Hesse goes to the polls

Germany's established parties the CDU and the SPD look set to suffer major losses in the Hesse state elections, while the Green Party appears ready to make big gains. The far-right AfD will probably garner enough votes to enter parliament where it could hamper the coalition-building process. Observers focus on how the vote could effect politics in Germany as a whole.

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Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

CDU will fail

Rzeczpospolita looks back at the state elections in Bavaria:

“The CSU has just suffered a crushing defeat in the Bavarian state elections. In the heartland of German conservatism the Greens came second even though they opposed the CSU's restrictive ideas on immigration, not to mention the AfD's. We can expect another shock for the political landscape on Sunday in Hesse. Everything points to a defeat for the CDU there. ... The SPD and Green Parties governed Germany under Gerhard Schröder (SPD) between 1998 and 2005; now there could be a role reversal, with the Greens leading the coalition. It is not to be excluded that the state could end up being governed by 47-year-old Tarek al-Wazir, Hesse's current deputy premier.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Green Party on a roll

Corriere della Sera's Germany correspondent Paolo Valentino also believes the elections in Hesse will point the way for future coalitions in Berlin:

“The Greens are on the verge of a big step forward. They won in Bavaria and 22 percent of respondents in Hesse say they'll vote Green on Sunday, which would allow the party to take the day. In all national polls the Greens are ahead of the SDP and the far-right AfD. They are the new focal point of German politics, defending liberal values and Europeanism against the populist wave. That makes them a crucial factor in any future coalition government. Even a reserved analyst like Manfred Güllner, head of the opinion polling company the Forsa Institute, predicts that the day when Germany has a Green chancellor is not far off.”

Echo24 (CZ) /

SPD losing its lifeblood

Echo24.cz explains why it thinks the Social Democrats will suffer major losses in the Hesse state parliament elections:

“The SPD has lost much of its credibility as part of the grand coalition. ... Two other leftist parties, in the meantime, have become more popular. Those who fear the apocalyptic end of decadent civilisation can put their faith in the Green Party. And those who have had enough of the Hartz IV welfare benefits system can vote for the post-communist Left Party. So why give your vote to the SPD? You can't get any greener than the Greens. And the SPD is not about to battle Hartz IV: it's their dream child.”