Christian Social Union deliberates on future amid Bavarian elections

Christian Social Union deliberates on future amid Bavarian elections

Today, the German state of Bavaria will hold regional elections for the Landtag, the state’s unicameral legislature. The parliament is

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Photo: Reuters

Today, the German state of Bavaria will hold regional elections for the Landtag, the state’s unicameral legislature.

The parliament is currently dominated by the absolute majority-holding Christian Social Union (CSU); however, over the last two years the party’s support has plummeted, a trend that is largely due to the rise of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD). To combat the AfD, the CSU has taken a more aggressive stance on immigration, breaking with Merkel’s national coalition. This approach has only served to divide the party’s base, causing it to bleed votes to the leftist Greens and the right-wing AfD.

In the likely event that the CSU is unable to achieve an absolute majority, it will have to form a governing coalition, and Horst Seehofer, the party’s leader, has already ruled out an alliance with the AfD. The party could pair with the Greens, but the two stand diametrically opposed on key issues, namely immigration. Likewise, Seehofer will be wary of allying with the increasingly unpopular Social Democrats. Lastly, the CSU could attempt a three-way coalition with the Free Voters and the Free Democrats, but a three-party alliance runs the risk of instability. Ultimately, the party’s decision rests on the outcome of today’s election.

 

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