Germany's new political landscape

Merkel consolidates her power as FDP suffers a humiliating exit from the Bundestag. A new Eurosceptic party, AfD, emerges as a popular movement that is likely to increase pressure over Merkel.

Germany's new political landscape

World Bulletin/News Desk

Germany’s federal elections on Sunday has changed the political landscape in the country. The decline of the liberals and rise of German euroskeptics marks a new period in German politics.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle's liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) has suffered a humiliating exit from the federal parliament, the first time since it was founded in 1948. Support for the FDP has collapsed from 14.6 percent in 2009 to an all-time record low of 4.8 percent in 2013.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance have increased their votes by 7.7 percent to 41.5 percent. Merkel’s conservative block secured 311 of the 630 seats at the federal parliament, five seats short of an absolute majority.

The main opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD) won 192 seats. The anti-capitalist Left party (Die Linke) became the third biggest political force with 64 deputies at the federal parliament, followed by the Greens with 63 deputies.

AfD collects protest votes

The biggest surprise of the elections has been the growing support for the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a party of German eurosceptics. AfD received 4.7 percent of the votes, well above the polls projected ahead of elections, but the party could not cross the 5 percent threshold needed to enter parliament.

AfD was founded only 7 months ago. Its leaders are stressing that the party is anti-euro but not anti-EU. Some leftist politicians regard AfD as an anti-immigration party, but party leaders deny this.

Polls show that the party has successfully collected the protest votes of the undecided Germans.

According to a survey based on interviews with 105 thousand voters on the election night, majority of the AfD voters were undecided and relatively young.

Germans who threw their support behind the anti-euro movement have said they voted for the AfD due to their frustration with the other political parties.

Fifty-six percent of those AfD voters said that they don’t see the movement as "a serious political party at all," according to the survey carried out by Infratest dimap, for the public television ARD.

Twenty-one percent of those surveyed said that "it is good to have at least one party standing against the Euro," while 44 percent of them stressed that the AfD would not solve any problems, but at least it was naming the real problems.

Thirty-seven of the AfD voters said that the movement has become an alternative for those who couldn't fell themselves close to any party to vote for.

Last Mod: 23 Eylül 2013, 17:13
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