2010 North Rhine-Westphalia state election

The 2010 Rhine-Westphalia state election was held on 9 May 2010 to elect the members of the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia. The incumbent coalition government of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Free Democratic Party (FDP) led by Minister-President Jürgen Rüttgers was defeated. The Social Democratic Party (SPD) subsequently formed a minority government with The Greens, led by SPD leader Hannelore Kraft, who became Minister-President.

2010 North Rhine-Westphalia state election

← 2005 9 May 2010 2012 →

All 181 seats in the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia
91 seats needed for a majority
Turnout7,760,546 (59.3%)
Decrease 3.7%
  First party Second party Third party
  Juergen Ruettgers hamm 2010.jpg Hannelorekraft.jpg Sylvia Löhrmann.jpg
Leader Jürgen Rüttgers Hannelore Kraft Sylvia Löhrmann
Party CDU SPD Green
Last election 89 seats, 44.8% 74 seats, 37.1% 12 seats, 6.2%
Seats won 67 67 23
Seat change Decrease 22 Decrease 7 Increase 11
Popular vote 2,681,700 2,675,818 941,162
Percentage 34.6% 34.5% 12.1%
Swing Decrease 10.2% Decrease 2.6% Increase 5.9%

  Fourth party Fifth party
  Andreas Pinkwart2.jpg Bärbel Beuermann.jpg
Leader Andreas Pinkwart Bärbel Beuermann
Party FDP Left
Last election 12 seats, 6.2% 0 seats, 3.1%[a]
Seats won 13 11
Seat change Increase 1 Increase 11
Popular vote 522,229 435,627
Percentage 6.7% 5.6%
Swing Increase 0.5% Increase 2.5%

Wahlkreise NRW 2010 1st vote majorities.svg
Results for the direct mandates.

Minister-President before election

Jürgen Rüttgers
CDU

Elected Minister-President

Hannelore Kraft
SPD

Campaign and issuesEdit

As the election was held in Germany's most populous state, it was seen as a test of the federal CDU–FDP government's performance after seven months in office. The government was accused of being indecisive as the two coalition partners had different aims.[1] As the Bundesrat is made up of representatives from the states, the federal government also risked losing its narrow Bundesrat majority in this election.[2]

Other factors in the election were the proposed EU bailout of Greece as well as a fundraising scandal in the governing party and debate over the state's education policy.[3]

PartiesEdit

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

Name Ideology Leader(s) 2005 result
Votes (%) Seats
CDU Christian Democratic Union of Germany
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands
Christian democracy Jürgen Rüttgers 44.8%
89 / 187
SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands
Social democracy Hannelore Kraft 37.1%
74 / 187
Grüne Alliance 90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Green politics Sylvia Löhrmann 6.2%
12 / 187
FDP Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei
Classical liberalism Andreas Pinkwart 6.2%
12 / 181

