Left Wing Support Collapses After Berlin Re-Runs Election Over ‘Errors’

12 February 2023, Berlin: An election worker opens the ballot envelope of a postal voter i
Paul Zinken/picture alliance via Getty Images

Support for left-wing parties has collapsed in Berlin after elections were re-run in the city on Sunday over “errors” in the previous ballot.

An election re-run in the German capital of Berlin has seen support for the political right surge, with the centrist Christian Democratic Union (CDU) seeing a seismic ten-point rise over the previous ballot.

Although the city had already seen elections take place in 2021, numerous “errors” and other anomalies in the voting process eventually resulted in the ballot being struck down in court, with the vote finally being re-run on Sunday.

According to a report by Der Spiegel, this re-run has seen the mandates for every major left-wing party in the German capital decline significantly, with the three outfits that previously ruled the city — the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Die Linke, and the Green Party — all seeing their support drop between 0.5 to 3 per cent.

Meanwhile, both the centre-right CDU and populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) surged, with the former seeing a massive 10.2 per cent rise in its vote over the previous election that was eventually struck out in the German courts late last year.

The other major loser on Sunday was the Free Democratic Party (FDP) which saw its support fall by 2.5 points.

While ostensibly a Libertarian party, its close links with the country’s left has resulted in its sudden drop in support, with the party teaming up with the SPD and Greens over the last two years to implement hardcore COVID restrictions along with other left-wing policies.

Sunday’s result could be the worst for the city’s left-wing in over two decades, with there now being a significant possibility that the SPD will be removed from power in Berlin for the first time in 22 years.

Such a result is only made more notable by the extraordinary circumstances of the election itself, with it only being officially called late last year after Berlin’s constitutional court ruled the previous ballot in 2021 null and void.

Marking another strong showing from the German left, the 2021 election quickly came under scrutiny in the country over a litany of so-called “errors” surrounding missing ballot papers, unreasonably long queues for voters, and polling stations being temporarily closed in some places during the day of the poll.

It soon became clear that a complete re-run of the election in the city may be required, with the Berlin in court eventually giving a definitive ruling last November that the ballot could only be considered completely invalid, ordering another election to be run.

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