Apr 2005 1,109 35 45 7 7 2 4 10
Infratest dimap 26–28 Apr 2005 1,000 34 45 7 9 5 11
Emnid 26 Apr 2005 1,000 34 45 6 10 5 11
Emnid 29 Mar–18 Apr 2005 1,053 35 45 6 9 5 10
Infratest dimap 12–14 Apr 2005 1,000 35 45 7 8 5 10
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 5–7 Apr 2005 1,039 36 46 6 8 4 10
Infratest dimap 4–5 Apr 2005 1,000 34 45 7 9 5 11
Emnid 24 Mar–3 Apr 2005 1,063 35 45 7 9 4 10
Forsa 30 Mar–5 Apr 2005 1,009 36 45 5 8 5 9
Infratest dimap 15–17 Mar 2005 1,000 35 42 7 10 1 5 7
Emnid 2–14 Mar 2005 1,058 35 43 7 10 5 8
Infratest dimap 1–3 Mar 2005 1,000 35 43 7 9 6 8
Forsa 21 Feb–1 Mar 2005 1,012 36 42 7 9 6 6
Infratest dimap 9–10 Feb 2005 1,000 37 39 7 9 8 2
Forsa 10–12 Jan 2005 1,302 39 39 7 9 6 Tie
Infratest dimap 4–6 Jan 2005 1,010 38 40 7 10 5 2
Emnid 3 Dec 2004 1,000 33 40 8 13 6 7
Forsa 2 Dec 2004 ? 36 39 8 11 6 3
Infratest dimap 29 Oct–4 Nov 2004 1,075 36 40 8 11 5 4
Infratest dimap 13–15 Sep 2004 1,000 30 43 7 13 7 13
Emnid 8–9 Sep 2004 1,000 30 43 7 11 9 13
Infratest dimap 24–26 Aug 2004 1,000 32 42 7 12 3 4 10
Emnid 9 Aug 2004 1,000 28 44 8 12 8 16
Psephos 31 May–4 Jun 2004 1,000 33 47 6 10 4 14
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 24 Apr 2004 ? 29 49 5 12 5 20
Psephos 18 Apr 2004 1,003 34 47 7 8 4 13
dimap 2–8 Mar 2004 1,007 32 48 6 10 4 16
dimap 20–25 Jan 2004 1,001 32 48 8 9 3 16
dimap 19 Jan 2004 ? 33 48 7 8 4 15
Psephos 2 Nov 2003 ? 31 47 7 10 5 16
dimap 30 Sep–2 Oct 2003 1,050 34 47 6 10 3 13
Infratest dimap 1 Jul 2003 1,000 33 47 7 10 3 14
Emnid 13 Jun 2003 ? 36 45 6 10 3 9
Forsa 26–30 May 2003 1,508 37 45 6 9 3 8
Infratest dimap 26–27 May 2003 1,000 33 45 8 11 3 12
dimap 19 May 2003 1,005 32 48 7 9 4 16
dimap 11–14 Mar 2003 1,000 33 48 6 10 3 15
Psephos 9 Feb 2003 1,005 33 46 8 10 3 7
Emnid 9–14 Jan 2003 1,000 36 45 6 9 4 9
Psephos 10 Nov 2002 ? 39 43 8 7 3 4
Psephos 15 Apr 2002 ? 36 38 12 8 6 2
Psephos 20 Jan 2002 ? 39 41 10 6 4 2
Psephos 30 Sep 2001 ? 43 38 10 6 3 5
Psephos 13 May 2001 ? 44 35 11 7 3 9
Psephos 14 Jan 2001 ? 41 38 9 8 4 3
2000 state election 14 May 2000 42.8 37.0 9.8 7.1 3.3 5.8

Election resultEdit

Summary of the 22 May 2005 election results for the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia
Party Votes % +/- Seats +/- Seats %
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 3,696,506 44.8  7.8 89  1 47.6
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 3,058,988 37.1  5.7 74  28 39.6
Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne) 509,293 6.2  0.8 12  5 6.4
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 508,266 6.2  3.6 12  12 6.4
Labour and Social Justice – The Electoral Alternative (WASG) 181,988 2.2 New 0 New 0
National Democratic Party (NPD) 73,969 0.9  0.9 0 ±0 0
Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) 72,989 0.9  0.2 0 ±0 0
The Republicans (REP) 67,220 0.8  0.3 0 ±0 0
Others 74,795 0.9 0 ±0 0
Total 8,244,014 100.0 187  44
Voter turnout 63.0  6.3
Popular Vote
CDU
44.84%
SPD
37.11%
B'90/GRÜNE
6.18%
FDP
6.17%
WASG
2.21%
Other
3.51%
Landtag seats
CDU
47.59%
SPD
39.57%
B'90/GRÜNE
6.42%
FDP
6.42%

SourcesEdit

NRW election authority

ReferencesEdit