Monday, August 26, 2019

Saxony and Brandenburg

German state elections take place on Sunday in Brandenburg and Saxony. Lets look at Brandenburg first.

Brandenburg is the area around Berlin. It stretches from the borders of Berlin, to areas roughly 60-100 KM out. As such it does include a ring of suburbs of Berlin such as Potsdam, but still has a large rural area.

The state was the first to see a coalition between the SPD and the Left party; the successor to the East-German Communists. Such a coalition has been in power since 2009. Polls suggest the coalition could take around 35% of the vote. This is not enough for a majority. The Greens however are polling around 15%, and, along with the Left and the SPD, could form a left-wing coalition. As the only logical coalition - and a very logical one - it is quite likely that this left-wing coalition is what will happen.

Saxony is the state to the south east of Brandenburg. The results here will quite simply be a mess. Polls suggest the following:

30% CDU
25% AfD
15% Left
11% Green
8% SPD
5% FDP

Due to the threshold, you could form a majority with around 47% of the vote.

Lets start with the logical coalitions:
35% - CDU+FDP (traditional right)
38% - CDU+SPD (grand coalition)
34% - SPD+Left+Green (broad left)

Now the less logical ones:
43% - CDU+SPD+FDP (broad centre)

and the hyper unlikely:
49% - CDU+Greens+SPD

Finally a majority; but this coalition has so many problems as to many it nearly impossible. So what other alternatives are there?


FDP and the Greens have been at odds for quite some time, and even if they were not, replacing the SPD with the FDP puts you at 46%, likely not enough.

What about the AfD? Many parties consider the AfD to be too extreme and right-wing. They can in fact be fairly compared to the DNVP of the 1930's era. Who were the DNVP? Hitler's coalition partner. Hence the concern.

The long-story-short of Saxony is that we will be looking at another election after government formation fails.

That will enable the more unlikely coalitions to be more likely to form as voters would be far less willing to tolerate a 3rd election. In those cases, our "hyper unlikely" coalition becomes much more likely, and, the CDU might give in an form a coalition with the AfD (though, this is much less likely than the aforementioned 'hyper unlikely' coalition)

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