The state elections in Saxony-Anhalt turned out to be a triumph for the CDU – and a damper for the “Chancellor Party” of the Greens. Theses about the outcome quickly circulate.
Berlin / Munich – Häme came from Bavaria. From a party that had not belonged to a parliament for more than 50 years – but in view of the great ambitions of the Greens in the federal elections in autumn, the shot was still fired. “State election in Saxony-Anhalt: Greens weakest force,” tweeted the Bavarian party on Sunday evening. The corresponding screenshot of a ZDF projection showed the party at 6.0 percent. (Our politics newsletter keeps you up to date on all aspects of the state elections in Saxony-Anhalt.)
In the course of the evening it got even worse for the Greens: At around 9:05 p.m., according to the Election Research Group, the party even stumbled towards the five percent hurdle with 5.6 percent in the meantime. The final results of the state elections then seemed to be a little less violent.
Greens after the Saxony-Anhalt election: Baerbock sees a clear cause – and has to put up with a delicate question
Now the Greens in Saxony-Anhalt traditionally have a hard time. But a result comparatively close to leaving the state parliament and – for example – significantly below the value of the 2011 election, in which the Greens still received 7.2 percent … That put a considerable damper on the party with the new claim to the Chancellery right away.
“We have not achieved what we set out to do,” admitted Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock. Federal Managing Director Michael Kellner blamed the strong polarization between the CDU and AfD for the party’s relatively poor performance compared to previous surveys. In such situations, many people gathered “behind the person of the Prime Minister” in order not to strengthen the AfD.
Baerbock had also expressed himself shortly after the first forecasts on ZDF. And thus referring to a model of explanation that the SPD and the left also used. The Social Democrats landed a negative record in Saxony-Anhalt, top candidate Katja Pähle even shed tears. But they were still in front of the Greens. And are used to poor results. The Greens, on the other hand, actually want to create momentum for change. Baerbock had to ask ZDF journalist Bettina Schausten whether the result was a little too little.
Chancellor damper for Baerbock: Haseloff makes a dry forecast – “… will be prevented in the east”
The winner of the election, Reiner Haseloff, put forward a thesis that was delicate for the Greens in the traditional “Berlin Round” in the first. Chancellor election victories would be made in the West, he stated dryly. But in the east they would be prevented. Regardless of the mathematically rather difficult arithmetic of this calculation: the CDU Prime Minister could be right about it. With results around five percent in the new federal states, the Greens are likely to have a hard time becoming the strongest force in the Bundestag. In Brandenburg and Saxony, however, the party did noticeably better in 2019 – in Thuringia again not.
Another possible concern in times of high polls: the opinion polls had seen Baerbock’s party in some cases much more strongly before election day. The last surveys saw the Greens in Saxony-Anhalt between eight and nine percent. Compared to that, they have lost around a third.
No “change mood” for the Greens: CSU celebrates the result in Saxony-Anhalt – climate focus as a problem?
The competition – after violent attacks in the past few weeks – then immediately cannibalized the Magdeburg election result. “This election shows that the people want a politics of the center and stability and a union that represents the entire breadth of the bourgeois spectrum,” said CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt in the evening. The reference to the “entire breadth” after a few attempts to approach the AfD from the CDU parliamentary group and the occasional vote-fishing with new right-wing positions could cause some frowns.
“This election also showed that there is no mood of change towards a left-wing coalition in Germany,” Dobrindt emphasized. For the greens, the trees don’t grow into the sky either. “The bourgeois center has clearly gained approval, the left has clearly lost,” he explained.
The party identified a problem on the evening of the election itself: The climate issue apparently did not get across. “It must also become clearer that climate protection is not only the central question of survival, but also specifically strengthens the business location: with the expansion of renewable energies, batteries, e-cars, green H2,” tweeted ex-party leader Simone Peter with a view a survey by the Wahlen research group. According to the polls, 75 percent of voters attested that there are “much more important issues than climate change” in Saxony-Anhalt. The topic is “not seen as relevant” in some regions, admitted co-boss Robert Habeck at “Anne Will”. The petrol debate did not help either.
Greens, leftists, SPD experience state election flop: ex-minister calms down with a simple thesis
However, it also remains open whether it was actually a decidedly conservative election decision by the ballot boxers – or whether the concern about an AfD election victory did not create a special situation that will not be repeated in the federal election. The Saxon SPD General Secretary Hennig Homann analyzed on Twitter, for example, that the right-wing conservative camp appears “larger than it is through strategic voting for the CDU (instead of SPD, BGR or Left)”.
In any case, the former SPD minister Katarina Barley had at first sight a reassuring thesis for the three losers, Greens, Left and SPD: “There were three impressive victories in the three state elections in 2021: SPD in Rhineland-Palatinate, Greens in Ba-Wü and CDU today in Saxony-Anhalt. None of them can be used as a prognosis for how things will go in the federal government in September. It’s that simple. ”In Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg, too, strong heads of government, Malu Dreyer and Winfried Kretschmann, dominated the election campaign. But whether that is enough as an explanation remains to be seen. (fn)