The “silent heros” of parliamentarism
The rankings show: in the parliamentary influence score, the first places are occupied by rather unknown names. Positions 1-3 are occupied by members of influential committees, some of whom act as chair: Michael Schrodi (SPD), Jürgen Hardt (CDU/CSU) and Helge Lindh (SPD).They also submit official inquiries to the government, exercise prominent mandates in their parliamentary group (deputy parliamentary group chair or spokespersons of working groups) and actively participate in Bundestag debates (through speeches or reactions to contributions).
Members of the government and prominent opposition members often often score low in the parliamentary score. One example of this is Sahra Wagenknecht, who significantly shapes public discourse but hardly appears in parliamentary work, ranking only 743rd. The only AfD representative ranked in the top 30 in Parliamentary Score is Gottfried Curio in 8th place.
The “public opinion makers”
Unsurprisingly, those who scored highest in public influence are the Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his ministers. As expected, other politicians from the governing parties also rank in the top places. Examples include Ricarda Lang (6th place) and Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (13th place).
The ranking of opposition politicians in the public influence score is noteworthy: the AfD has a high presence in the media, on social media and in online search queries: a total of four AfD politicians are represented in the top 30 of the publicinfluence score, including Alice Weidel in 7th place.
Of the left-wingers, only Gregor Gysi (24th) is in the top 30 of the public influence score, alongside Sahra Wagenknecht (8th). The CDU, another opposition party, only has three members in the top 30, with Friedrich Merz in 9th place, Norbert Röttgen in 10th and Jens Spahn in 19th.
The analyses also shows that there are very few "double scorers" among the members of parliament. In other words, not many succeed in exerting both relevant public and parliamentary influence. Exceptions are parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz, who is the only one to make it into the top 10 in both rankings (7th place in the parliamentary influence score and 9th place in the public influence score), and SPD leaders Lars Klingbeil (22nd and 26th place) and Saskia Esken (44th place in each). However, these dual roles have little to do with their positions as party chair, as other politicians in comparable positions are found to rank lower.
Although the total number of female MPs has increased significantly (currently 35%), this is not reflected in their parliamentary influence: only 6 MPs in the top 30 are female.
In the public influence score, by contrast, there are 12 women - the public debate is more strongly influenced by female voices than is the case in the Bundestag. This may also be related to the fact that the federal cabinet has almost equal representation (7 of 16 ministries are headed by women). As expected, ministers are very present in the public perception due to their office.
The Public Score was evaluated at the time when the Russian war of aggression was the main topic in the public eye: it is therefore hardly surprising that, in addition to members of the government, many foreign and security politicians are found in the top positions in the ranking.