On 26 September 2021 Germans went to the polls to elect a new parliament and along with it a new government and a new chancellor. Since outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel did not stand for re-election after 16 years in office, this election marked a turning point in German politics. The final result saw the Social Democrats (SPD) secure 25.7 percent of the votes in the list vote (Zweitstimme) that determines the proportional distribution of seats (5.2% more than in 2017, resulting in 206 seats of the 735 seat strong parliament). Having lost 7.9 percent points, CDU came second with 18.9 percent of the list vote (151 seats). The Green party (Grüne) came third with their best-ever result in a federal election, winning 14.8 percent of the list vote (up 5.8%, 118 seats). FDP remained at a stable 11.5 percent (up 0.7%, 92 seats). The extreme right ‘Alternative for Germany‘ (Alternative für Deutschland, AfD) re-entered federal parliament (Bundestag) but with a smaller vote share of 10.3% (down 2.3%, 83 seats). CSU, the Bavarian sister-party of CDU won 5.2 percent (down 1%, 45 seats) Die Linke went down to 4.9% of the list votes but remains in parliament through the number of directly elected seats from the constituency vote (39 seats). Danish minority party SSW reached 0.1 percent in the list vote but gained one seat through special rules for parties representing minorities. Other parties not represented in parliament accounted for 7.2 percent of the valid votes.
This pair of maps shows on the left the winning parties of the constituency vote (Erststimme) which directly elects a constituency representative into parliament and on the right the strongest party in the list vote (Zweitstimme) which determines the proportional representation for each party in the new parliament. These results are shown as gridded population cartograms which are proportional to the respective population there, accompanied by a small ‘conventional’ land area map.
A detailed series of election maps from the German General Election (Bundestagswahl) 2021 showing the vote distribution for each major party represented in parliament can be found on our blog: Bundestagswahl 2021: Map Views of the German Federal Election.