Record Modified: Aug 16 2023

Oct. 18, 2015 Held


Swiss Confederation

Election for Standerat/Conseil des Etats/ Consiglio degli Stati (Swiss Council of States)


Cast Votes:2,563,052
Valid Votes:2,563,052
Invalid Votes:None


Party Seats Won Seats Change Votes

Christian Democratic People's Party 13 None

FDP.The Liberals (FDP.Die Liberalen, PLR.Les Libéraux-Radicaux, PLR.I Liberali, PLD.Ils Liberals) 13 None

Social Democratic Party (SDP) (Parti Socialiste Suisse) 12 None

Swiss People's Party 6 None

Green Party of Switzerland (GPS) (Les Verts - Parti Ecologiste Suisse) 1 None

Conservative Democratic Party of Switzerland (BDP) (Bürgerlich-Demokratische Partei Schweiz / Parti bourgeois démocratique suisse / Partito Borghese Democratico Svizzero) 1 None

More Info:

At stake in this election: 

  • 45 (of 46) seats in the Council of States (Ständerat/Conseil des Etats/ Consiglio degli Stati)

Description of government structure:

  • Chief of State: President Simonetta SOMMARUGA*
  • Head of Government: President  Simonetta SOMMARUGA
  • Assembly: Switzerland has a bicameral Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung/Assemblée Fédérale/Assemblea Federale) consisting of the Council of States (Ständerat/Conseil des Etats/ Consiglio degli Stati) with 46 seats and the National Council (Nationalrat/Conseil National/Consiglio Nazionale) with 200 seats.

*The Federal Presidency rotates among the 7 members of the Federal Council, which is the formal chief of state. Presently the Federal Council consists of Doris LEUTHARD, Eveline WIDMER-SCHLUMPF, Ueli MAURER, Didier BURKHALTER, Simonetta SOMMARUGA, Johan SCHNEIDER—AMMANN, and Alain BERSET.

Description of electoral system:

  • The President is appointed by parliament to serve a 1-year term.
  • In the Council of States (Ständerat/Conseil des Etats/ Consiglio degli Stati), 6 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 4-year and 36 members are elected by plurality vote in multi-member constituencies to serve 4-year terms.  4 members are elected by list proportional representation in multi-member constituencies to serve 4-years terms (Neuchâtel and Jura).** 
  • In the National Council (Nationalrat/Conseil National/Consiglio Nazionale), 194 members are elected by open list proportional representation in multi-member constituencies to serve 4-year terms and 6 members are elected by a plurality system to serve 4-year terms.***

**Single-member districts correspond to the former half-cantons whereas two-seat districts correspond to former full cantons. The electoral system is a two round system, with exception of Jura and Neuchâtel, where it is proportional representation. 

***Seats are apportioned to each canton in proportion to the permanent resident population. Voters have the option of panachage. The electoral system is proportional representation.

Main parties in the electoral race[1]:

Last election:

  • The last election for the Council of States was held on 23 October 2011.  There were 5,124,034 registered voters for the election.  The Christian Democrats (the Christian Democratic People’s Party) won 13 seats (of 46), the Conservative Democartic Party (BDP) won 1 seat, the FDP.The Liberals won 11 seats, the Green Party won 2 seats, the Green Liberal Party (GLP) won 2 seats, the Social Democrats won 11 seats, the Swiss People's Party won 5 seats, and Independents won 1 seat.  Results can be found here.    

Population and number of registered voters:

  • Population: 8,256,000 (2015)[2]
  • Registered voters: 5,254,965

Gender Data:

  • Female Population: 4,171,800[3]
  • Is SWITZERLAND a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (23 January 1987)[4]
  • Has SWITZERLAND ratified CEDAW: Yes (27 March 1997)[5]
  • Gender Quota: No, but there are voluntary quotas adopted by political parties[6]
  • Female Candidates in this election: Yes
  • Number of Female Legislators: 57 (28%) of 200 seats in the National Council (Nationalrat/Conseil National/Consiglio Nazionale)[7]
  • Human Development Index (HDI) Position: 3[8]
  • Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A[9]

Disability Data:

  • Is SWITZERLAND a signatory to CRPD: N/A[10]
  • Has SWITZERLAND ratified CRPD: Yes (15 April 2014) [11]
  • Population with a disability: 1,199,404[12]