There were 4,645 National Council candidates in the 2019 elections.
But is that a lot? Statistics show that 857 more candidates stood for election in 2019 than in 2015. This is actually the biggest jump in candidate numbers – 23 per cent – between two elections in the period since 1970.
This development can largely be traced to strong growth in the number of female candidates, a demographic that grew by 43 per cent over the same period, from 1,308 candidates in 2015 to 1,873 in 2019. There were just 12 per cent more male candidates, on the other hand; 2,480 men stood for election in 2019, compared with 2,772 in 2015.
The graph below shows the trend in National Council candidate numbers from 1971 to 2019.
Women made up 40.3 per cent of all candidates in 2019, as 1,873 women stood for election alongside 2,772 men.
Statistical data indicates that this is the largest gain recorded since 1987 and the only net increase in the share of female candidates since 1995.
The table below details how many female candidates there were for each of the political parties in the 2019 National Council election race.
The average age of candidates has clearly gone down since the 1970s. In 1971, for example, the average age was 46, while in 2000 it had gone down to around 40 or 41. FDP candidates had the lowest average age at 37 years old.
Lower average ages among candidates have come mainly at the expense of 40- to 59-year-olds. The number of candidates over the age of 60, on the other hand, has been going up slightly.
The table below provides more detailed information on the number and average age of candidates from the various political parties during the last National Council election in 2019.
Compared with 2019, it was the CVP who had the biggest increase in candidate numbers at 60 per cent. The FDP had the lowest increase: +11 per cent.
The graph below shows the number of candidates running for each party: