In state elections in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, initial expectations point to a clear victory for the ruling Christian Democrats. According to the calculations of ARD and ZDF television stations, the CDU of famous Prime Minister Daniel Gunther is 41 to 43 percent (2017: 32.0 percent). The Green Party previously improved from 17.0 to 19.5 percent (2017: 12.9 percent).
The opposition Social Democrats, which govern Germany at the federal level, fell to 15.5% to 16% (2017: 27.3%). This is the worst SPD result in this case so far. The last time the SPD served as prime minister was from 2012 to 2017.
AFD can fly
The FDP (Liberals), which also governs, fared much weaker than it was five years ago and gained 7.0 percent (2017: 11.5 percent). The right-wing populist AfD will not be represented in Parliament in Kiel by 4.5 to 4.9 per cent (2017: 5.9 per cent). It will be the first time that the party, which was founded in 2013 and is currently represented in all state parliaments, has been expelled from the state parliament.
The Southern Schleswig Union of Voters (SSW), the Danish minority party, won 6.0% (2017: 3.3%). He will be exempted from the five percent hurdle to enter the state parliament.
According to the ARD, the projections will lead to the following distribution of seats in the state parliament: CDU 34 seats, Greens 13, SPD 12, FDP 5, and SSW 5. Günther would only lose an absolute majority.
SPD without advisor bonus
According to the results of opinion polls, the CDU was able to benefit above all from the popularity of Gunther. This 48-year-old is one of the prime ministers with the highest popularity ratings nationwide. According to the ARD, 74 percent of those surveyed said it represented the country’s interests well. The Green Party, in turn, also benefited from the popularity of Federal Economy Minister and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, who came from Schleswig-Holstein.
With Thomas Luce Müller, the SPD sent a prominent, largely unknown candidate to run in the Schleswig-Holstein race. Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s party was unable to obtain the “Chancellor’s Bonus”.
The most important elections in the coming weeks
Gunther had said before the election that he wanted to continue Jamaica’s alliance with the Greens and the Free Democratic Party. Given the strength of the CDU, it would only need one coalition partner. The FDP is ideologically closer to the CDU than the Environmental Party.
Elections in a relatively small federal state of 2.9 million people were the second of four state elections in Germany this year. Elections will be held next Sunday in the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and in Lower Saxony in October. In March, the Social Democrats won state elections in Saarland by an absolute majority, ending decades of CDU rule there.
Expectations mean support for the new CDU leader Frederick Mers. At the end of January he assumed leadership of the party, and in mid-February he took over the presidency of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. The Christian Democrats hope that the strong performance in the north will also provide a tailwind to the elections in North Rhine-Westphalia within a week. There, too, the CDU party is the head of government. However, it is ahead in the opinion polls ahead of the SPD. The former CDU-FDP alliance in Düsseldorf no longer had a majority.
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