Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Around the corner from Austria, the German state of Bavaria will also hold elections this Sunday. The dopey-looking xenophobe and tireless promoter of surveillance Günther Beckstein looks like he might just pull off retaining the absolute majority of the CSU.

The latest poll has the CSU at 49%, which should be enough to scrape by without having to deal with the liberal FDP, who despite agreeing with a lot on the CSU, tend to marginally value privacy. Which would be uncomfortable for Beckstein. However, previous polls show some potential on the downside for the CSU. The range in which they have recently polled is between 47% and 50%.

In the previous election, Stoiber got them more than 60%.

The SPD is not capitalising on the decline of the CSU, it is polling only about 1% higher than its result in the last election. Which was the worst ever, at just under 20%. They'll need a shakeup after the election. It's incredible that Franz Maget is still their frontrunner after having led them through that disaster.

The Greens are polling slightly better, between 8 and 11 percent. In the last election, they got just under 8%. With a bit of luck, they should make it into the double digits. The FDP is winning more, passing the 5% hurdle after having polled less than 3% in the last election. They're now polling between 6 and 9 percent.

The Left party is on the brink of getting into the Landtag. It had been consistently polling at 4% in recent weeks, but gets over the 5% hurdle in the latest poll. The localist Freie Wähler (free voters) group, meanwhile, should get in this time around, as they are polling between 5 and 8 percent.

I think that the outcome will likely be the CSU coming in two or three seats short of an absolute majority, and teaming up either with the FDP or with the Freie Wähler. Beckstein will remain Minister President, but it will be understood within the CSU that he will be replaced before the next elections.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 11:46:54 AM EST
Polls here
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 11:48:57 AM EST
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Thank you nanne, for posting this! I find it so frustrating that non-US elections and topics just get no or very little attention here on ET. What is going on???

It is no fun, it the right-wing in Austria should win and to see that the left in  Bavaria seems to fumbling too.

by Fran on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:21:43 AM EST
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The empire has taken over. Resistance is futile. But it's not just here. Fricking Spiegel is devoting more space on its homepage to the American election than the Bavarian one, let alone the Austrian one which is barely ever mentioned. They've even initiated a special poll tracker complete with interactive colorful map features on the front page.

But lets face it, what's going to make a greater difference to most Germans in the long run - whether the CSU preserves its absolute majority in Bavaria or has to lead a coalition or whether Obama or McCain win the US presidency?

by MarekNYC on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:37:24 AM EST
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I think it is relevant who wins in Bavaria and Austria - because that decides how the relationship with the US will be handled in the future.

The Spiegel has other topics too - I usually get interesting links for the Salon from it.

And how are we supposed to influence the European politcs if we do not discuss them on a site that has the word European in it's title.

by Fran on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:45:24 AM EST
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The thing is, we know who is going to win in Bavaria, the only question is by how much. Austria - I don't get the SPO these days. But I was mostly remarking on how obsessed Europeans have become with the US elections, and it's not like it just began when the general campaign moved into full swing, the papers have been full of front page stories for almost a year now. They're responding to the interest of their audience. The ET, with its Europeans anglophone and especially interested in international affairs, plus its American minority, and its origins in American political blogs - how could it not be obsessed. But yeah, we should be doing more on this stuff. There have been a few diaries recently - DoDo, nanne, and a couple others. But between the American election and the financial disaster porn everything else is getting squeezed out. Hopefully by the end of November the election at least will stop generating interest, and we can get back to our proper main focus.
by MarekNYC on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 02:05:42 AM EST
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The focus on the US elections in Germany probably has its roots in the complete understanding of a large majority of Germans that the Bushco residency has been a complete disaster for the rest of the world.

Germany is where one of Michael Moore's books topped the charts forever, where Stoiber was defeated because of Schröder's stance against the war, and a book of bushisms (Voll Daneben; trans = Completely Off the Mark?) also topped the charts.  Even many business leaders, who normally would be considered conservative repugs, recognized this state of affairs.

i remain horrified by the whole election process, as the system falls apart. Ich stehe auf Palin (lit. i stand on Palin) for her brilliant analysis that passing the bailout plan is what's needed to undergird health care while creating the good globalization jobs not the bad competitive ones.

Germans have to be laughing at the intelligence of the amurkan electorate.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 05:34:41 AM EST
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You're welcome Fran. I can kind of get the focus on the US Presidential race. And more has been on the financial crisis in the US, which is one area where this blog has a very valuable perspective. But there's plenty going on in Europe that's still worth paying attention to!

If only I did not need sleep...

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 06:49:19 AM EST
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