2018 Hessian state election

The 2018 Hessian state election was held on 28 October 2018 to elect the members of the Landtag of Hesse. The incumbent coalition government of the Christian Democratic Union and The Greens led by Minister-President Volker Bouffier retained its majority by a slim margin of one seat.
The election was held two weeks after the 2018 Bavarian state election, which saw the CDU and Social Democratic Party suffer major losses, with third parties making major gains. The result in Hesse was largely similar, with the CDU and SPD losing more than 20 percentage points between them, while the Greens and Alternative for Germany gained approximately 9 points each. The Free Democratic Party and The Left also made gains. Compared to the 2013 election turnout fell by 5.9 points to 67.3%.
Despite suffering the worst losses of any party, the CDU remained the largest party by a comfortable margin. The Greens and SPD each won 29 seats and 19.8% of the vote; the Greens moved into second place by an extremely narrow margin of just 66 votes. AfD, which failed to win seats in 2013, won 13.1% and 19 seats. By entering the Landtag in Hesse, it became the only third party present in all sixteen German state legislatures.
The election was overshadowed by the poor condition of the federal government in the aftermath of the "asylum quarrel" in June/July and the crisis around Hans-Georg Maaßen in September. One day after the election, federal Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she would not seek re-election as CDU leader at the party convention in early December, nor seek her party's nomination as Chancellor candidate for the next federal election.


The incumbent Hesse government coalition consisted of CDU and the Greens.
The regional election for Hesse, along with the Bavarian state election held just two weeks before, was widely seen as a test for the ruling CDU/CSU and SPD coalition of Angela Merkel's fourth federal cabinet.


The table below lists parties represented in the previous Landtag of Hesse.

Opinion polling

Polling firmFieldwork dateSample
Polling firmFieldwork dateSample
2018 state election28 Oct 201827.019.819.86.37.513.16.57.2
24–25 Oct 20181,025282020881248
18–24 Oct 20184,46727.
18–22 Oct 20181,004262121871345
16–17 Oct 20181,002262120891245
15–17 Oct 20181,035262022881244
2–12 Oct 20184,54928.524.918.27.55.611.83.53.6
24 Sep–1 Oct 20181,038292318861336
19–26 Sep 20184,50928.623.
17–19 Sep 20181,039322515861137
13–19 Sep 20181,000282317871435
3–6 Sep 20181,039292414871445
14–30 Aug 20184,53231.123.913.
14–19 Jun 20181,003312214771549
4–11 Jun 20181,049312513881146
9–16 May 20181,067332413871149
19–21 Mar 20181,011312613871055
19 Dec 2017–31 Jan 20187603126127911?5
8–22 Feb 20181,0353323147810510
9–16 Jan 20181,006312513881236
2017 federal election24 Sep 201730.923.
5–10 Jan 20171,003322414861428
15–22 Aug 20161,00036271364959
1–8 Apr 20161,004332711671066
12–16 Jan 20161,000342611851248
17–26 Aug 20151,009382813554714
6–13 Jul 20151,003412714662414
10–14 Dec 20141,000382716725511
2014 European election25 May 201430.630.312.
18–27 Feb 20141,002392712755512
2013 federal election22 Sep 201339.
2013 state election22 Sep 201338.330.711.


Summary of the 28 October 2018 final election results for the Hessian Landtag
! colspan="2" rowspan="2" | Party
! colspan="5" |Constituency
! colspan="5" |Party list
! colspan="3" | Total seats
! colspan=2| Total
! 2,873,070
! 100.0%
! 55
! 2,881,261
! 100.0%
! 82
! 137
! 100%

State government formation

Despite heavy losses inflicted on the party, the CDU returned to government after negotiating a coalition agreement with the Greens, the second consecutive such arrangement between the two parties. The two parties formed the narrowest possible majority in the Landtag, occupying 69 seats. As part of the agreement, the Greens increased their representation in the Cabinet, holding four of the eleven portfolios. The returned coalition only became possible after a recount of votes took place several weeks after the election, due to computer glitches which affected some election night results. Following the recount, the state election commissioner announced that compared to the provisional figures, there were no significant shifts in the percentages, and the distribution of seats in the state parliament had not changed.