Scholz’s coalition suffers defeat in mid-term state elections

11:00, Monday, 09 October, 2023
Scholz’s coalition suffers defeat in mid-term state elections

The German three-party government coalition has suffered major losses in two state elections in Bavaria and Hesse, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ SPD (S&D) receiving the worst result in both states since the Second World War.

Two years after the federal government of Scholz’s Social Democrats, Greens and Liberal FDP (Renew Europe) was elected in 2021, all three parties lost votes in two state elections in Bavaria and Hesse on Sunday (8 October).

Scholz’s SPD received the worst results in post-war history, reaching 15% (-5) in Hesse and 8% (-2) in Bavaria, according to ARD preliminary results.

In both state elections, Scholz’ SPD fell behind far-right AfD party, which reached its best result ever in West German state elections, with 18% (+5) in Hesse and 16% (+6) in Bavaria.

Notably, migration policy was on voters’ mind, with 83% of all voters in Bavaria and 73% of all voters in Hesse saying in exit polls by Infratest Dimap that they want to see a “different asylum and migration policy, so that fewer people come”.

This was an issue that the government needs to “tackle urgently”, SPD chief Lars Klingbeil told ARD, adding that “the refugee numbers are too high”.

In Hesse, federal interior minister Nancy Faeser was leading the SPD campaign, hoping to become the next state prime minister. But with her parties’ result, there is no chance for her to form a majority. In the exit polls, only a third of voters said that she was doing a good job as a federal minister.

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