The Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Greens did better than expected in Sunday’s election in Schleswig-Holstein, but the results were disastrous for both the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the FDP.
It remains unclear whether the CDU, which won an absolute majority, will continue to rule with the Greens and the FDP, or choose a different alliance.
Daniel Guder, 48, is Germany’s most popular state prime minister anyway. In a poll released yesterday, 75% of voters in the northern German state of 2.8 million voted in favor of remaining prime minister.
According to the official count so far, broadcast recently by the first channel of the German public television ARD, the CDU received 43.4% (+ 11.4% from the 2017 elections), the Greens 18.2% (+ 5.3), the SPD 16% (–11.3), the FDP 6.4% (–5.1) and the South Schleswig Voters’ Union (SSW) 5.8% (+2.5). Alternative for Germany is left out of the local parliament with 4.4% (-1.5), but also the Left, which, limited to 1.7% (-2.1), again failed to secure its entry.
For the CDU, this is the best result in Schleswig-Holstein in the last 30 years.
The winner of the elections has already stated that he wants to discuss with the Greens and the FDP the possibility of continuing their government cooperation, however, leaving any possibility open.
CDU leader Friedrich Mertz congratulated Mr Gooder very early on via Twitter: “An excellent result for you personally, but also for the CDU as a whole. This also gives us a boost for North Rhine-Westphalia,” he said. Mertz, praising his candidate’s victory and stressing the urgency of next Sunday’s election in the country’s most populous state, which is also his constituency.
“We are now turning our attention to the North Rhine-Westphalia elections. We are looking to the future with great confidence,” said SPD leader Saskia Esken.
According to the latest polls, the CDU, which is ahead of the SPD, which is in second place, is only 2 points, with the Greens at 18% and the FDP at 7%, leaving all possibilities open.
Prime Minister Hendrik Vust succeeded Armin Lasset last year, when he stepped down to lead the CDU in the federal election as a candidate for chancellor. However, he is not considered an undisputed favorite, like Daniel Guder, while the SPD candidate Thomas Koutsati proves to be a difficult opponent.
In addition, the Greens, at least in opinion polls, seem capable of tripling their previous percentages, making an SPD-Greens government unlikely.
“Old adversaries, new friends,” Der Spiegel magazine quoted Daniel Guder and Friedrich Mertz as saying; Mertz as an “older man who has not achieved his goals” when the current CDU president criticized former Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Their relationship, however, seems to have been restored: Friedrich Mertz did his best to support the state’s election campaign, which brought him his first victory since taking over the party leadership.