Legislative elections ("Chamberwalen") are broadly determined by the Constitution and in great detail by electoral law.
Legislative elections appoint the 60 Deputies composing the Chamber of Deputies in Luxembourg's unicameral system. The length of their term is 5 years.
4 electoral disctricts
The country is broken down into four electoral districts (Art. 51 of the Constitution):
- the South, comprising the cantons of Esch-sur-Alzette and Capellen;
- the Centre, comprising the cantons of Luxembourg and Mersch;
- the North, comprising the cantons of Diekirch, Redange, Wiltz, Clervaux, and Vianden;
- the East, comprising the cantons of Grevenmacher, Remich, and Echternach.
Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, Diekirch and Grevenmacher are the capital of the electoral districts.
The Constitution sets the number of deputies at 60. Electoral law sets the number of deputies to be elected in each district:
- the Southern District: 23 deputies
- the Central District: 21 deputies
- the Northern District: 9 deputies
- the Eastern District: 7 deputies
Direct universal suffrage
Deputies are directly elected by the nation, without intermediaries, by universal suffrage. The universal suffrage system means that all Luxembourgish citizens, men and women alike, who meet the requirements provided for by law, can take part in the election of deputies.
Deputies are elected based on the list voting system, according to the rules of proportional representation.
For each of the four electoral districts (South, Centre, North, East), political groups must create lists of candidates, the number of which may not be greater than the total number of deputies to be elected within the district.
Voting is mandatory for all registered voters. Voters may not be represented by proxy. Those who are unable to vote in the election must explain the reason for their absence to their local State Prosecutor, and provide the necessary supporting documents. Unjustified abstentions are punishable by a fine. In the event of repeat offences, the penalty is increased.
People living in a different municipality than the one where they are asked to vote at the time of the election and voters above 75 years of age are exempt from mandatory voting.
Declaring inability to vote in legislative elections
All voters registered on electoral lists are permitted to vote by post as part of legislative elections.
The ballot is secret.
The principle of secret votes is not formally stated in the Constitution, but electoral law provides many detailed formalities aimed at safeguarding it.
Voters vote in the main polling station of the municipality where they reside or at the voting locations set by a Grand Ducal ruling.
Voters are permitted to vote on election day from 8 am to 2 pm.
Voters must attend the polling station with their ID card or passport. It is not an obligation to produce the polling card.
Each voter has as many votes as there are deputies to be elected in their district.
Votes may be cast for a list or for individual candidates.
Electors who vote for a list may not cast any additional votes, subject to cancellation of their ballot, unless the list chosen includes fewer candidates than there are deputies to be elected in the district.
Voters who vote for individual candidates may choose candidates from the same list or from different lists, but must be careful not to vote for more candidates than there are available seats.
They may allocate two votes to each of the candidates, up to the total number of votes that they hold.
Allocation of seats
Allocation of seats among the lists
The allocation of seats among the lists is carried out in proportion with the total number of votes obtained for each list.
A first allocation is carried out. The total number of valid votes is divided by the number of deputies to be elected within the district + 1. The next higher number to the quotient obtained is called the "electoral quota". To find out the number of seats of the list, the number of votes obtained on a list is divided by the electoral quota.
If all of the seats cannot be distributed this way, an additional allocation is carried out. In that case, the number of votes of one list is divided by the number of seats obtained + 1. The list with the highest number obtains the remaining seats.
Example of the allocation of seats:
List A: 53,216 votes
List B: 23,015 votes
List C: 30,182 votes
Total: 106,413 votes
106,413 (number of valid votes): [6 (number of deputies to be elected) + 1]
106,413 : 7 = 15,201.85
15,201.85 rounded up = 15,202 = electoral quota
number of seats for the list A:
53,216 : 15,202 = 3 seats
number of seats for the list B:
23,015 : 15,202 = 1 seat
number of seats for the list C:
30,182 : 15,202 = 1 seat
Total of distributed seats: 3 + 1 + 1 = 5 seats
But six deputies are to be elected. Therefore, one more seat will have to be distributed. In order to do so, an additional allocation is required.
List A: 53,216: 3 seats + 1
53,216 : 4 = 13,304
List B: 23,015: 1 seat + 1
23,015 : 2 = 11,507
List C: 30,182: 1 seat + 1
30,182 : 2 = 15,091
The list C obtains the remaining seat, as it has obtained the highest number when calculating the additional allocation.
Allocation of seats among candidates
The seats then go to the candidates who obtain the most votes. When there is a tied vote, victory goes to the candidate selected by random draw by the president of the district's main polling station.
The result of the final vote counting and the names of the elected parties are then publicly announced by the president of the main polling station.
Official announcement of the election results
As soon as the polling stations close, it is up to the Government Coordinating Office to obtain the election results of each municipality from their respective main polling stations. Based on these results, the Coordinating Office determines the unofficial result of the elections on election day itself.
The official results are announced by the president of the main polling station of each district. These results are then validated by the Chamber of Deputies.