Political Volatility in Germany Intensifies With AfD’s Gains
Photo by: Cezary Piwowarsky
Sunday’s regional election in Berlin confirmed three trends in German politics that have been discernible over the past year.
First, the far-right populist party Alternative for Germany made it into the tenth regional parliament in a row, three years after its creation. Of the six regions where the AfD is not yet in parliament, two go to the polls before Germany’s national elections in September 2017.
In Berlin, the AfD missed its target of 20 per cent of the vote and fell short of the score it achieved two weeks ago in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a rural region in East Germany. Nevertheless, for an anti-immigration party to secure 14.2 per cent in a liberal city like Berlin is remarkable. While polling data show that voters have little trust in the AfD’s competence, exit polls last night revealed that 98 per cent of those who supported the AfD said the issue that moved them most is migration and the refugee crisis. What is also clear is that the far-right populist party succeeded in mobilising previous non-voters.