No one knows how many voters would use the list option: with a similar choice in Brazil only about 10% do. Yet many PR-sceptics will scream “backroom-dominated party list.” And they will ask a valid question: how many personal votes does it take to move a candidate up the list? The Law Commission left the “personal threshold” detail to be decided.
Update: the 2018 election:
How well did Bavaria’s open-list MMP system work in 2018?
They elected 205 MLAs: 91 directly elected, 114 regional top-ups elected
from open regional lists. The governing CSU lost their majority, and formed a coalition government with the centre-right “Free Voters.” This
was not simple, since the “Free Voters” had never whipped their members
votes, but now had to.
Christian Social Union: 85 MLAs, all local (was 101 in 2013)
Greens: 38, 6 local, 32 regional (was 17)
Free Voters: 27, all regional (was 17)
AfD: 22, all regional (was 0 – new party)
Social Democrats: 22, all regional (was 42)
Liberals: 11, all regional (had been 0, below 5% threshold)
Of the 114 list seats, 31 were elected thanks to voters moving them up the list, while 83 would have been elected with closed lists.
Did the list-topper (first on the list) always get elected? Almost. In the region of Lower Bavaria, the liberal FDP elected only 1 MLA, and he had been second on their regional list.
One of the more unusual new Green MLAs is Paul Knoblach, a 12th-generation Bavarian farmer. Knoblach was among the CSU’s longtime supporters and had volunteered for its campaigns. But in 2018, at age 64, he ran for the legislature for the first time. And he did it as a Green. He was number 12 on the Green regional list for Lower Franconia, but he got enough attention that the voters moved him up to 3rd place and into the legislature.
Did the open lists hurt women? I did not check most results, but the SPD zippers their lists, and I noticed in Upper Palatinate the SPD elected 2 MLAs, list numbers 1 and 3 (two women). Conversely, in Middle Franconia the SPD elected 4 MLAs: 1, 2, 3, and 5 (three men).
All CSU members were elected directly, no list seats.
Here are the details of three of the seven regions:
3 Free Voter list seats: 1, 2, 4
2 AfD list seats: 1, 3
2 Green list seats: 1, 2
2 SPD list seats: 1, 3 (two women)
1 FDP list seats: 1
3 Green seats: 1 direct (was #2 on list), 2 list seats (1 and 12)
2 AfD seats: 1, 2
2 SPD list seats: 1, 2
2 Free Voter list seats: 1, 5 (5: Anna Stolz, lawyer, Mayor of the City of Arnstein; had been elected Mayor in 2014 as the joint candidate of the Greens, SPD, and Free Voters; the local Greens said they were very proud of her as Mayor.)
1 FDP seat: 1
17 Green seats: 5 elected directly (they had been 1, 2, 5, 10, and 38 on the list) and 12 elected from the list: (3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 16, 22, 25, 36)
8 Free Voter list seats: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12 (12: Hans Friedl, “a socially ecologically liberal voice, an immigration law based on the Canadian model, no privatization of the drinking water supply, a clear rejection of the privatization of motorways” so the voters moved him up to #8)
7 SPD list seats: 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 14, 23
6 AfD list seats: 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 22
5 FDP list seats: 1, 2, 7, 13, 16
(Note: updated after 2018 election)
Very informative. I'm surprised Wilf that in your reference to the LCC report you didn't mention Belgium which is referred to in an end note rather than the main text itself. It seems to me if we (more likely the parties) want flexible lists rather than open lists like Bavaria has the Belgian (as well as other) model of a non-preferential single transferable vote mechanism based on a quota formula (in Belgium candidate & party votes divided by one more than the number of seats allocated to the party). That would definitely be more flexible than Sweden's system. The LCC report incidentally had the interesting notion of an open list that unlike in Bavaria candidate votes and party votes would be strictly separated with the former used strictly to rank candidates and the latter used strictly to allocate seats to the party. Interesting that the world's most widely used PR formula would be declared unconstitutional. But they would have been better off to follow New Zealand's lead and adopted pure Ste Lague. You know why...
Thank you very much for this.
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