On Sunday 11 June 2023, Luxembourg residents went to the polls to elect their municipal councillors for the next six years; for the first time, all non-Luxembourgers over the age of eighteen could register to vote regardless of how long they had lived in the Grand Duchy.

Voting facts & figures

According to the official statistics, 329,246 people were registered to vote, including 49,674 non-Luxembourgers (excluding dual Luxembourg nationals who are considered Luxembourgers in this context and are thus automatically registered). There were 3,831 candidates, including 379 non-Luxembourg nationals. In the end, the total number of ballots was 278,361, of which 252,858 were valid.

Whilst 99 out of 100 municipalities (Berdorf will hold its elections later) transmitted their election results, elections did not actually take place in June in a handful of municipalities for various reasons. In Berdorf, for example, the municipal elections are postponed until 8 October 2023 (the date of the national elections) following the death of one of the candidates. In other municipalities, the total number of candidates did not exceed the total number of councillor positions to fill and so all candidates were automatically elected; this was the case in Bourscheid, Nommern, Stadtbredimus, Vichten, Weiler-la-Tour and Winseler.

Note that there are two types of voting systems in Luxembourg: proportional representation in municipalities with at least 3,000 residents (each voter has as many votes as there are councillors to elect and can vote for party lists or individual candidates) and the relative majority voting system in municipalities with fewer than 3,000 residents (voters can vote for individual candidates and can allocate no more than one vote per candidate). In both cases, voters directly elect members of the municipal council (with the exception of municipalities where elections did not take place), after which the elected councillors typically decide among themselves who the mayor and aldermen will be. The number of both councillors and aldermen varies depending on the population size.


Looking at the overall election results, the Christian Social People’s Party (CSV) retained its lead in terms of total votes and seats (193) across the country but lost 4.4% of its vote share (down to 26.1%) compared to 2017. The Democratic Party (DP) emerged as the overall "winner", having gained 26 seats (from 108 in 2017 to 134 in 2023) and increased its vote share by 2.5% (to 20.6%), whilst the position of the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP) remained relatively stable (155 seats, as in 2017; vote share down 2.7% to 21.3%). The Greens (Déi Gréng) lost thirteen seats (from 77 in 2017 to 64 in 2023) and 3.7% of their vote share (down to 12.7%).

Whilst the results were clear cut in several municipalities, a series of coalition talks followed in many municipalities with the aim of appointing the mayor and aldermen for the next six years. Following this, several new (or returning) mayors and aldermen will be sworn in starting this month; just today (Monday 3 July 2023), twelve mayors and 27 aldermen were sworn in to their new roles.

So, let's take a look at who will be at the helm of Luxembourg's five most populated municipalities - as well as a few smaller ones where the local elections brought certain "surprises"...

Luxembourg City (population of about 133,000)

In Luxembourg City, the DP secured 31.4% of the vote share and ten seats (out of 27) on the municipal council. Incumbent Mayor Lydie Polfer (DP) alone secured over 15,200 votes and will retain her position. Just a couple of weeks ago, the DP and the CSV agreed to renew their coalition, with Serge Wilmes (CSV) continuing to serve as first alderman. Five other councillors have been appointed as aldermen: Simone Beissel (DP), Patrick Goldschmidt (DP), Corinne Cahen (DP; Luxembourg's former Minister for Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region), Maurice Bauer (CSV) and Paul Galles (CSV).

Esch-sur-Alzette (population of about 37,000)

Following another tight race between the LSAP (which secured 36 more votes overall and 29.57% of the vote share) and the CSV (29.55% of the vote share), the latter is set to once again join forces with the DP and the Greens to form a coalition, with Georges Mischo (CSV) holding on to his position as mayor. He will be joined by first alderman Pim Knaff (DP) as well as aldermen André Zwally (CSV) and Christian Weis (CSV). Meris Sehovic and Mandy Ragni will share the Greens' only alderman post, changing places mid-term.

