|Deputy Chairpersons||Manfred Petry|
|Federal Managing Director||Arnold Hansen|
|Federal Treasurer||Christa Hudyma|
|Founded||1965 (as Bundesverband)|
24 January 2009 (as a party)
|Headquarters||Mühlenstraße 13, Ganderkesee, Germany|
|Youth wing||Young Free Voters|
|European affiliation||European Democratic Party|
|European Parliament group||Renew Europe|
38 / 1,889
2 / 96
Free Voters (German: Freie Wähler, FW) is a centre-right political party in Germany. The party originates as an umbrella organisation of several Free Voters Associations (Freie Wählergemeinschaft), associations of people which participates in an election without having the status of a registered party. Usually it involves a locally organised group of voters in the form of a registered association (eV). In most cases, Free Voters campaign only at the local-government level, standing for city councils and for mayoralties. Free Voters tend to achieve their most successful electoral results in rural areas of southern Germany, appealing most to conservative voters who prefer local decisions to party politics. Free Voter groups are active in all of the states of Germany.
In the 2008 Bavaria state election, the FW association obtained 10.2% of the vote and gained their first 20 seats in the Landtag of Bavaria. FW may have been helped by the presence in its list of Gabriele Pauli, a former member of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU). Others suggested that the cause and effect might be the other way about. Unlike in the other German states, the Free Voters of Bavaria have also contested state elections since 1998. In the state election of 2013 FW repeated its success, gaining 19 seats.
In the 2014 European parliament elections in Germany, the Free Voters list received 1.46% of the national vote and returned a single MEP, Ulrike Müller, who sits with the ALDE Group. The federal Free Voters association joined the European Democratic Party in October 2015.
In June 2017 Arne Gericke, who sits with European Parliament's European Conservatives and Reformists group and was elected in 2014 on the Family Party of Germany list, joined the federal association. Gericke left it 15 months afterward for Alliance C – Christians for Germany.
In the 2018 Bavarian state election, the Free Voters won a record 27 seats, entering into a coalition government as junior partner to the CSU.
Following the 2019 European Parliament election in Germany, the Free Voters sit in the Renew Europe group in the European Parliament with two MEPs.
In the European Committee of the Regions the Free Voters sit in the Renew Europe CoR group with one alternate member for the 2020–2025 mandate.
In the 2021 Rhineland-Palatinate state election, the FW entered the Landtag of Rhineland-Palatinate for the first time, amassing 5.4% of the vote and six seats.
The Free Voters are a conservative party, supporting devolving more power to the local level. The party is in opposition to the European Union's financial policies.
Ideologically, on the political spectrum, it has been described by some sources as being between the Free Democratic Party and the Party of Bible-abiding Christians, and by others as between the Christian Social Union and the Alternative for Germany (AfD). Europe Elects described it as centrist. Politico has described the party as conservative, right-wing and populist, noting the similarities between their rhetoric and the statements of the AfD.
|2009||Manfred Ehlert (FWD)||11,243||0.0 (#22)||
0 / 622
|2013||Hubert Aiwanger||431,640||1.0 (#10)||423,977||1.0 (#10)||
0 / 631
|2017||589,056||1.3 (#8)||463,292||1.0 (#8)||
0 / 709
|2021||1,334,093||2.9 (#8)||1,127,171||2.4 (#8)||
0 / 735
The Free Voters does not contest state elections in Brandenburg due to the close cooperation with the BVB/Free Voters, who only compete in the state elections in Brandenburg.
0 / 154
27 / 205
0 / 160
0 / 84
0 / 123
0 / 137
|Lower Saxony||2022||30,453||0.8 (#10)||
0 / 137
0 / 71
|North Rhine-Westphalia||2022||49,985||0.7 (#10)||
0 / 199
6 / 101
0 / 51
0 / 119
0 / 97
0 / 73
0 / 90
As in 2014, seven minor parties with vote shares below 5 per cent gained seats in the European Parliament, ranging from single-issue parties like the Animal Protection Party (one seat) or the Family Party (one seat) to the satirical 'Die Partei' (two seats) or the liberal-conservative 'Free Voters'.
((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
The Free Voters, who won 10 percent, want more power to be devolved to the local level. They may be sought as a coalition partner, though their positions on many issues are unclear.
FREIE WAHLER (Free Voters) founded in 2009, a party of opposition the EU financial policy;