Some interesting German polling

Logo of the German Pirate Party Deutsch: Logo ...
Logo of the German Pirate Party Deutsch: Logo der Piratenpartei Deutschland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There has been some interesting polls done in Germany in the last few days. With important state elections coming up in Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia and the Federal Elections next year. The first poll released on the 8th April by TNS Emnid show the following:

  • CDU/CSU 36%
  • SPD 26%
  • Green 13%
  • FDP 4%
  • Die Linke 7%
  • Pirate 10%
  • Others 4%

The second poll is by Forsa for RTL and had the following

  • CDU/CSU 36%
  • SPD 24%
  • Green 11%
  • FDP 5%
  • Die Linke 8%
  • Pirate 13%
  • Others 3%

The polls show that the Pirate Party are seriously challenging for the largest third party in Germany. After strong results in recent elections, the Pirate Party could be the king makers in the next Parliament as they will clearly breach the 5% vote threshold. The Greens look set to be pushed back to 4th while the FDP look set to survive into the next Parliament as they seem to be just around the 5% threshold.

While most commentators expect the next German Government to be a grand coalition of the CDU/CSU and SPD, this could change things if the trend continues this way.

CSU set to lose Bayern

The Christian Social Union (CSU), the sister party of Angela Merkel’s CDU, look set to lose state elections held today in Bayern (Bavaria) reports The Local. Exit polls show the CSU have gotten only 43% of the vote. This is the CSU worst election since 1952 and means they will lose their absolute majority, which they have held since 1962.

The SPD are also down on 2003 according to the exit poll, which has them at 19%. The Greens and the FDP did well and increased their vote to 9.2% and 8.4% respectively and the Free Voters polled 10.2% ensuring that at least five parties will be represented in the state parliament. Die Linke who have made gains across Germany looks set to fail to reach the 5% threshold, polling at 4.7%.

This is not good reading for the CDU who are facing though times ahead of next years general election, of course it does not look well either for the SPD who are in a ‘grand coalition’ with the CDU.

More Information:
The Local – CSU suffers huge losses in Bavarian vote
Swissinfo – Merkel allies suffer big losses in Bavaria vote

German Politics: Bundesregierung (Federal Government) and the Introducing the Political Parties


This is the first in a series of posts on German Politics. (Yikes thats two series at the same time!)

The German Parliament has two houses the Bundresrat (Upper House representing the Bundesland) and the Bundestag (Lower House). The party system has been dominated by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

The current government is a grand coalition of the CDU/CSU and the SPD. The current Cabinet is as follows:

  • Federal Chancellor:
    Dr. Angela Merkel (CDU)
  • Federal Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor :
    Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD)
  • Federal Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety:
    Sigmar Gabriel (SPD)
  • Federal Minister of Economics and Technology:
    Michael Glos (CSU)
  • Federal Minister of Defence:
    Dr. Franz Josef Jung (CDU)
  • Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth:
    Dr. Ursula von der Leyen (CDU)
  • Federal Minister for Special Tasks and Head of the Chancellery:
    Dr. Thomas de Maizière (CDU)
  • Federal Minister of the Interior:
    Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU)
  • Federal Minister of Education and Research:
    Dr. Annette Schavan (CDU)
  • Federal Minister of Health:
    Ulla Schmidt (SPD)
  • Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection:
    Horst Seehofer (CSU)
  • Federal Minister of Finance:
    Peer Steinbrück (SPD)
  • Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs:
    Olaf Scholz (SPD)
  • Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs: Wolfgang Tiefensee (SPD)
  • Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development: Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul (SPD)
  • Federal Minister of Justice:
    Brigitte Zypries (SPD)

The Parties
CDU/CSU The Union
The Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union of Bavaria define themselves as sister parties and form a common grouping in the Bundestag called (informally) “the Union”. On issues of national importance and in national election campaigns the CDU and CSU closely coordinate their activities, but they remain legally and organizationally separate parties. The differences between the CDU and the somewhat more conservative CSU sometimes lead to friction between them. The relationship of CDU to CSU has historic parallels to previous Christian Democratic parties in Germany, with the Catholic Centre Party as the national Catholic party in Germany with the Bavarian People’s Party as the local Bavarian variant. The CDU is member of the European Peoples Party (as does Fine Gael!)

SPD

The Social Democratic Party of Germany is Germany’s oldest political party and its largest in terms of membership. The SPD advocates the modernization of the economy to meet the demands of globalization, but it also stresses the need to address the social needs of workers and society’s disadvantaged.

FPD

The Free Democratic Party is a liberal political party in Germany. The party’s ideology combines beliefs in individual liberty, in a state or government “that is as small as possible and as large as necessary.” It promotes a market economy, with traditional features of the German social welfare system. The FDP is currently the third-largest party in the Bundestag.

Die Linke

Die Linke (The Left) is a German political party that came into being on 16 June 2007 as a merger of The Left Party.PDS and Labour and Social Justice – The Electoral Alternative (WASG). Die Linke aims for democratic socialism, which differs from the definition given by the SPD. In accordance to socialist tradition, the capitalist system of Germany is questioned as well as current neoliberal concepts. As a platform of left politics in the wake of globalization, The Left includes many different factions, ranging from communists to left-leaning social democrats.

Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

The Alliance ’90/The Greens, the German Green party, is a political party in Germany whose regional predecessors were founded in the late 1970s as part of the new social movements. The party was formally inaugurated on the weekend of January 17-18, 1980, by 1,000 delegates to its first convention in Karlsruhe, West Germany, as “Die Grünen”. It is one of the oldest, although not the oldest, and so far the most politically successful of the world’s many green parties. In 1989 and 1990 numerous civil rights groups in East Germany combined to form Bündnis 90, which merged with “Die Grünen” in 1993.