Germany, the “end” of Merkel has begun: Verdi and SPD win the regional ones

“Today is a good day, too because it shows that in Germany it is possible to form a government without the CDU ”. The sentence is of Olaf Scholz, Chancellor candidate of the SPD and German Finance Minister, but perfectly captures the atmosphere that reigns in Berlin when the polls are still hot after the double vote in Baden Wuerttemberg and Rhineland Palatinate: Angela Merkel’s party suffered a bitter defeat, that is, he scored the worst result in the history of their respective Laender, and this just six months before the federal elections on September 26. And both in Stuttgart and in Mainz coalitions can emerge that exclude the Christian Democrats, that is, formed exclusively by Greens, SPDs and liberals.

According to the latest screenings (at 7pm last night), in Baden Wuerttemberg the environmental party (here already in government with Winfried Kretschmann) achieves a result of around 32%, thereby winning the best result of the Greens both at a regional and national level. In contrast to the CDU, brought to the polls by candidate Susanne Eisenmann, stops at a result of around 23.5% (in 2016 it was 27%), which is particularly painful for a Land that was once its strong stronghold. The SPD slightly exceeds 11%, a breath above the liberals of the FDP at 10.7, while the AFD with 10.5% still appears to hold up the impact of having been investigated at national level by the internal secret services of the Federal Office for the Defense of the Constitution (BfV).

It is no better for the party that belonged to Adenauer and Kohl in Rhineland Palatinate, where the voters wanted to decisively reward the government experience of the Social Democrat Malu Dreyer, thereby giving a “sign of life” (as Spiegel writes) for the SPD also at the national level: here the heirs of Brandt and Schmidt manage to obtain, according to the latest ARD projections, 35.7% of the consensus against 27.7% of the CDU: also here, for the formation that was led for 18 years by Frau Merkel, a “historic” thud with a net bleeding compared to 31.8% five years ago. In the Rhineland the result of the Greens is much more contained, with 9.3% of the votes which in any case represents a significant leap compared to the 2016 elections. While the Liberals get 5.9%, the Free Electors (Freie Waehler) enter the Rhenish Landtag for the first time, with 6% of the votes. Linke, the party of the left, remains out of both Landtag with 3.2% and 2.3% respectively.

From the beginning this double election date was considered a test case for the federal elections on September 26th: a vote that promises to be historic, however, given that it is the first without Angela Merkel to run as chancellor after 16 years in government and that arrives in the Covid era, with the blows and repercussions that this brings with it. And for the CDU the prospects are certainly not rosy: with a new leader, Armin Laschet, who collects a heavy double defeat and is forced to face the consequences of the scandal of the masks on which their parliamentarians would have profited, while still, less than six months from the vote, there is no name for the race to the chancellery.

Not surprisingly, the general secretary of the CDU, Paul Ziemiak, tried to get his hands on: in front of the cameras he hastens to declare that the result in Baden Wuerttemberg and Rhineland Palatinate “will have no consequences on the decision regarding the candidacy for the chancellery ”, The original program remains, ie“ that CDU and CSU will make their decision between Easter and Pentecost ”. Few believe him, starting with the Greens, who in national polls travel around 20% of the votes, thereby confirming steadily as the second political force in the country. “For us it’s a super start in a super election year” the leaders of the environmentalist party, Robert Habeck and Annalena Baerbock, are enthusiastic, who see the possibility of being decisive in the formation of a future national government getting even closer.

Meanwhile, eyes are on the upcoming electoral appointments: the one for the renewal of the Landtag in Saxony-Anhalt is set for the beginning of June, to follow the election day of 26 September, when the ballot boxes for the national elections and those in the Laender of Berlin, Mecklenburg and Thuringia will open at the same time. Obviously, the great maneuvers for the formation of the two Laender governments are already in full swing, and currently none of the political seismographs seems to be in favor of the CDU. TOalthough in Baden Wuerttemberg the Christian Democrats have made it known that they are willing to continue the alliance with Kretschmann’s Greens, the latter has taken great care to show clear openings, limiting himself to saying that talks will begin “with all political forces”.

In practice, in both Laender the prices are rising for an alliance between the Greens, the SPD and the liberals, the so-called “traffic light coalition”, with the color of the three parties. For the CDU the prospects appear bad in view of the appointment with the national polls of the 26 national team: sandwiched between what appears to be the “beginning of the end” of the Merkel bonus, the painful slowness in the anti-Covid vaccination campaign, the embarrassing mask trafficking scandal involving its own exponents, the proud German Christian Democrats still do not have a convincing candidate for the chancellery. And time is running out.


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