Record Modified: Nov 14 2023

Oct. 22, 2023 Held


Swiss Confederation

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

More Info:

At Stake in this Election: 

  • All 46 seats in the Swiss Council of States 

The National Council election will occur concurrently. 

Government Structure:  

  • Chief of State: President Alain BERSET (since 1 January 2023) 

  • Head of Government: President Alain BERSET (since 1 January 2023) 

  • Assembly: bicameral Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung) with a 46-seat Council of States (Ständerat) and a 200-seat National Council (Nationalrat) 

Electoral System:  

  • The President is elected from among the Federal Council by vote of the Federal Assembly. The President serves 1-year, non-consecutive terms. 

  • The Federal Council is indirectly elected by the Federal Assembly, and members serve 4-year terms. 

  • In the Council of States, 42 members are directly elected by absolute majority vote, and 4 members (from Jura and Neuchatel cantons) are directly elected by list proportional representation vote. Member term lengths vary by constituency (canton). 

  • In the National Council, 194 members are directly elected by proportional representation vote, and 6 are directly elected by plurality vote. All members serve 4-year terms. 

Last Election: 

In 2019, The Christian Democratic People’s Party (CVP) won 13 seats, followed by the FDP (12), Social Democratic Party (9), Swiss People’s Party (6), Green Party (5), and one independent candidate. Voter turnout was 45.10%. 

Key Deadlines: 

Main Parties in this Election: 

  • Leader: Gerhard PFISTER 

  • Seats won in last election: 13 out of 46 (as the Christian Democratic People’s Party) 

  • FDP.The Liberals / FDP.Die Liberalen (FDP

  • Leader: Thierry BURKART 

  • Seats won in last election: 12 out of 46 

  • Social Democratic Party / Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz (SP

  • Leader: Mattea MEYER and Cédric WERMUTH 

  • Seats won in last election: 9 out of 46 

  • Swiss People’s Party / Schweizerische Volkspartei (SVP

  • Leader: Marco CHIESA 

  • Seats won in last election: 6 out of 46 

  • Leader: Balthasar GLÄTTLI 

  • Seats won in last election: 5 out of 46 

Population and Registered Voters: 

Gender Data: 

Disability Data: 

IFES Resources: 

  • Does IFES have a presence in Switzerland: No  

  • Election Access: Yes 

  • Election Judgements: Yes, 5 judgments and 13 resources