This is how the seats are distributed among the lists in the election for the student parliament

This election is the first time that the division procedure according to Sainte-Laguë/Schäpers is used, as it has been for Bundestag and European elections since 2009. Previously, the division procedure according to d’Hondt was used, which was only used in Bundestag elections until 1983 because it structurally disadvantages smaller parties.


First, all votes of the candidates are added up for each list. An example for 5 lists could be the distribution of votes on the right.


Then the sums of the votes per list are divided one after the other by the numbers 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 and so on. We call them divisors or SLS divisors (SLS = Sainte-Laguë/Schäpers). In the example above, this would look as shown on the right.

The horizontal bar symbolises the absolute majority in parliament (see 4.).


All the numbers thus determined are called highest-numbers (= Höchstzahlen). The next step is quite simple, because one simply determines the number of the largest of these highest-numbers, which corresponds to the number of seats to be allocated, and lists them according to their order (= Rang). Since a total of 25 candidates receive a seat in parliament, we are only interested in the 25 largest highest-numbers, see right.

In the example, the first seat in parliament goes to the list with the highest-number 710, the second seat in parliament to the list with the highest-number 590, and so on. The 25th and thus last seat is given to the list with the highest-number 37.36842105.

A special feature here is that the highest-number 39.3333 occurs twice. However, this is only significant if a highest-number appears not only as rank 25, but also at least as rank 26. Because then there would have to be a draw to determine which list gets the last parliamentary seat. Everything that takes place purely within the first 25 ranks does not matter, because the ranks lose their significance after the final allocation of seats, because once assembled all parliamentarians are equal.


If one takes the table from 2. and marks the 25 largest highest-numbers, this becomes clear once again, see right.

The last line shows the sum of the parliamentary seats (= Sitze) allocated to the individual lists.

If a list obtains seats beyond the crossbar, it has an absolute majority in parliament, which in the case of the StuPa is at least 13 seats. This means that it can “rule through” the parliament. Only for certain decisions, such as changes to the constitution, does it need the votes of other lists. In the example, no list has achieved an absolute majority.


However, this only tells us which lists are allocated how many seats, but not yet which candidates will enter parliament. Here, the individual vote results per candidate are used. On the right is an arbitrary example of this.

In the first column, the yellow cells show the letter of the list and below that the so-called list position (= LP). This is the order in which the lists have lined up their candidatures. The second column contains the individual votes (= Stimmen) per candidate/list position and, at the top, the totals for the entire list.


Now a ranking within the list is established. This is based on the votes obtained by the respective candidates. The candidate who received the most votes compared to all other candidates on the same list is ranked first (A-1, B-1, C-1, D-1, E-1). The candidate who has received the least votes from the electorate compared to all others on the same list is ranked last on the list (A-4, B-25, C-2, D-7, E-14), see right.

If two or more candidates on the same list have the same number of votes, the list position in which the lists are ordered will decide (see 5.). In our example, this applies to list positions 2, 6 and 7 of list D, for example, which all received 25 votes. In the list position, position 2 comes first, then list position 6 and then list position 7.


In the last step, the seats (= Sitz; fourth column in the yellow cell) allocated to the lists in step 3 are now distributed along the list-internal ranking order (JA = YES, NEIN = NO).

In the example you can see that the original position order, i.e. the list positions (LP), can have a relevant meaning. In list B, position 19 had to give way to position 8 despite the identical number of votes. And in list D, even positions 6 and 7 were left empty-handed in favour of list position 2, despite identical numbers of votes.


After the final allocation, the results of the election are only relevant again if parliamentarians leave office prematurely and someone has to move up. If there are candidates on the same list who have not yet been considered, the candidate with the next rank within the list moves up, otherwise the next highest-number from step 3 and thus someone from another list.

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