CDU exposes pollsters: surprisingly big win in Saxony-Anhalt, radical right AfD loses

The Christian Democrats got 36.9 percent of the vote, a big gain from five years ago, which seems even bigger because the pollsters turned out to be so terribly wrong. Collectively, they predicted a neck-and-neck race with the AfD. But in reality, the far-right party was a staggering 15 percentage points behind, at 21.4 percent. The last word about that gigantic misperception of the pillars has probably not yet been said.

With this result, the CDU’s plan in Saxony-Anhalt seems to have succeeded: a daring campaign on the right, which focused mainly on the interests of the East German Heimat and in which Haseloff was also not averse to some populist sneer at Berlin, where, in his opinion, it is too much about the gender issue in the German language.

Coalition with AfD taboo

But at the same time, the party leadership did proclaim a clear ‘demarcation’ of the partially far-right AfD. A joint coalition is taboo, says Haseloff, although it is no secret that there were also people on the list who think otherwise. The Prime Minister saw his victory as a signal ‘where the political center is in Saxony-Anhalt.’

It is also a personal victory for the 67-year-old politician. A survey by public broadcaster ARD shows that as a politician, Haseloff played a decisive role in their choice for 40 percent of the CDU voters.

“We will remain in the center of the country,” Haseloff also said in a press conference a week before the elections. It was a nod to the geographic location of the state. But if you pick up a map, you will see that Saxony-Anhalt is in reality somewhat to the right of the center of Germany. And that’s exactly how the voters voted.

Because together with the AfD and the liberal FDP, which, unlike last time, did pass the 5 percent electoral threshold, the conservative camp has won more than 60 percent of the vote. The biggest loser was Die Linke, the protest party from the 1990s, with roots in the communist party of the GDR.

glass of sect

For the national CDU party leader Armin Laschet, the new occupation of the parliament in Magdeburg is a reason for a glass of sparkling wine at home in North Rhine-Westphalia, or maybe two. If the AfD had become the largest, Laschet would have had enough and a discussion would have erupted about his suitability as party leader. Now it has emerged that in a particularly conservative state, the party can win with him at the helm. A breath of fresh air on the way to the elections in September.

The opposite is true for the Greens. The party that is above 20 percent in the national polls under the new party leader Baerbock, achieves just under 6.5 percent in Saxony-Anhalt. Now, the Greens in the East are traditionally a dwarf party (the subject of climate many people find a metropolitan far-from-their-bed show), but the polls had expected more. Moreover, the Greens in Saxony-Anhalt must now fear that Haseloff will knock them out of the coalition in favor of the liberal FDP, creating a so-called ‘Germany coalition’ of CDU, SPD and FDP. Expressed in party colours: black, red, yellow. Just like the German flag.

Incidentally, the SPD lost in Saxony-Anhalt, despite the widely shared satisfaction with the Haseloff coalition of which the party was a part. This is where the same mysterious, and undoubtedly maddening mechanism for the SPD, which has been visible at the national level for years, shows itself: in Merkel’s coalitions a lot of social-democratic policies are implemented, without the party profiting from it.
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