Populist AfD Sees Massive Gains in Eastern German Regional Elections

POTSDAM, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 01: Andreas Kalbitz, lead candidate of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), speaks to supporters after the initial exit poll results in Brandenburg state elections on September 1, 2019 in Werder, Germany. Brandenburg and the neighbouring state of Saxony, both states in eastern Germany, are holding …
Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

The populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) is projected to make enormous electoral gains in both Brandenburg and Saxony, with projections showing the party in second place in both states.

The AfD saw a doubling of their vote in Brandenburg according to an FGW projection, going from 12.2 per cent to 24.5 per cent and is likely to finish within two percentage points of the Social Democrats (SPD) which is projected to win the vote with 26.4 per cent.

The FGW exit poll also broke down the Brandenburg vote by age demographic, finding that the AfD won the most votes of the 30 to 59 age demographic with 31 per cent for those aged 30 to 44 and 29 per cent for those aged 45 to 59.

In Saxony, the populists saw even larger election success, increasing their vote from just 9.7 per cent to a projected 28.1 per cent, trailing the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel at 33.1 per cent.

The AfD came first in Saxony among those aged 18 to 44 and only one percentage point behind the CDU in the 45-59 age bracket, according to FGW. The CDU, however, dominated the 60-and-over age demographic with 43 per cent of the vote, a full 20 per cent higher than the AfD.

According to newspaper Die Welt, the CDU would be able to form a very slim majority coalition with the SPD as leader Michael Kretschmer has previously ruled out a coalition with the AfD.

In Brandenburg, the paper notes that the previous SPD-Left Party coalition is no longer viable and a coalition deal will be difficult as no other parties have expressed a desire to work with the AfD.

A coalition of the CDU, SPD, and the Greens is one of the few possibilities of a majority in the state.

Prominent populist MP Beatrix von Storch commented on the elections saying: “Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the old party system is history. Non-left majorities exist ONLY with the AfD, Beyond that, there are only faint, colourful alliances. That’s the reality, the AfD is the kingmaker.”

Dr Maximillian Krah, a recently elected member of the European Parliament for the anti-mass migration party and a resident of Saxony, hailed the election results saying they were the “best AfD election results since the party’s founding”.

The results reflect a long-standing trend of popularity for the AfD in what was formerly communist East Germany. The party was the most popular overall in a poll released last September and has maintained popularity ever since.

The election results also come after the party faced challenges in Saxony when the election commission refused to allow the party to field more than 18 of the 61 candidates due to irregularities in the selection process.

This decision was later challenged and the Saxony Constitutional Court ruled that the party could field 30 candidates but not the full 61.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com


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