Opinion pollingEdit

Polling firm Fieldwork date Sample
size
CDU SPD Grüne FDP Linke Others Lead
2010 state election 9 May 2010 34.6 34.5 12.1 6.7 5.6 6.5 0.1
YouGov 30 Apr–6 May 2010 1,007 35 35.5 10.5 7 7 5 0.5
Emnid 28 Apr–5 May 2010 1,000 37 33 12 8 5 5 4
Forsa 3–5 May 2010 1,005 37 37 10 6 5 5 Tie
GMS 3–4 May 2010 1,001 37 33 12 7 6 5 4
Emnid 21–29 Apr 2010 1,033 38 33 11 8 6 4 5
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 27–29 Apr 2010 1,080 35 33.5 11 8.5 6 6 1.5
Infratest dimap 27–29 Apr 2010 1,000 37.5 33 10 7.5 5.5 4.5 4.5
Forsa 19–23 Apr 2010 1,004 39 33 10 7 6 5 6
Emnid 12–20 Apr 2010 1,038 38 34 11 8 6 3 4
OmniQuest 19–22 Apr 2010 1,000 37.5 36.8 12.8 5.1 4.8 2.9 0.7
Forsa 12–17 Apr 2010 1,009 38 34 9 8 6 5 4
Forsa 6–9 Apr 2010 1,003 39 34 11 6 5 5 5
Infratest dimap 7–10 Apr 2010 1,000 38 34 12 7 6 3 4
GMS 5–6 Apr 2010 1,002 39 32 12 7 6 4 7
Emnid 15–31 Mar 2010 1,047 38 32 12 8 7 3 6
Emnid 18–22 Mar 2010 996 38 32 11 8 7 4 6
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 15–17 Mar 2010 1,091 37 33 12 8 6 4 4
Emnid 5–11 Mar 2010 1,000 37 33 12 8 7 3 4
Infratest dimap 1–3 Mar 2010 1,000 35 33 13 10 6 3 2
Forsa 22–26 Feb 2010 1,016 38 34 11 6 6 5 4
GMS 18–20 Feb 2010 1,003 39 31 12 7 6 5 8
Forsa 20–29 Jan 2010 1,047 41 32 11 6 5 5 9
Infratest dimap 19–21 Jan 2010 1,000 36 32 12 9 6 5 4
Forsa 4–15 Jan 2010 1,121 42 31 11 6 5 5 11
Infratest dimap 17–19 Nov 2009 1,000 36 30 11 10 8 5 6
Forsa 2–13 Nov 2009 1,022 41 31 9 9 6 4 10
GMS 21–28 Jul 2009 1,002 39 29 9 12 5 6 10
Infratest dimap 10–11 Jun 2009 1,000 38 27 12 14 6 3 11
Forsa 13–30 Apr 2009 1,283 42 30 8 11 5 4 12
Infratest dimap 24–26 Feb 2009 1,000 40 28 10 12 7 3 12
Forsa 19–30 Jan 2009 1,078 42 26 9 13 6 4 16
Emnid 29 Jan 2009 ? 38 30 9 12 9 ? 8
Infratest dimap 8–9 Oct 2008 1,000 37 30 10 12 9 2 7
Forsa 24 Sep–2 Oct 2008 1,017 41 30 8 10 7 4 11
Forsa 31 Jul–12 Aug 2008 970 44 27 8 10 7 4 17
Forsa 21–30 Jul 2008 867 42 30 8 10 6 4 12
Forsa 26 May–6 Jun 2008 1,054 44 27 8 9 8 4 17
Forsa 5–16 May 2008 1,216 42 29 9 9 7 4 13
Forsa 17–28 Mar 2008 1,386 43 29 8 8 8 4 14
Infratest dimap 25–27 Mar 2008 1,000 41 31 10 9 6 3 10
Emnid 25–28 Feb 2008 1,000 41 32 8 8 8 ? 9
Forsa 28 Jan–5 Feb 2008 1,014 42 33 6 8 7 4 9
Emnid 2 Feb 2008 ? 39 35 8 9 6 3 4
Infratest dimap 6–8 Nov 2007 1,000 40 34 8 9 6 3 6
Emnid 2–8 Nov 2007 1,000 40 33 8 9 7 3 7
Forsa 22 Oct–5 Nov 2007 1,418 45 31 7 7 6 4 14
Forsa 30 Aug–11 Sep 2007 1,157 44 29 8 8 6 5 15
Emnid 31 Jul–4 Aug 2007 1,000 38 31 9 11 8 3 7
Infratest dimap 31 Jul–2 Aug 2007 1,000 38 35 9 9 6 3 3
Emnid 23–28 Apr 2007 1,000 39 32 11 12 6 7
Emnid 2–5 Mar 2007 1,000 38 33 12 11 6 5
Emnid 4–16 Jan 2007 1,000 39 33 11 12 3 2 6
Infratest dimap 9–11 Jan 2007 1,000 38 36 9 9 4 4 2
Forsa 17 Oct 2006 1,932 41 31 8 11 5 4 10
Emnid 11–12 Aug 2006 1,000 40 34 9 9 3 5 6
Infratest dimap 8–10 Aug 2006 1,000 39 35 9 10 4 3 4
Forsa 10–18 Jul 2006 1,055 43 32 7 10 5 3 11
GMS 12–14 May 2006 1,001 42 38 7 7 3 3 4
Infratest dimap 16–18 May 2006 1,000 43 34 6 10 4 3 9
Forsa 8–16 May 2006 1,001 41 33 8 9 5 4 8
Emnid 8–12 May 2006 1,002 40 35 7 8 4 6 5
Infratest dimap 13–15 Dec 2005 1,000 42 36 8 7 4 3 6
Infratest dimap 16–18 Aug 2005 1,000 45 34 7 6 5 3 11
2005 state election 22 May 2005 44.8 37.1 6.2 6.2 3.1[b] 2.6 7.7

