Voters took it out on German Chancellor Angela Merkel in German regional elections on Sunday.
The anti-immigration, Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party beat all forecasts and is on track to record the best regional result of any German populist rightwing party since 1945. AfD secured seats in 3 state parliaments.
Before the refugee crisis, Merkel’s CDU/CSU party was projected to will all three regional elections on Sunday. Instead CDU/CSU may hang on to win one.
The Financial Times reports Angela Merkel Suffers Dramatic Setback in Regional Elections.
German chancellor Angela Merkel has suffered a dramatic setback as voters backed rightwing populist forces in regional elections that are being seen as a referendum on her contentious refugee policies.
The anti-immigration Alternative für Deutschland party looked set to beat forecasts in all regions voting on Sunday — and score the biggest electoral success for the populist right since the rebirth of German democracy after the second world war. In Saxony-Anhalt it was on track to record the best regional result of any German populist rightwing party since 1945.
According to exit polls, the AfD won 23 per cent of the vote in the depressed eastern region of Saxony-Anhalt, where the radical right has long been active. But it also exceeded expectations in wealthy western Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, scoring 12.5 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.
The AfD mobilised droves of former non-voters, boosting voter participation as high as 72 per cent, far above normal levels for regional polls — a sign of how deeply the refugee crisis is shaking Germany.
Celebrating her success, Frauke Petry, the AfD’s co-leader, said: “We have fundamental problems in Germany which have led to this election result.”
Ms Merkel’s CDU failed in its hopes of winning back power in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, two former bastions, and was left struggling to form a government in Saxony-Anhalt.
The social democrats, Ms Merkel’s coalition partners, who have strongly backed her refugee policies, fared even worse, being driven into fourth place behind the AfD, in Baden-Württemberg and Sachsen-Anhalt.
Even French president François Hollande, her most important EU ally, voiced concern at the weekend over a key aspect of the planned Turkey deal — visa liberalisation.
The arguments could multiply as Ms Merkel and other fellow leaders prepare for the next EU migration summit later this week.
If the predictions prove right, the AfD will now be represented in eight of Germany‘s 16 regional assemblies.
Pact With Devil May Unwind
Merkel’s self-serving refugee pact with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, de-facto dictator who just took over Turkey’s largest newspaper with a violent teargas raid by riot police, may now unwind.
For details, please see Needs of the “One”; Merkel’s Backstabbing; Devil Cheers.
At a minimum, Cyprus, France, and Spain all have strong objections over her backroom deal. This trouncing is sure to give other countries strong second thoughts.
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy voiced his objections to Merkel’s deal with Erdogan the other day. Today, current French president Francois Hollande chimed in with his objections.
Well Deserved Abandonment
This was a well-deserved trouncing the Chancellor brought upon herself. Clearly The smart thing to do is distance oneself far away from Merkel on her inept handing of this crisis.
The biggest backers of Merkel’s refugee proposals is not her own party but rather the Social Democrats (SPD), her grand-coalition partner. They fell to fourth place, behind AfD, in two regions.
Merkel’s only saving grace is there may not be a CDU/CSU candidate strong enough or willing enough to challenge her in the next national elections.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock