Monday, March 14, 2016

German regional elections - big winner was without question the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).


German regional elections - big winner was without question the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

The day’s big winner was without question the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). The party ran a xenophobic campaign that played on public fears about refugees. It took nearly a quarter of the votes in Saxony-Anhalt, where it finished second. The party, which appeared on the ballot for the first time, won more than 10 percent of the vote in the other two states as well, signaling broad regional opposition to Merkel’s stance on refugees.

All of the established parties took a thrashing in at least one state. The Greens, for example, won Baden-Württemberg but collapsed in Rhineland Palatinate. The Social Democrats held Rhineland Palatinate but slumped in the other two states to historic lows.

But no party was hit harder than Merkel’s CDU, with declining support across the board. The result will have profound political implications for the chancellor both in Germany and Europe.

For years, Germany appeared to be an island in Europe as the only major country without a strong far-right populist movement. Political scientists and columnists debated the degree to which the German anomaly was rooted in the trauma of the country’s 20th century history.

Turns out these voters were always there, they just weren’t voting. In all three states that held elections Sunday, the main source of the AfD’s support was from voters who hadn’t cast a ballot in the last election. It also poached hundreds of thousands of voters from the established parties, in particular, Merkel’s CDU. The AfD’s strong showing reflects deep dissatisfaction in many parts of Germany with the political establishment.

Support for such parties in other countries has proved volatile. While the refugee backlash proved to be a perfect match for the AfD’s anti-foreigner message, support for such parties in other countries has proved volatile.

Nonetheless, that the party managed to capture between 12.5 percent and 24 percent of the vote in its first running in the three states that held elections on Sunday is nothing short of stunning. It suggests that AfD, which has morphed from an anti-euro movement into the kind of right-wing populist party typical across Europe, is here to stay.

The CDU and the CSU, its more conservative Bavarian sister, will likely be tempted to try to recapture the support they’ve lost on their right flank.

So far, those attempts have largely failed, as voters opted for the original. Hmmm......As i predicted months ago ! In my opinion this doesn't mean that all voters of AfD are right extreme , just if their current leadership doesn't act on their grievances they will look for an alternative that will. (Protest votes). Read the full story here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...