Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Stale Stalemate

by afew Mon Jan 21st, 2013 at 03:06:24 AM EST

The Lower Saxony elections looked hung for quite a while before it emerged that the SPD and Greens had the edge.

Centre left ousts Merkel coalition in cliffhanger state vote | Reuters

The SPD and Greens won 46.3 percent against 45.9 percent for the CDU and their Free Democrat partners - who easily cleared the five percent hurdle to enter the assembly with a vote of 9.9 percent - twice what had been expected.

No, the FDP didn't disappear, unfortunately.

"What is astonishing is that it looks like the CDU had a hidden campaign to get voters to use their second vote for the FDP so they could hold on to power," said politics professor Gero Neugebauer at Berlin's Free University.

"Yet the FDP didn't pick up all the votes lost to the CDU. As a whole the centre-right bloc lost support in Lower Saxony."

Or:


Setback for Angela Merkel after tight election defeat in Lower Saxony | World news | guardian.co.uk

Initial analysis suggested tactical voting was to blame for the CDU's 6.5% drop in support, as 100,000 CDU voters believing their party to be in safe waters, chose to place their votes with the FDP instead to prevent it from disappearing from the political scene altogether and leading to the end of the coalition.

Peer Steinbrück said the SDP had campaigned poorly and he took his share of responsibilty for that. But (Reuters as above):

SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel - a former state premier of Lower Saxony himself - said with a smile: "If we get a result like this when we mess up, we can do anything."

But if "anything" means Agenda 2010 and the Hartz reforms, continued support for "competitiveness" and "sound money", just how much does it really matter who's in power? 46.3 against 45.9? The other way round? Same old stalemate and lack of a genuine alternative?

(h/t IM for part of the title ;))

Display:
The Greens did well, but the Greens back the same economic-liberal agenda (and can realistically be imagined as a coalition partner for the CDU). So colour me very pale green around the gills.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 21st, 2013 at 03:14:43 AM EST
From Eurointelligence daily briefing (e-mail):


Writing in Suddeutsche Zeitung, Heribert Prantl comes to a similar conclusion. He says a CDU/FDP victory at federal level is now at least theoretically conceivable, but improbable. The FDP will not benefit from CDU votes this times because the CDU has other coalition options - like leading a Grand Coalition with the SPD - which was not the case in Lower Saxony, where it was a classical centre-left vs centre-right type of vote. But Prantl then spends most of his commentary focusing on the SPD, concluding that it should not take a victory for granted. The SPD has yet to define the concept of social democracy in the 21st century, and if it continues to fail doing this, it will end up cementing a permanent conservative majority in the country.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 21st, 2013 at 03:45:26 AM EST
Linke 3%
Piraten 2%

That is disappointing. Local factors or longer trend?

European Tribune - Comments - Stale Stalemate

"What is astonishing is that it looks like the CDU had a hidden campaign to get voters to use their second vote for the FDP so they could hold on to power," said politics professor Gero Neugebauer at Berlin's Free University.

This is in Sweden called support-voting. It is a common feature due to the entrenched bloc politics. The soc-dem support votes for the communists in the 70ies and 80ies was called Comrade 4% and the Moderates support votes for the Christ-dems has been called Brother 4%. Though with the Liberals and Center also touching the 4% line in polls, the names has gone out of fashion. If a party falls to low in the polls, support-votes are assumed to return to the motehrship, though this has yet to happen.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Jan 21st, 2013 at 07:11:40 AM EST
support voting is called in Germany loan votes. But traditional CDU supporters did overshoot this time.

As far the competition between the SPD-green and CDU-FDP block is concerned this election proves nothing. Sure, we in Lower Saxony are happy, a majority is a majority. And we can now do some things in education and energy policy. The Bundesrat will shift some more in a red-green direction.

But in a election that as according to some experts decided by 334 votes in one constituency the signal on a federal level is very unclear.

". Doubtful it stood,. As two spent swimmers that do cling together. And choke their art. "

Pirates and left results on the other hand, seem more clear. The pirates have lost their mojo: in the end you need some substance. And the left is at least in the west in trouble.    

by IM on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 09:38:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries