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Press release 031 / 2014-01-28: Older voters have growing influence on election result

WIESBADEN – People entitled to vote who were 60 years and over accounted for more than one third of potential voters at the 2013 Bundestag Election already. Electoral participation was also above average in that age group compared with others. In view of the demographic development “this means that older voters’ influence on the election result is growing “, Federal Returning Officer Roderich Egeler stressed at a press conference in Berlin today on the results of representative electoral statistics for the elections to the 18th German Bundestag of 22 September 2013.
As many as 61.9 million citizens had been entitled to vote in the 2013 Bundestag Election, almost half of them 30 to 59 years old. With 21.3 million, the generation from the age of 60 had more than twice as many potential voters as the younger generation below the age of 30 years, which accounted for 9.8 million or just under one sixth of all people eligible to vote.

The official voter turnout was 71.5%, which is 0.7 percentage points more than in the elections of 2009.
As in earlier Bundestag elections, the participation of the younger age groups was below average again in 2013. The lowest rate was recorded for the 21 to 24-year-olds (60.3%). With increasing age, electoral participation went up continuously for all age groups to the 60 to 69-year-olds, which were most active in the 2013 Bundestag Election with a participation rate of 79.8%. For those over the age of 70, whose participation had been below average in earlier elections, an above-average participation rate had been recorded for the first time in the 2009 Bundestag Election. That trend continued in 2013.
While the shares of men and women voting for the SPD did not differ that much, the CDU won clearly more votes of women (36.7%) than of men (31.4%). The CSU and the GRÜNEN also scored better among women than among men. In contrast, DIE LINKE and the FDP got more support from men.
The CDU was the party which won most votes in all age groups. It fared best with voters from the age of 70, securing 43.6% of their votes. The SPD benefitted from the older voters, too. It was the other way round with the GRÜNEN, who obtained two-digit results with voters to the age of 59, while their share of votes went down to only 3.3% in the age group of those from the age of 70.
The other parties fared remarkably well in the 2013 Bundestag Election and best in the age group of the 18 to 24-year-olds, winning 19.7% of the votes cast. This was above all owing to the PIRATEN, who obtained 7.6% of these votes. However, their percentage share went down constantly in the following age groups. In contrast, the AfD managed to secure a relatively constant voter potential of about 5% in all age groups to the age of 69.
The Union of CDU and CSU as well as the SPD obtained additional shares of the vote in all age groups, some of them quite substantial, while the FDP, the GRÜNEN and DIE LINKE lost votes throughout. The losses of the FDP were particularly dramatic; it lost more than 10 percentage points compared with 2009 in all age groups up to 60 years.
The results of representative electoral statistics also provide insights into the demographic structure of the group voting for a specific party. About 43% of CDU voters (CSU: 40%) were older people from the age of 60, as were 40% of SPD voters. The group of people voting for the FDP corresponded most closely to the demographic composition of the electorate. The voter potential of the GRÜNEN was largest among younger people; almost 45% of their voters were under the age of 45 at the time of the election.

These and other results of representative electoral statistics, as well as comprehensive tables and charts, are contained in the German-language publication of the Federal Returning Officer entitled “Wahlbeteiligung und Stimmabgabe der Männer und Frauen nach Altersgruppen (Electoral participation of and votes cast by men and women by age groups)“, number 4 of the series on the 2013 Bundestag Election. It may be downloaded in pdf format on the website of the Federal Returning Officer at:öffentlichungen

The statement of the Federal Returning Officer and all press conference documents are available at

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