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The New Swiss Political Map: More Conservative and Less ‘green’


Switzerland has voted: parliament has shifted significantly to the right. The People’s Party SVP emerged as the biggest winner, gaining nine seats. It achieved one of the best results in its history and extends its lead as the strongest party in Switzerland. Nevertheless, the right-wing bloc (along with the Radicals others is not quite the strongest it has been in the last 25 years. After the 2015 elections, they even had an absolute majority in parliament – this time it was not enough.

The Centre gained one seat and overtook the Radical Liberal Party FDP for the first time, which in turn lost one seat. The Social Democratic Party SP was able to mobilise in the cities and won two seats. The big losers of the 2023 federal elections are the big winners of 2019: the  Liberal Greens lost six seats while the  Greens  lost five.

The People’s Party SVP gained ground almost throughout Switzerland. The following map shows the municipalities where parties have made significant gains in votes compared to 2019. It shows where the political forces have shifted the most (plotted by party colour) – and where they have not (no colour).

Winners’ peaks and losers’ valleys

Looking at the districts with proportional representation, we can see where which party has gained votes (upright triangle) and where it has lost votes (inverted triangle) compared to the 2019 elections. The bigger the triangle, the greater the change.

The maps show a clear pattern: The SVP  made big gains across Switzerland. The Greens, on the other hand, lost votes in almost all districts. These losses were particularly high in the region around Lake Geneva, Basel-Country, Zurich and Ticino. The Liberal Greens also lost a large share of their electorate – especially in the greater Zurich area, Graubünden and French-speaking Switzerland.

After suffering a nationwide defeat in the last elections, the SP was able to win back votes this time, especially in French-speaking Switzerland, Graubünden and in urban cantons. Nevertheless, it cannot compensate for the losses of the Greens. The leftwing bloc as a whole lost voter shares.

Another winner of these elections is the Centre. Apart from the canton of Bern and some districts in Graubünden, Ticino and Valais, it gained votes everywhere. A comparison with the gains and losses of the FDP shows that with a few exceptions, its losses were gains for the Centre. In concrete terms, in around 800 of a about 2,100 municipalities, the Centre gained at the expense of the FDP.

Proportion of women decreasing

There will soon be fewer women in the House of Representatives than before. The proportion of women will fall from 42% to 38.5%. This is mainly due to the better performance of the SVP, which is the parliamentary group with the lowest proportion of women at 19.4%. This development mainly replaces left-wing women with right-wing men in parliament. The proportion of women in the SP parliamentary group is now 58.5%, the Greens at 56.5%, Liberal Greens at 70% and the Radicals at 42.9%.

Another observation: the more urban the electorate, the more leftwing they vote. This is shown by the breakdown of the votes of the six largest parties into four community types: “metropolitan” (the ten largest cities), “urban”, “peri-urban” (agglomeration areas) and “rural”. Eligible voters in the countryside voted were more than twice as likely to vote for the SVP compared to urban inhabitants. For the SP it is just the other way round, they get twice as many votes in the big cities, as do the Greens.party strength in %big cityurbansuburbanrural0%20%SPGreensGLPFDPCentreSVP

But this is only a rough overview of what happened. Everyone knows that Swiss politics is one of federalism. That makes it even more important to know what happened at the cantonal level. Where have there been changes in your region?

Source: Swiss Info

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