In Berlin the anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany party could see huge gains in the traditionally left wing stronghold of East Berlin.
In one of Berlin’s traditionally left wing areas the migrant crisis has left wing parties worried that the anti-mass migration AfD may take many of their core voters.
A particular incident in the district of Neu-Hohenschönhausen exemplified the problem the left are facing. According to a post on the website of the AfD in February, residents of the area were not consulted on the building of an asylum home for migrants in their neighborhood.
Both landlord and tenant alike were shocked to find to that the Berlin senate had neither informed them or gave them an opportunity to have a say in the matter, reports Die Welt.
The web post highlighted a particular leaflet that the landlord of an apartment block was handing out door to door. It told residents that the landlord was not told about the plans and that they, like the residents, only heard about it from the media.
Many were particularly worried about the proximity of both a primary school and a school for children with special needs to the proposed asylum housing.
One woman said: “refugees near a primary school… that is not going to work.” A pair of young men echoed the comments saying that the best place for accommodation for migrants is back in their own country.
The neighbourhood is traditionally a less well-off one and many residents feel that a disproportionate number of asylum homes are being built in poor areas, likely because the affordability of housing makes it more attractive. The neighbourhood voted around 34 percent in the 2011 elections for the left wing party Die Linke but many feel that could change.
Wolfgang Albers is a left politician in the area who says bluntly, “I think that the left will lose voters in Berlin to the AfD,” and that his party can’t fool around and must take it seriously. He criticized the AfD for being a protest vote and using slogans to mobilize voters but admits that his party has often benefited from protest voters in the past as well.
AfD European leader Beatrix von Storch is also confident about her parties chances in the Berlin elections. Von Storch said that she expects, “at the end we will be in double digits,” and that the party may do better in Eastern Berlin and in the West. Von Storch recently spoke exclusively to Breitbart London after the German Ambassador to Canada compared her party to neo-Nazis.
The AfD saw huge gains in regional elections in Hessen and Saxony-Anhalt and now look to replicate their success in other areas leading up to the German Federal election in 2017.