Why did Olaf Scholz’s coalition do so badly?

by Admin
Why did Olaf Scholz’s coalition do so badly?

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats suffered their worst result in a national vote in more than a century, renewing questions over the government’s stability.


Germany’s ruling coalition government suffered a blow in last night’s election fallout, with the German Chancellor’s social democratic SPD party coming in third place behind the controversial far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which secured 15.9% of the vote.

His coalition partners fared little better, with the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) taking just over 5% of the vote. The Greens saw a significant loss, dropping nine seats compared to the previous election in 2019, with 11.9% of the vote.

The centre-right Christian Democrats took the clear lead, gaining 30% of the vote, sending 29 MEPs to the European Parliament out of Germany’s allocated 96.

General elections aren’t due in Germany until 2025, however the government has persistently disagreed on major issues such as the war in Ukraine, Germany’s budget and the green transition.

”The coalition partners are quite different and opposed on the key issues. Polls and regional elections have seen them lose voters, which has increased infighting” Michael Seufert, election polls analyst, told Euronews.

SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert acknowledged his party’s poor performance saying, “It’s a tough defeat for us today. We have to look for faults in ourselves” on German public broadcaster ARD.

Scholz, whose face was plastered on posters across Germany alongside the SPD’s lead European candidate Katarina Barley, has seemingly confirmed his unpopularity in polls. As of January 2024, Scholz’s approval rating was at 28%, according to a survey conducted by Statista.

Disaster for the Greens

Not only did the SPD suffer a major loss that night, but the Greens were also in a similar position, seeing a decrease in support by 8.6 percentage points compared to 2019.

In an interview with ZDF morning magazine, Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir conceded that the Greens had “lost trust” amongst the electorate.

”The Greens are not perceived as the party that has good answers, that takes people’s concerns seriously enough” said Özdemir.

Euronews polls analyst Boyd Wagner said, “Greens have arguably been the biggest backer of Ukraine in Germany. This makes them susceptible to being “anti peace” — not a typical place for a liberal, green type party.”

“Voters are also upset their focus is on these issues and haven’t done enough for Green issues in Germany. Then other voters centre-to-right see green issues as unimportant, or that the Green laws passed in Brussels have had a detrimental effect on economic growth — see the farmers protests” commented Wagner.

Support for green parties decreased across Brussels, with the Greens/European Free Alliance (EFA) losing 20 seats out of their total of 72.

The youth vote and the AfD

An analysis by German public TV ZDF suggests support for the right wing is solid among young Germans with an estimated 17% of voters aged between 16 and 24 cast their ballots for the radical right-wing AfD, while another 17% supported the conservative CDU/CSU.

This trend seemingly runs counter to tradition, as the Greens traditionally relied on a strong youth vote.

According to Kilian Hampel, co-author of the study “Youth in Germany”, the AfD has represented an opportunity for young people to express their dissatisfaction with the current government, and their personal situations.

Social media and TikTok, where the AfD have gathered thousands of followers, also play a role. “The AfD have brought political content closer to young people through social media, who otherwise don’t feel safe or heard on the internet from the traditional parties.”

Others say that the AfD represents a protest vote for those who are dissatisfied with the current government.


Antonios Souris, political research fellow at the Free University in Berlin told Euronews, “You have a certain amount of people who vote for a right-wing party because of their political beliefs. However you have this other group who vote out of protest.”

”When you look at the coalition at the national level, but also at the coalitions at the sub-national level, the AfD is basically the only party which is not governing. So, if you want to punish the government, many people may think to vote for the AfD to get their voices heard” said Souris.

Source Link

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.