Swiss federal election, 2003

Swiss federal election, 2003
19 October 2003

All 200 seats to the National Council of Switzerland
and 43 (of the 46) seats to the Swiss Council of States
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Ueli Maurer Christiane Brunner Christiane Langenberger
Party Swiss People's Social Democrats Free Democrats
Last election 44+7 seats, 22.6% 51+6 seats, 22.5% 43+17 seats, 19.9%
Seats won 55+8 52+9 36+14
Seat change Increase 11+1 Increase 1+3 Decrease 7+4
Popular vote 560,750 490,385 364,493
Percentage 26.7% 23.3% 17.3%
Swing Increase 4.1pp Increase 0.8pp Decrease 2.6pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Philipp Stähelin Ruth Genner Claude Ruey
Party Christian Democrats Greens Liberals
Last election 35+15 seats, 15.8% 8+0 seats, 5.0% 6+0 seats, 2.2%
Seats won 28+15 13+0 4+0
Seat change Decrease 7+0 Increase 5+0 Decrease 2+0
Popular vote 301,652 156,226 45,864
Percentage 14.4% 7.4% 2.2%
Swing Decrease1.4%pp Increase2.4pp Steady

  Seventh party Eighth party Ninth party
Leader ? Hans Moser ?
Party Evangelical People's Federal Democrats Labour
Last election 3+0 seats, 1.8% 1+0 seats, 1.2% 2+0 seats, 1.0%
Seats won 3+0 2+0 2+0
Seat change Steady Increase 1+0 Steady
Popular vote 47,838 26,590 14,595
Percentage 2.3% 1.3% 0.7%
Swing Increase0.5pp Increase0.1pp Decrease0.3pp
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

Federal elections were held in Switzerland on 19 October 2003.[1] Although in Switzerland's peculiar political system, in which all four major parties form a coalition, it is very difficult to achieve a change of government, this election produced an upset with the strong showing of the right-wing, anti-European Union and anti-immigration Swiss People's Party. The left-wing parties, the Social Democrats and the Greens, also improved their positions. The losers were the parties of the centre and centre-right, the Christian Democratic People's Party and the Free Democratic Party.

In the aftermath of the elections Ruth Metzler-Arnold, one of the two Christian Democrats in the Federal Council was replaced by Christoph Blocher, the most influential politician in the Swiss People's Party.

Electoral system

Switzerland has a bicameral legislature, the Federal Assembly (Assemblée Fédérale / Bundesversammlung / Asamblea Federale / Assemblea Federala).

These elections were to the National Council and for most of the members of the Council of States.

All parties in Switzerland have different names in French, German and Italian, and conduct separate campaigns in the different language areas.


National Council

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Swiss People's Party560,75026.755+11
Social Democratic Party490,38523.352+1
Free Democratic Party364,49317.336–7
Christian Democratic People's Party301,65214.428–7
Green Party156,2267.413+5
Evangelical People's Party47,8382.330
Liberal Party45,8642.24–2
Federal Democratic Union26,5901.32+1
Swiss Democrats20,1771.010
Swiss Party of Labour14,5950.720
Feminist and Green Alternative Groups11,1530.510
Christian Social Party7,5390.410
Ticino League7,3040.31–1
Freedom Party4,0000.200
Other parties32,9131.60
Invalid/blank votes59,880
Registered voters/turnout4,779,73345.2
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

Council of the States

Party Seats +/–
Christian Democratic People's Party150
Free Democratic Party14–3
Social Democratic Party9+3
Swiss People's Party8+1
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

See also


  1. Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1895 ISBN 9783832956097


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