Monday, March 14, 2016

Merkel In Trouble after "Election Setback"

CDU Headquarters: "We're gonna have a problem here."

Yesterday, on 'Super Sunday,' Germans in the southern Rhineland state of Rheinland-Pfalz, the Black Forest state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, and the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt, went to the ballot box in regional elections. Most polls showed that right-wing, anti-migrant party Alternative Fuer Deutschland would at the very least pass the 7.5% threshold to hold seats in each of those three regional governments. Everyone expected AfD to get a much higher share of votes.

Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union, was hoping to win back the governments of Rheinland-Pfalz and Baden-Wuerttemberg, the former being run by an SPD-Green coalition, and the latter being run by a Green-SPD coalition. 

However, AfD's surge led to a defeat for the CDU in both Rheinland-Pfalz and Baden-Wuerttemberg. Have a look at the results.

Look specifically at B-W and R-P. Things didn't go too well for the CDU. In B-W, the CDU got a multi-decade low of 27.5% of the electorate. The Greens will most likely keep their colaition government there. It doesn't look much better in R-P, where SPD came out on top, although the coalition formed there remains uncertain. In either case, the CDU isn't capturing those two states, and this is a direct result of Merkel's stubborn "refugees welcome" stance.

Today Merkel came out and said the election results will not change her policy. That's not a big surprise, but think about this: There's only one reason the CDU lost in B-W and R-P; and that is Merkel's refugee policy. In fact, the CDU candidates in both of those provinces realized this, and openly called for an 'upper limit' on asylum seekers, in order to give themselves cover for the election. Voters weren't fooled, and as a result those two lost BECAUSE of Angela Merkel.

This makes Merkel a liability for the CDU, and that is a very good way for her to get removed from power. Merkel acts like she's in a good position, but the fact is that she is rather isolated, and there will be serious fallout from this disastrous election. Stay tuned, I will continue providing updates and analysis. 

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