Scholes’ Social Democrats have achieved historically low results in important regional elections
German Chancellor Olaf Schulz’s Social Democrats hit the traditional center on Sunday as the party demanded a historically low turnout. The Greens, their partner in the National Alliance, have almost tripled their support in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and are now ready to play a key role in forming the next federal state government.
NRW is the most populous region in Germany, with 13 million registered voters and is a political and economic powerhouse. Sunday’s contest was held six months after the national election that brought Scholes to power.
The regional vote was considered a “mini-federal election” that served as a bellwether for the nation-state. Schulz personally campaigned for his Social Democratic Party (SPD) leading candidate, Thomas Kutshatti, and turned it into a symbolic referendum on his policy.
Estimated results indicate a huge loss for the SPD, which dropped from 31.2% in 2017 to just 27% of the vote. The party has never scored less than 30% in the region since the creation of modern Germany after World War II. .
The opposition Christian Democrats (CDU), which has been in power in Germany for 16 years under former Chancellor Angela Merkel, came out on top in the last election with 33% to 36% of the vote.
Greens showed the biggest gain with 18%, up from 6.4% four years ago. The Free Democrats (FDP), the coalition partner of the current NRW government, the CDU, and the Alternative for Germany (AFD) have both dealt a blow.
The CDU-FDP bloc no longer has enough seats in the regional parliament to ensure the continuity of their system, so the Greens are now able to act as kingmakers. Hendrik Wust of the CDU has the strongest demand for a new ruling coalition, with Greens as its most likely partner. As he celebrated the victory, he said it was his next step to negotiate a coalition after the Christian Democrats received a clear mandate from voters to stay in power, but did not make any specific proposals.
However, a “traffic light coalition” of Social Democrats, Free Democrats and Greens – the same party that controls Germany’s federal government – is at the same table. Greens’ top candidate, Mona Newbauer, thanked her opponent from other parties for taking part in a fair and dignified race – with the exception of the right-wing AFD – and said her team was ready. “Take responsibility” For the region.
This was the second electoral flop for the SPD this month after last week’s defeat in the northern federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. The Christian Democrats have won by landslide, with Greens in second place.
By the end of March, however, the Social Democrats had won a historic landslide by capturing an absolute majority in a small area of Saarland.
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