The New York Times profiles Karamba Diaby a candidate who might become Germany’s first member of the Bundestag to have African origins.
Diaby won the Social Democratic Party’s internal vote to earn the third place on the party’s list in the state of Sachsen-Anhalt. The NYT states that he will be elected if “the Social Democrats can defend the three seats they won here four years ago”.
Not so fast. Here is where it is helpful to know something about Germany’s electoral system. 2009 was a very bad year for the SPD. It won no single-seat districts, but due to the compensatory PR, it won three seats, all from the party list. We are not told whether Daiby also has a district nomination (but I checked–see below). But without a district nomination, if the party performed better than in 2009, the SPD might win only or mostly district seats.
Between 2005 and 2009, the SPD in the state fell from around 32% of the party vote to 17%. In 2005 it managed 10 seats, but none of them from the party list.
Thus if the SPD recovers, being ranked in the top 3 on the list is not a guarantee.
However, from Diaby’s own website, it is evident that he has a district nomination–in constituency 72. A quick check of the data (in my files) shows that his party won that district narrowly in 2005, but lost it overwhelmingly in 2009. So he is on the bubble, it would seem. This will be a fun case study to watch!