The German Social Democrats will hold two high-risk elections in the autumn, with the parliamentary elections in bad shape, and then the regional election on 15 October in Lower Saxony (north-west) collapse.
Early polls in Germany’s fourth most populous state have been announced Monday by the head of the regional executive, Social Democrat Stephan Weil, after several days of uncertainty.
The Social Democratic Party (SPD) lost Friday its majority in the regional parliament after the defection of Elke Twesten, a member of the Green Party – its coalition partner in the region – for the CDU conservative camp.
If there was a time to hold the regional election the same day as the legislative elections, as the Conservatives wanted, Mr. Weil said he preferred to wait for the national election. Before this episode, Lower Saxony was not to renew its Parliament until January.
The Social Democrats, led for the parliamentary elections on 24 September by Martin Schulz, the former President of the European Parliament, are clearly behind Angela Merkel’s request for a fourth term as Chancellor.
According to a Forsa poll published last week, the SPD is 18 points behind the CDU, with 22% of votes cast against 40% for Angela Merkel’s party.
At the regional level, the fall of the coalition in Lower Saxony is in addition to the three defeats of the SPD in regional elections in 2017 in North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein.
The German Chancellor, who after 12 years of power has displayed the greatest longevity of a Western leader, poses as a guarantor of stability in a global political landscape in recomposition as well as the guardian of German economic prosperity.