CSU regain absolute majority in Bavaria


Yesterday was a day of mixed fortunes for Germany’s two main Chancellor candidates. Angela Merkel got a major boost when the sister party to her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union (CSU), won 49% of the vote in the election for the16th Landtag of the Free State of Bavaria.

The CSU have an absolute majority once more, which is as well because their coalition partners (and the CDU’s federal coalition partners) the Free Democratic Party crashed out, managing just 3% of the vote and below the required 5% for representation in the Landtag.

The news will be welcomed by Merkel just one week before the main federal election next Sunday although the poor showing of the FDP may encourage some CDU supporters to switch their vote to ensure the CDU/CSU and FDP coalition is retained federally. Last night senior CDU officials were advising against CDU supporters switching their votes.

There was not such good news for Merkel’s main opponent, Peer Steinbrück, the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). His SPD only managed 21% of the vote in the Bavarian election, but of more concern was the publication of an unflattering picture showing the Chancellor candidate giving the viewer a ‘middle finger’ (you can see the photo and story here). The picture has been lambasted in the media and is likely to lose the SPD votes next Sunday.

The Greens also did worse than expected in the election, managing just 8.5% of the vote when opinion polls had predicted them receiving about 12% of the vote.

More detailed briefing on the politics and risk of doing business in this country is available to clients and subscribers. If you would like to know more then please contact