The three parties of the center-left coalition of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suffered a severe Defeat on Sunday during elections in two large regions, strongholds of the conservatives, which also show a strong push from the far right.
According to the latest projections, the Social Democrats (SPD) of Mr. Scholz, the Greens and the liberals of the FDP are retreating both in Bavaria (south), the richest German state, and in Hesse (west) where Frankfurt is located. , the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB).
For the FDP, the result is clear: the party did not reach the 5% necessary to remain in the Bavarian parliament, and could also be ejected in Hesse.
Mid-term, the government of Olaf Scholz was thus sanctioned in elections where the population's concern over the industrial crisis experienced by Europe's largest economy and the resurgence of the migration issue played a central role.
– “A signal” for the government
The weekly Der Spiegel described the verdict at the polls as “disastrous” for the coalition. “The loss of support is so obvious” that the government “will be forced to review its current course,” he judges.
SPD leader Lars Klingbeil agreed with this, seeing in the defeat “a signal to the three parties” of the government, to encourage them “to resolve the Germans' problems more quickly.
Another lesson from these elections won handily, as expected, by the conservatives: the far-right AfD party should claim second place in these two Länder, which embody a prosperous Germany.
“We can no longer say that (the AfD) is a party exclusively strong in the east” of the country, where the regions of the former GDR are located, often economically disadvantaged, points out the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Boris Rhein, CDU candidate in the German regional elections, greets his supporters after the first exit results from the polls, on October 8, 2023 in Wiesbaden, Hesse © AFP – Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV < p>In Hesse, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, who led the social democratic list, suffered a bitter setback: the SPD (15%) came behind the AfD (18.9%), neck and neck for third. place with the Greens, current junior ally in the regional government.
Olaf Scholz's party is far behind the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) led by an unknown, Boris Rhein, which wins 34.2 %, up significantly compared to 2018 (27%).
“We unfortunately did not succeed in imposing ourselves with our themes. It is a very disappointing performance,” admitted the minister, a heavyweight in the government, who intends, despite criticism from the opposition, to keep her portfolio .
In Bavaria, the thunderous head of government Markus Söder certainly won, but with a slightly lower result (36.5 to 36.8%) and the worst in more than 70 years for his party Christian Social Union (CSU), regional avatar of the CDU.
This poor score could weaken his presumed desire to become chancellor, even if he assured Sunday that he had no such ambitions.
Bavarian head of government Markus Söder and CSU candidate in the German state elections, makes a statement after the first exit results from the polls, on October 8, 2023 in Munich, southern Germany. 'Germany © AFP – Tobias SCHWARZ
The person said he was “satisfied” with the result, which allows him to constitute “a stable and strong majority” with his current partner, the Free Voters (Freie Wähler) , a very conservative party established in the countryside which would collect a little more than 14%.
The AfD (15.5 to 15.9%) would come in second position there too, but remains neck and neck with the Greens (15.4 to 15.8), while the SPD, chronically weak in this Land, collapses a little further (around 8%).
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