State parliamentary elections in saxony-anhalt: what's at stake now

Rarely reaps Saxony-Anhalt as much nationwide attention as they did this Sunday. How the state election in the federal state might turn out is being watched all over Germany – especially in Berlin. Because the results could also give the federal election campaign a new direction.

According to initial information from the election management, the start went off without a hitch. Information on disruptions would not be available, said a spokeswoman on Sunday morning. Until 18.00 o'clock the polling stations opened. Around 1.8 million people are called to vote. Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) has a good chance of a third term in office, according to polls. But recent polls also point to a neck-and-neck race with the AfD.

In the election campaign, Haseloff had called for cooperation with the AfD after the State Election excluded. A total of 449 candidates are standing for election. 22 parties are competing, spread across 41 constituencies. What consequences would a poor election result have for the CDU?? What will be decided today for the AfD? And has the left finally lost its base in the east?? The overview of what is at stake for whom.

State elections in Saxony-Anhalt: mood test before federal elections

The last state election in a year that will also see a new Bundestag The election of a candidate for chancellor always has a special symbolism. In 2017, for example, the SPD's defeat in the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia also sealed the downfall of the SPD's leading candidate in the federal government, Martin Schulz.

For CDU leader Armin Laschetthe election in Saxony-Anhalt is therefore an important test of sentiment. Above all, about whether the conservative voters in Eastern Germany Remain loyal to the CDU, even if the majority of them do not agree with the candidate for chancellor, according to the polls. For there, the majority of Union supporters had wanted CSU leader Markus Soder as their candidate for chancellor.

CDU: A result like 2016 would be a perceived success

If the AfD were to finish ahead of the CDU, it would also be a disaster for the federal party. Laschet would come under prere with his demarcation course. Saxony-Anhalt's prime minister and CDU top candidate Reiner Haseloff would probably be forced to resign. Forces in the state party that propagate a rapprochement with the AfD could see a momentum in this. In any case, Laschet would also be weakened in the federal government.

If the CDU achieves a result close to that of 2016 (29.8 percent), the party can take this as an indication of a reasonably stable situation at the federal level – despite all the squabbling over the presidency and the Chancellor candidate question. This would not be a real boost for the Bundestag election campaign, but no one is counting on it anyway. BackgroundLaschet: Whoever comes closer to the AfD can leave the CDU

AfD: Connections to the right-wing extremist scene

AfD leader Tino Chrupalla can go into this weekend relaxed: Either his party succeeds in the sensation, and the AfD becomes the strongest force. Or it will turn out as the polls predict, and the AfD will remain as strong in Saxony-Anhalt as it was five years ago, with just under a quarter of the vote.

Then Chrupalla and co-leading candidate Alice Weidel would have proof that even nasty internal squabbles, numerous gaffes, links to the right-wing extremist scene and observation by the state security service have little effect on them in eastern Germany.

Left: Once the people's party in the east has lost its base

In the eastern German states, the Left Party once had the stature of a People's Party. But not much of that is left in Saxony-Anhalt: the base is outdated, many voters have lost faith that the party can change anything, some have switched to the AfD. Of the nearly 24 percent who voted for the Left Party in Saxony-Anhalt in 2011, only about half are left.

That's a problem for Janine Wissler and Dietmar Bartsch, too, the top team for the federal election, which could desperately use a success: Because four months before the election, the Left Party, which is actually hoping for a red-red-green alliance, is coming dangerously close to the five-percent hurdle.

SPD: Government work hardly appreciated

The SPD in Saxony-Anhalt is a bit like the party in the federal government: it participates in government, it implements projects that are supposed to make people's lives better – but the rewards at the ballot box are not so great Ballot box threatens to drop out. Top candidate Katja Pahle and her team are currently having to fight to prevent the SPD in Saxony-Anhalt from slipping into single-digit percentages.

This would be a fatal signal not only for the state SPD. Olaf Scholz, the party's candidate for chancellor, would then enter the election campaign against the Greens and the CDU/CSU with a further handicap.

Greens: Hope for a respectable success

Even if the tone since the nomination of Annalena Baerbockhas become noticeably rougher as a candidate for chancellor, the Greens can still enjoy very good poll results in the federal government. This is spreading to eastern Germany: Even in Saxony-Anhalt, where the party only just made it into the state parliament last time, it could now be enough for a double-digit result.

For the top candidate, that would be a respectable success – and an important signal that the party is on the right track Climate protection The FDP is not only an ie for well-off city dwellers, but is also of interest in the countryside.

FDP: If the trend is enough to form a government?

East Germany is for Christian Lindner and the FDP has been in difficult terrain for a long time: In four federal states, the Liberals are not even represented in the state parliament. And in Thuringia, where they finally managed to win again in 2020, the election success was accompanied by the scandal surrounding Thomas Kemmerich, the FDP's short-lived state premier. He had gotten himself elected with votes from the AfD.

According to polls, it now looks as if the FDP, with top candidate Lydia Huskens, will return to the Magdeburg state parliament on Sunday after ten years. It is quite possible that they will even vote for Forming a government is needed. For Lindner, it would be another mood booster: The FDP leader is currently basking in double-digit poll results in the federal government.

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