BERLIN — A partial rerun of Germany’s 2021 election in Berlin brought a decline in support for the governing parties and cost one of them a seat in parliament, but led to no significant overall change, official results showed Monday.
The repeat election was held Sunday in 455 of 2,256 precincts in the capital, which account for only 0.9% of the national electorate. Germany’s highest court in December ruled on where the vote must be rerun following severe glitches at many polling stations in the city in September 2021.
Polls now show a very different picture from 2 1/2 years ago but it was always clear that the rerun was much too limited to endanger the majority held by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s unpopular three-party government.
Sunday’s outcome showed noticeable declines in support in Berlin for Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats and for the smallest party in the coalition, the pro-business Free Democrats, while support for the third governing party, the environmentalist Greens, was down only slightly.
The center-right opposition Christian Democrats, who currently lead nationwide polls, gained support, as did the far-right Alternative for Germany, whose strength has doubled in national surveys since 2021.
Germany’s complex electoral system meant that low turnout in Sunday’s voting, only 69.5%, cost Berlin four seats. Three of those were redistributed to other states, though they were kept by the same parties that previously held them. The fourth, held by the Free Democrats, was eliminated — meaning that parliament’s lower house, or Bundestag, shrinks by a single seat to 735 seats.
Berlin held four polls on Sept. 26, 2021: the German national election, a state election, a vote for the city’s 12 district assemblies and a local referendum. The Berlin Marathon, held the same day, added to logistical difficulties.
Some polling stations ran out of ballot papers and others received papers for the wrong district. Another issue was that exit polls were made public even though some voters waiting in line at the close of the polling stations at 6 p.m. were allowed to cast their ballots.
The state election held that day was completely rerun a year ago and resulted in a change of the local government, with conservative Kai Wegner replacing center-left Social Democrat Franziska Giffey as mayor. Berlin is one of three German cities that is also a state in its own right.
Germany’s next national parliamentary election is due in the fall of 2025.