Surveys before the election indicated that most voters considered high unemployment in Germany and Schleswig-Holstein to be the key issue of the campaign. Pre-election polls indicated that the personal popularity of Heide Simonis was still high, though, and that the SPD-Green coalition would continue to have the support of a plurality of voters. However, the unpopularity of the national SPD and the Hartz IV reforms appear to have taken a toll.
|Party||Party List votes||Vote percentage (change)||Total Seats (change)||Seat percentage|
|Social Democratic Party (SPD)||554,844||38.7%||-4.4%||29||-12||42.0%|
|Christian Democratic Union (CDU)||576,100||40.2%||+5.0%||30||-3||43.5%|
|Free Democratic Party (FDP)||94,920||6.6%||-1.0%||4||-3||5.8%|
|Alliance '90/The Greens||89,330||6.2%||+0.0%||4||-1||5.8%|
|South Schleswig Voter Federation (SSW)||51,901||3.6%||-0.5%||2||-1||2.9%|
|National Democratic Party (NPD)||27,656||1.9%||+0.9%||0||+0||0.0%|
|Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS)||11,376||0.8%||-0.6%||0||+0||0.0%|
On March 17, 2005, Simonis failed to win a Landtag vote for the premiership, with the secret ballot tying 34-34. It is not known who the abstainer was, though it is widely believed to have been a representative of her own party. Since the SPD-Green coalition had fallen with her leadership, the SPD was forced to negotiate a grand coalition with the CDU, acceding to the CDU's demand that CDU leader Peter Harry Carstensen replace Simonis as Minister-president.