KIEL, Germany — Germany’s centre-right opposition clinched a strong victory in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein on Sunday, dealing a blow to Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD).
The Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which lost power at the national level in last year’s federal elections, received 43 percent of the votes in Schleswig-Holstein first projections from the public broadcaster NDR. That is an increase of 11 percentage points compared to the last state election in 2017, which means that the incumbent CDU Prime Minister Daniel Günther can govern for another five years.
On the other hand, the SPD suffered a crushing defeat in the northern federal state and, according to the projections, only received 15.5 percent of the votes, almost 12 percentage points less than five years ago. The SPD was even overtaken by the Greens, who took second place with 17 percent and gained around 4 points. The FDP fell back 4.5 points to 7 percent. Scholz’ SPD governs with the Greens and the FDP at the federal level.
The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) is expected to win just 4.9 percent, meaning it risks missing the 5 percent hurdle needed to enter parliament. The Südschleswigscher Wahlerverband – a party representing the Danish and Frisian minorities in Schleswig-Holstein – almost doubled its votes and received 6 percent.
Although the state elections in Germany only partially reflect the general political mood – and much of the CDU’s strong performance in Schleswig-Holstein has been attributed to the popularity of Prime Minister Günther – the results for Chancellor Scholz do suggest a worrying trend. Westphalia, Germany’s most populous federal state, next Sunday.
Scholz has been accused at home and abroad of being too hesitant to support Ukraine against Russian aggression and of having poorly communicated the reasons for his reluctance.
In contrast, CDU federal chairman Friedrich Merz pulled off a coup last week when he visited Kyiv and played a statesmanlike role in a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
https://www.politico.eu/article/scholzs-social-democrats-face-crushing-defeat-in-northern-german-state-vote/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication Scholz' Social Democrats are threatened with a crushing defeat in the North German state elections - POLITICO