Differdange (population of about 30,000)

The Greens suffered a significant setback in their traditional stronghold of Differdange, where it just so happens the "Traversini Affair" (a garden shed building permit "scandal" involving former Green Differdange Mayor Roberto Traversini) unfolded in recent years. The Greens lost 21.7% of their vote share and four seats compared to 2017; the party also lost its only mayor in the Grand Duchy. Christiane Brassel-Rausch did not run for re-election and will be replaced by the LSAP's Guy Altmeisch, at the helm of an LSAP-CSV coalition. The new mayor will be joined by first alderman Tom Ulveling (CSV) and aldermen Thierry Wagner (LSAP) and Jerry Hartung. Fred Bertinelli (LSAP) is set to share his alderman position with a yet to be named CSV councillor.

Dudelange (population of about 22,000)

After winning an absolute majority, the LSAP was able to fill all four aldermen posts in Dudelange, with incumbent Mayor Dan Biancalana remaining at the helm, no coalition talks necessary. In addition to the mayor, the following LSAP candidates with the most votes in the elections were sworn in as aldermen on 3 July: Loris Spina, Josiane Di Bartolomeo-Ries, René Manderscheid and Claudia Dall'Agnol.

Pétange (population of about 21,000)

The CSV and the LSAP have agreed to form another coalition in the country's fifth most populous municipality, with Jean-Marie Halsdorf (CSV) at the helm. The new mayor, who succeeds Pierre Mellina (LSAP), had already served in this position between 2000 and 2004 before becoming a government minister. Since 2017, he has been an alderman for Pétange.

Other municipalities

In Schifflange, Luxembourg's ninth most populous municipality (about 11,000 inhabitants), the LSAP and the CSV (the two largest parties) have agreed to form a large coalition with two mayors: incumbent Mayor Paul Weimerskirch (CSV) will remain at the helm for the first two years before Carlo Feiereisen (LSAP), serving as first alderman in the meantime, takes over as mayor for the rest of the mandate. The Greens, who had previously formed a coalition with the CSV, will move into the opposition.

In Bech, an eastern Luxembourg municipality with about 1,300 inhabitants (relative majority system), Jill Goeres is set to become the youngest mayor in the Grand Duchy. The 20-year-old student secured the most votes (394) in this small municipality in the canton of Echternach and will take over the mayoral position from Camille Kohn, who did not stand for re-election this year.

In Diekirch in north-eastern Luxembourg (population of about 7,000), the LSAP lost its longstanding absolute majority, with the CSV's Charel Weiler receiving 156 more votes than incumbent Mayor Claude Thill. The LSAP remained the largest party overall, but by a narrow margin, and the CSV and the DP have since confirmed their plans to form a coalition: Charel Weiler will be the new mayor, accompanied by first alderman José Lopes Gonçalves (DP) and second alderman Paul Bonert (CSV). The LSAP will be in the opposition for the first time in twelve years.

On the other hand, the LSAP became the strongest party in Ettelbruck (population of about 9,700) in central Luxembourg, with Bob Steichen ousting incumbent Mayor Jean-Paul Schaaf (CSV). Nevertheless, the LSAP-CSV coalition is set to continue.

In a surprise twist in Mondercange (about 3,700 residents), Christine Schweich, who was elected as a councillor for LSAP (as the party's lead candidate in the municipality), recently announced her intention to accept her mandate, but as part of the DP. She said in a statement that she no longer felt aligned with the policies of her former party. The CSV and the DP have agreed to form a coalition in the south-western municipality.


Whilst not much appeared to significantly change across the board, there were some surprises and plot twists resulting from this year's municipal elections, with certain parties losing their traditional strongholds and others taking the lead. The Greens suffered quite heavy losses, whilst the DP witnessed not insignificant gains compared to the 2017 elections. Some of the smaller parties, namely the Pirate Party, also increased their vote share, to the detriment of the traditionally larger parties in certain municipalities.

It will be interesting to see what this all means (if anything) for the current "Gambia Coalition" (referred to as such due to the red (LSAP), blue (DP) and green (Greens) colours of the various parties, which match the Gambian flag) and opposition parties in October, when Luxembourg nationals head to the polls once more for this year's legislative (national) elections.

(Related news article on this year's local election results: https://chronicle.lu/category/politics/45561-dp-the-main-winners-in-2023-local-elections)