Every four years, the district of bamberg is split in two. Then 19 communities will be added to the federal constituency of kulmbach, the remaining 16 will form the constituency of bamberg together with the city of bamberg and parts of the district of forchheim. And while the bamberg candidates are well-known because most of them come from here, hardly anyone in the kulmbach catchment area knows them because almost all of them come from there or from lichtenfels. But the results so far have mostly been strikingly similar: the CSU candidates won the direct mandate by a wide margin, and they could each count on vote shares from the district of bamberg well beyond the 50 percent mark.
In the current federal election, however, the picture has become somewhat differentiated. Although the CSU candidates thomas silberhorn (bamberg) and emmi zeulner (kulmbach) again secured direct entry into the berlin parliament. But while silberhorn lost more than 2,000 votes in the 16 southern district municipalities compared to 2013 and slipped from 57 to 45 percent, zeulner between viereth and wattendorf received only 261 fewer first votes than four years ago.
Although its share of the vote in the district of bamberg fell from 59.5 to 52.4 percent due to the higher voter turnout, it bucked the bavarian-wide trend here, which brought the CSU a double-digit loss. In the entire kulmbach constituency, zeulner's result was actually only 1.5 percent lower than in 2013.
Higher voter turnout
The effects of the higher voter turnout were also felt by SPD candidate andreas schwarz in the bamberg-forchheim constituency. In the communities of the southern district, he collected a good 800 more first votes than in 2013. In percentage terms, however, these 10203 votes were only enough for a share of 21.8 percent in the district of bamberg, after 23.1 percent four years ago.
The decline for black was thus lower in the district than in the entire electoral district. Losses in the city of bamberg and in the district of forchheim brought him a total loss of two and a half percent to 20.4 percent.
Schwarz can perhaps console himself with the fact that he was able to reduce the gap to silberhorn from almost 30 to a good 20 percentage points. And in his home municipality of strullendorf, he distanced himself from his CSU rival by as much as 209 votes this time, after he had been the mayor there for many years and was only a whisker ahead by seven votes in the last federal election.
Silberhorn, schwarz and zeulner performed significantly better than their parties in spite of the sometimes larger, sometimes smaller losses in their personal results. In the decisive second votes, the CSU lost 10 percentage points in the bamberg constituency and 8.9 percentage points in the kulmbach constituency. In the bamberg district alone, the CSU lost 12 and 10.9 percentage points respectively. Their share of the second vote was thus only 42.3 percent in the constituency of bamberg and 43 percent in the constituency of kulmbach.
Coming from a low base, the SPD also suffered further substantial losses. In the bamberg electoral district, the total was down by 4.2 percentage points to 15.6 percent. In the bamberg district, the trend was even stronger: the social democrats' share of the vote fell to 14.9 percent. In the bamberg part of the kulmbach constituency, their result fell from 18 to 15.2 percent.
The afd was the main beneficiary of the CSU's and SPD's loss of second votes in the bamberg district. With 15.6 percent in the constituency of kulmbach and 15.3 percent in the constituency of bamberg, it placed second, just ahead of the SPD.
Gains, albeit to a much lesser extent, were also recorded in the district of bamberg by left-wing and green parties. The left improved in the second votes in the electoral district of bamberg from 3.6 to 5 percent and in the electoral district of kulmbach from 3.7 to 4.8 percent. The greens gained from 5.7 to 6 percent in the bamberger kulmbach communities and from 5.9 to 6.5 percent in the bamberger part of electoral district 236.
Afd and left leave empty-handed
Thanks to the good bavarian result of the grunen and the many overhang and compensation mandates in the new federal parliament and her list position, it was enough for the forchheim grunen candidate lisa badum to enter the federal parliament. The direct candidates of the afd and the left in the electoral districts of bamberg and kulmbach were not represented at all, or only at the back of the state lists of their parties.