German nationalists miss out in state elections

 

Two weeks after losing their seats in the Landtag (state parliament) of Saxony, the NPD – Germany’s main nationalist party – suffered a further setback in neighbouring Thuringia, another state which was part of the old communist East Germany before reunification in 1990.  At the previous Thuringian election in 2009 the NPD polled 4.3%, close to the 5% threshold required to gain parliamentary seats.  This year (according to the latest estimated result) they seem to have slipped back to around 3.7%.

As in Saxony, the big winner was the new party Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany), which is a more liberal German version of UKIP.  AfD seems to have polled more than 10% in Thuringia and will therefore have seats in the new Landtag, but the ruling conservative CDU has ruled out a coalition.  This means that Thuringia will either continue under a “grand coalition” of the CDU and the social-democratic SPD; or just possibly have a new coalition of the SPD with the far left Die Linke and the Greens.

Again as in Saxony there was a historic defeat for the CDU’s usual coalition partner the liberal FDP, who lost all of their seats after their vote collapsed from 7.6% to around 2.4%.  The FDP was also wiped out in simultaneous state elections in Brandenburg, where again AfD has gained seats at the first attempt.

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