Swiss Federal Council election, 2010

Swiss Federal Council election, 2010
22 September 2010

Nominee Simonetta Sommaruga Jean-François Rime
Party Social Democrats Swiss People's
Electoral vote 159 81

Federal Councillor before election

Moritz Leuenberger
Social Democrats

Elected Federal Councillor

Simonetta Sommaruga
Social Democrats

Swiss Federal Council election, 2010
22 September 2010

Nominee Johann Schneider-Ammann Jean-François Rime
Party FDP.The Liberals Swiss People's
Electoral vote 144 93

Federal Councillor before election

Hans-Rudolf Merz
FDP.The Liberals

Elected Federal Councillor

Johann Schneider-Ammann
FDP.The Liberals

Two by-elections to the Swiss Federal Council were held in Switzerland on 22 September 2010,[1] after Federal Councillor Moritz Leuenberger (SP) announced he would leave the Federal Council effective 31 December 2010[2] and Federal Councillor Hans-Rudolf Merz (FDP.The Liberals) on 6 August 2010 announced his intention to retire effective late October 2010.[3] Elected were Simonetta Sommaruga and Johann Schneider-Ammann.

Party positions

The Green Party and the Swiss People's Party laid claim to the FDP's seat. The election was complicated by the fact that Federal Councillor Moritz Leuenberger (Social Democratic Party, SP) had previously announced his intention to retire in early July 2010, but effective late December 2010; the election to his seat was initially to be held on 8 December 2010,[4] but Leuenberger then predated his resignation so that only one electoral session would have to be held.

Possible candidates by the FDP for Merz' seat include Karin Keller-Sutter, Gabi Huber, Johann Schneider-Ammann, Philipp Müller, Felix Gutzwiller, Ruedi Noser, Christa Markwalder, Fulvio Pelli, Laura Sadis, Ignazio Cassis and Peter Malama.[1][5] Malama officially announced his candidacy on 20 August 2010,[6] and Schneider-Ammann was nominated on 2 September 2010.[7] Noser, Keller-Sutter and Cassis were also nominated.

The Green Party and the FDP.The Liberals have announced they will support the SP's candidate for Leuenberger's seat, while the Swiss People's Party has announced it will put up its own candidate, likely either Jean-François Rime or Adrian Amstutz (Caspar Baader was mooted as a candidate, but declined).[8][9] Rime was selected as their nominee on 3 September 2010. The Christian Democratic People's Party stated it would keep its options open, but then did not nominate any candidates. The CVP later stated it would support the SP and FDP.Liberals holding their seats.[10]

The SP's favoured candidates appeared to be Simonetta Sommaruga and Jacqueline Fehr, with Pascale Bruderer and Claude Janiak also considered possible candidates.[11] Bruderer declined to seek the seat[12] and Sommaruga officially announced her candidacy on 11 August 2010.[13] Eva Herzog also announced her intention to stand,[14] as did Hildegard Fässler.[15] Fehr was also a candidate, which meant the SP nominated two of four women for the seat on 3 September 2010. There was speculation that the SP would support the Greens for the other seat,[16] and it did not contest that seat.

The Green Party contested the seat of Merz, having had with three possible candidates: Geri Müller, Marlies Bänziger and Brigit Wyss.[17] Wyss ultimately became the Green candidate for the seat.

Official Candidates

The following were nominated as official candidates for Leuenberger's seat:

The following candidates will stand for Merz' seat:


Seat vacated by Moritz Leuenberger

Candidate Party Canton Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Simonetta Sommaruga SP Bern 86 96 98 159
Jean-François Rime SVP Fribourg 80 78 77 81
Jacqueline Fehr SP Zurich 61 64 70
Hildegard Fässler SP St. Gallen 10 0
Votes received by other persons 7 7
Votes Cast 245 245 245 245
Invalid votes 1 0 0 2
Blank votes 0 0 0 3
Valid votes 244 245 245 240
Absolute Majority 123 123 123 121

Seat vacated by Hans-Rudolf Merz

Candidate Party Canton Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
Johann Schneider-Ammann FDP Bern 52 75 78 84 144
Jean-François Rime SVP Fribourg 72 72 72 76 93
Karin Keller-Sutter FDP St. Gallen 44 55 66 74
Brigit Wyss Green Solothurn 57 40 28
Ignazio Cassis FDP Ticino 12 0
Votes received by other persons 7 7
Votes cast 245 245 245 243 245
Invalid votes 0 0 1 5 2
Blank votes 1 0 0 4 6
Valid votes 244 245 244 234 237
Absolute majority 123 123 123 118 119


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