How Germany voted
At the European elections, the Greens made clear gains, while the Conservatives and the Social Democrats posted losses.
Berlin (dpa) – The Union (Conservatives) and the SPD (Social Democrats) both hit all-time lows in the European elections in Germany. Nevertheless, the two parties in the Union, the CDU and CSU, together remained the single largest political force. The Social Democrats, by contrast, lost more than ten percentage points in Sunday’s election and slid to third place. The main winner in Germany are the Greens, who for the first time emerged second largest party in a nationwide election. The right-wing populist EU-sceptical AfD improved its result in an European election but fell short of the figure achieved at the general elections in 2017.
The Union, consisting of the CDU and CSU parties, scored a total of 28.9 percent after all votes had been counted; at the European elections in 2014 the figure had been 35.4 percent, and at the last general election 32.9 percent. The SPD crashed to 15.8 percent, as against 27.3 percent at the last European elections and 20.5 percent at the last general election. By contrast, the Greens surged to 20.5 percent, almost ten percent more than at the European elections five years ago, when they polled 10.7 percent. The AfD bagged 11.0 percent, compared to 7.1 percent in 2014. The Linke achieved 5.5 percent (2014: 7.4 percent), the FDP (Liberals) 5.4 percent (2014: 3.4 percent). Of the remaining parties, only the Freie Wähler and the satirical party Die Partei polled more than two percent.
The Greens score highest amongst young voters, but not just there: A survey by Infratest dimap on behalf of the ARD TV station showed that they came out strongest amongst the under-60s, too – at 25 percent; in the age bracket of 25-34-year-olds no less than 27 percent chose them, and with the 18-24-year-olds the figure was as high as 34 percent.
The Greens’ strongholds are in the big cities. A glance at the ten largest cities shows that the the Greens are the strongest political force in nine of them, in part with a clear lead. However, here again they performed best elsewhere, too. In Sleswig-Holstein, for example, an essentially conservative non-city state defined by agriculture, where Kiel is the only real big city, they took the top slot and placed ahead of the CDU.
In the European elections, the AfD booked strong gains in east Germany and is now the strongest political force ahead of the CDU in Saxony and Brandenburg. In Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Mecklenburg-West Pommerania the right-wing populists in each case placed second behind the CDU. Compared to the 2014 European elections, the AfD posted clear double-digit gains in all the east German non-city states. The European elections were also considered a litmus test for the state elections in Brandenburg, Saxony and Thuringia this coming autumn.
Source: dpa; translation: deutschland.de