With slight gains of 2.5 percentage points, the CDU set itself apart from the SPD in the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia on Sunday evening, according to current projections – also because the latter lost more than 4 percentage points. The Greens are the big winner with an increase of almost 12 percentage points. Voter turnout fell to 56.0 percent – down 9.2 percentage points from the 65.2 percent turnout in the last state election five years ago.

However, the election results of the parties only refer to the votes cast – and thus leave the non-voters unconsidered. If you calculate the parties’ share of the vote based on the number of all citizens eligible to vote in North Rhine-Westphalia (around 13 million), the election result changes.

The order of the parties remains unchanged, but not the placement. They all move down one rank. Because the strongest party is no longer the CDU, but the fictitious party of non-voters.

Based on the current projections, the non-voters with 44.0 percent of the “honest” election result are well ahead of the CDU with 20.0 percent, which is not even half as large. The SPD follow with 15.0 percent, followed by the Greens with 10.2 percent.

The FDP and the AfD, each with 3.1 percent, would miss out on entering the Düsseldorf state parliament, the left anyway with 1.2 percent. The other parties together would only come to 3.4 percent.