The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has been the undisputed winner of the regional elections in the East German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, the last before the general elections on September 26 in Germany. This Sunday’s victory at the polls is a boost and an injection of optimism for Armin Laschet, new president of the CDU and aspiring to take over from Angela Merkel in the Federal Chancellery. Although the conservative victory was expected, it was surprising because it was bulky and greatly exceeded the result of five years ago, in addition to generously correcting all previous polls and polls upwards.
All the other parties lost electoral support, with the exception of Los Verdes and the Liberals, who registered small increases in votes. Also the ultranationalists of Alternative for Germany (AfD), who even aspired to surpass the CDU to become the first political force in that federal state and have finally been more than 10 points from the winning formation.
The first voting estimates at the close of the polling stations obtained in two polls by the two public German television channels grant the CDU between 35% and 36% of votes, improving the results of 2016 by more than five points, while AfD populists obtained between 22.5% and 23.5% of the vote, a drop of one point compared to the previous elections. The results were disastrous for the Social Democrats (SPD), who lost two points and fell to 8% or 8.5%. Never has the oldest party in Germany, with more than 150 years of history, recorded a loss of electoral support at such low levels. While the Left yields five points and will obtain 11% of votes, the Liberal Party (FDP) returns to the Magdeburg regional Chamber with between 6.5% and 7% of votes and The Greens rise slightly to 6% o 6.5%.
The protagonist of the solid conservative victory in Saxony-Anhalt is Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff, who has ruled the region for ten years and will continue to do so for the next five years. A solid economic policy that has enriched the small state of 2.2 million inhabitants is the basis of its popularity. Since the previous elections Haselloff has governed in an unprecedented coalition in Germany of conservatives, social democrats and greens, whose primary objective was at the time to marginalize the AfD from power, the xenophobic and eurosceptic formation that is supported by almost one in four voters.