Swiss federal election, 2003

Swiss federal election, 2003

Legislative elections in the Swiss Confederation were held on 19 October 2003. 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 in the strong showing of the right-wing, anti-European Union and anti-immigration Swiss People's Party. The left-wing parties, the Socialists and the Greens, also improved their positions. The losers were the parties of the 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.

The Legislature

Switzerland has a bicameral legislature, the Federal Assembly (Assemblée Fédérale / Bundesversammlung / Asamblea Federale / Assemblea Federala).
*The National Council (Conseil National / Nationalrat / Consiglio Nazionale / Cussegl Naziunal) has 200 members, elected for four-year terms by proportional representation in multi-member constituencies corresponding to the 26 Swiss cantons and half-cantons.
*The Council of States (Conseil des Etats / Ständerat / Consiglio degli Stati / Cussegl dals Stadis) has 46 members elected for four-year terms from multi-member and single-member constituencies.

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.


Government parties

"These four parties have formed a continuous coalition government since 1959 with each party allotted a fixed number of cabinet posts (the "magic formula")."

Swiss People's Party (right wing-populist)
*SVP, Schweizerische Volkspartei
*UDC, Union démocratique du centre
*UDC, Unione democratica di centro

Social-Democratic Party (centre-left)
*SP, Sozialdemokratische Partei
*PSS, Parti socialiste Suisse
*PS, Partito socialista

Christian Democratic Party (centre-right)
*CVP, Christlichdemokratische Volkspartei
*PDC, Parti Démocrate-Chrétien
*PPD, Partito popolare democratico

Free Democratic Party (centre-right, liberal)
*FDP, Freisinnig-demokratische Volkspartei
*PRD, Parti radical-démocratique
*PLR, Partito liberale radicale

Other parties

Green Lists (under different names in each Canton)

Green Liberal Party (centre)
*GLP, Grünliberale Partei der Schweiz
*VL, Verts Libéraux

Liberal Party
*LP, Liberale Partei
*Les Libéraux

Evangelical People's Party (centre)
*EVP, Evangelische Volkspartei
*PE, Parti évangélique
*PE, Partito evangelico

Federal Democratic Union (conservative-right)
*EDU, Eidgenossisch-Demokratische Union
*UDF, Union Démocratique Fédérale

Swiss Labour Party (left)
*PdA, Partei der Arbeit der Schweiz
*PST, Parti Suisse du Travail
*PdL, Partito Svizzero del Lavoro

Official Results

Further reading

* cite journal
quotes =
last = Church
first = Clive H.
authorlink =
coauthors =
date =
year = 2004
month = May
title = The Swiss Elections of October 2003: Two Steps to System Change?
journal = West European Politics
volume = 27
issue = 3
pages = 518–534
issn =
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doi =
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url =
language =
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External links and references

* [ Official voting results (German)]
* [ 2003 election coverage] in German, French, Italian, Romansh

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