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SUBJECT Germany election: Heavy losses for Merkel’s coalition in Hesse state
DATE 2018-10-31
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition have suffered heavy losses in a regional election in Hesse state. Both Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) party and the centre-left Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) were each down about 10 percent.

 

CDU garnered 27.9 percent of the vote, while the SPD, losing almost 11 points, gained around 20 percent of the ballots.

 

The election results in the one of Germany’s most prosperous states was seen as a barometer of Merkel and her party’s standing in the German public. Though the CDU remains the largest party, the result was unsurprising since the CDU dominated politics in Hesse for nearly two decades.

 

The winners are the Greens, who garnered the highest percentage of votes in Hesse in the party’s history, and the Alternative for Germany (AfD).

 

Repeating an outcome seen two weeks ago in the southern state of Bavaria where Merkel’s conservative bloc suffered a similar loss, the constituencies of Hesse shifted away from the center. Left-wing Green Party’s share rose to around 20 percent from previously 8 percent. The right-wing AfD party had a 12 percent share.

 

With Sunday’s results in Hesse, the anti-immigrant AfD passed the threshold to enter the regional legislature for the first time. The Hessen will have a six-party parliament.

 

Following the election results, Chancellor Merkel said on the 29th that she would not run again as party leader and that “the time has come to open a new chapter”. Merkel will likely step down as chancellor in 2021 or earlier for a successor.

 

BY MSEAP Cyber Secretariat (mseap@assembly.go.kr)