MAGDEBURG (dpa-AFX) – The sharp decline in corona infection numbers carried the election campaign in Saxony-Anhalt from the Internet to the streets and marketplaces of the state in the last few meters before the state elections. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday top politicians from the AfD, Left, SPD and Greens came again to support their regional associations in the final sprint. You had every reason to be, the latest polls predict an exciting race for the last state elections before the federal elections.
Also on Saturday several parties wanted to fight for the favor of voters with election campaigns: A good third of the 1.8 million eligible voters did not yet know in a ZDF poll published on Thursday who and whether they would vote. Most of the surveys saw Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff and his CDU in the front with up to 30 percent. There are also several options for a new coalition. In the polls, however, the AfD lurks in second place with up to 28 percent and could even become the strongest force in a parliament for the first time. The party is being observed by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Saxony-Anhalt as a suspected right-wing extremist case using intelligence services.
In 2016, the polls underestimated the AfD, which finally reached 24.3 percent. AfD leader Alice Weidel trusts her party friends to create the sensation. Top candidate Oliver Kirchner sees the looming high voter turnout in the cities as a bad sign. The AfD did well there in 2016, but weaker than in the country. Several right-wing parties toured the country with Weidel, Tino Chruppalla and Bjrn Hcke.
The CDU also draws its votes primarily from rural areas, where more than three-quarters of Saxony-Anhalter live. A high voter turnout would therefore benefit the left-wing parties more, but they would not play a role in the duel for an election victory. In addition to the highest proportion of the second votes, the CDU is also concerned about its dominance in the first votes. The AfD had already won 15 direct mandates in 2016, although it had not even put up candidates in all 43 constituencies. In the now 41 constituencies, AfD candidates will run everywhere on Sunday.
Surveys recently saw the greatest losses among the Left, which could drop to fourth place behind the SPD. Top candidate Eva von Angern had addressed the issue of inequalities between East and West Germans with a controversial campaign, but was unable to translate this into good poll numbers.
According to the surveys, the SPD, which cast more than half of its voting shares in 2016, can expect a relatively stable result compared to 2016. The Social Democrats, who have been co-governing Magdeburg for 15 years, also called for a different Eastern policy during the election campaign. Top candidate Katja Phle invited chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz, general and party leader Saskia Esken to an “Eastern Convention” in Halle.
As with the federal election, the Greens hope for significant gains in the election in Saxony-Anhalt. In 2016 they had only just entered the state parliament, on Sunday they could even achieve a double-digit result and would be on par with the SPD if the Kenya coalition continued. The election goal of top candidate Cornelia Lddemann is to enforce a stricter climate protection policy in the next state government.
The FDP has high hopes for the election, which all the polls trust a return to the Magdeburg state parliament after ten years. Top candidate Lydia Hskens is ready for government participation. Unlike in 2016, when the party was neither in the state parliament nor in the Bundestag, the liberals could also benefit from the current high level of support for the federal party on Sunday.
With that, Haseloff would even have a third possible coalition partner. That should not accelerate the formation of the government. The current state parliament has already seen this coming and canceled a two-week deadline for forming a government without replacement./afa/DP/stw