Election resultEdit

The turnout of 59.3% was the second lowest of any North Rhine-Westphalia state election. Both major parties did poorly; the CDU achieved its worst ever result, while the SPD achieved its worst result since 1950. The main beneficiaries of the election were parties to the left of the SPD, the Greens and The Left, the latter winning seats for the first time.[4] The success of The Left marked the first time since 1950 that a left-wing party had entered the state Landtag.

Summary of the 9 May 2010 election results for the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia
Party Votes % +/- Seats +/- Seats %
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 2,681,700 34.6  10.2 67  22 37.0
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 2,675,818 34.5  2.6 67  7 37.0
Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne) 941,162 12.1  5.9 23  11 12.7
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 522,229 6.7  0.5 13  1 7.2
The Left (Linke) 435,627 5.6  2.5[c] 11  11[d] 6.1
Pirate Party Germany (Piraten) 121,046 1.6  1.6 0 ±0 0
Pro NRW 107,476 1.4  1.4 0 ±0 0
Others 275,488 3.5 0 ±0 0
Total 7,760,546 100.0 181  6
Voter turnout 59.3  3.7
Popular Vote
CDU
34.56%
SPD
34.48%
B'90/GRÜNE
12.13%
FDP
6.73%
DIE LINKE
5.61%
PIRATEN
1.56%
Other
4.93%
Landtag seats
CDU
37.02%
SPD
37.02%
B'90/GRÜNE
12.71%
FDP
7.18%
DIE LINKE
6.08%

OutcomeEdit

The outcome of the election was similar to the 2008 Hessian state election, with both the CDU and SPD winning the same number of seats, and neither the incumbent government or SPD–Green opposition acquiring a majority due to the presence of The Left. The SPD–Green bloc came up one seat short of a majority, while the CDU–FDP bloc was ten seats short. There was speculation of a possible grand coalition between the SPD and CDU, an SPD–Green–Left arrangement, or an SPD–Green–FDP "traffic light coalition".[4]

On 15 May, the FDP declined an offer to enter talks with the SPD and Greens, saying the offer "obviously lacked seriousness" as the two parties had, on the same day, made a similar offer to The Left.[5] By 23 May, negotiations between the three left-of-centre parties appeared to have broken down.[6] This prompted the FDP to enter negotiations with the SPD and Greens. At the same time, talks for a grand coalition between the SPD and CDU were taking place.[7]

Ultimately, no deal could be reached with the FDP, CDU, or Left. The SPD and Greens reached an agreement to form a minority coalition government, and on 14 July, the Landtag formally elected Hannelore Kraft as Minister-President.[8]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Results for WASG (2.2%) and PDS (0.9%).
  2. ^ Results for WASG (2.2%) and PDS (0.9%).
  3. ^ Compared to results for WASG (2.2%) and PDS (0.9%).
  4. ^ Compared to results for WASG and PDS.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Now what?". The Economist. May 13, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  2. ^ "German poll may shackle Merkel and trouble EU". SBS (Australia). May 9, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  3. ^ Dempsey, Judy (February 28, 2010). "Fund-raising scandals pose risk to Merkel's party in two state elections". The New York Times. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Grand, traffic-light or red-red-green?". The Economist. May 13, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  5. ^ "Neue Chance für Rot-Rot-Grün (New chance for red-red-green)". Taz Online (in German). May 15, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  6. ^ "Linke wirft SPD Wahlbetrug vor". Focus (in German). May 23, 2010. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  7. ^ "Die große Koalition als Antwort (Grand coalition as an answer)". Focus (in German). June 1, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  8. ^ Brown, Stephen (July 14, 2010). "Centre-left rise in German state underlines Merkel woes". Reuters. Retrieved July 15, 2010.

External linksEdit