German state parliamentary elections will be held today in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Pfalz.
The elections mark the beginning of Germany’s “super election year”, so-called because of the litany of state and local elections leading up to the September 26 federal parliamentary election. This year’s elections are pivotal as they mark the first year longstanding Chancellor Angela Merkel will not be in contention for the German leadership. Her party, the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), is vying to retain control of parliament.
A recent scandal involving bribery in mask procurement has led to the resignation of two CDU MPs and severely damaged the party’s electoral support. Polls indicate that the CDU will likely lose the Baden-Württemberg election to the Green Party 33%-24% and lose the Rhineland-Pfalz election to the centre-left Social Democratic Union (SPD) 32%-29%. These elections historically foreshadow national results, so if the CDU loses these elections it could spell disaster for their chances in the September federal elections. Observers currently expect the CDU to form and lead a governing coalition with the Green Party, but polls indicate even a 2% drop in support could prevent them from doing so, requiring a third party to be included in the coalition.
Chris is a Content Editor and Analyst for the Daily Brief. His writing focuses on the political economies of North America, the United Kingdom and Oceania.