Two States vote today
Two German states will vote today, both part of the old East Germany, with Brandenburg in the north-east and Thuringia in the centre of modern day Germany.
In the 2009 election the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) emerged the largest party with 31 of the 88 seats in the Landtag of Brandenburg. The Left (Linke) came second with 26 seats and the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) came third with 19 seats. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) won 7 seats and the Alliance ‘90/The Greens (Die Grünen) took five seats.
After the election the SPD and The Left formed a ‘red-red’ coalition. Matthias Platzeck became Minister-President but he was replaced in 2013 by Dietmar Woidke who leads the SPD into the election.
The latest opinion polls suggest little change with the SPD doing slightly better and the FDP likely to lose all of its seats as it falls below the threshold for representation.
The election to the Landtag of Thuringia also looks like providing little change from the current CDU-SPD grand coalition led by Minister-President Christine Lieberknecht. The CDU have increased their vote by around three percentage points but the FDP are likely to lose representation. The party to watch in this election is the Eurosceptic right-wing party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) which was formed last year and won seven seats to the European Parliament in May. The AfD is on about nine percent support, a similar amount to that in Brandenburg.
In the 2009 election the CDU took 30 of the 88 seats in the Landtag of Thuringia. That was a bad election for them as they lost fifteen seats and a further erosion of their vote this time will be of concern. The Left came second with 27 seats and the SPD 18 seats. The other two parties, the FDP and Greens took seven seats and six seats respectively.