Vote in Saxony-Anhalt: Europe's press takes stock

State Premier Reiner Haseloff's Christian Democrats (CDU) won a clear victory in the state election in Saxony-Anhalt on Sunday, securing 37.1 percent of the vote. The right-wing populist AfD remained the second strongest force with 20.8 percent. Europe's press takes different views of the results, also as regards the ramifications for Germany's upcoming general election.

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Tageblatt (LU) /

A sign of the Trumpisation of Germany

A growing number of people in Saxony-Anhalt are willing to vote for a far-right party, Tageblatt's Berlin correspondent Werner Kolhoff notes:

“The AfD formation there is among the worst the party has to offer nationwide. Every voter knows that by now. But that didn't stop anyone. And that goes for much of eastern Germany as well. ... And not only there. The coronavirus demonstrations showed how easily seduced many people can be, even in the West. ... Is this the beginning of the Trumpisation of Germany? It would certainly be fatal if the centrist parties were to write this election Sunday off as if nothing happened, simply because it didn't disrupt their election campaign preparations. It belongs in the category 'wake-up call'.”

Der Spiegel (DE) /

The CDU can learn a thing or two from Haselhoff

The victory of the incumbent state premier is also a victory over the AfD, Der Spiegel counters:

“What in the East of Germany has seemed so difficult for the Christian Democrats so far, he has achieved: he has lured voters back from the AfD to the CDU. ... Haseloff did this by sticking to a conservative, authentic course, against Berlin and also distancing himself from the Greens. For the East German CDU, which has struggled in recent years to find the right approach to dealing with the strong AfD, Haseloff's course is likely to be emulated and to set a precedent. ... Conservative, yes. Cooperation with the far right to push through conservative positions, certainly not. With this combination, the CDU can win strong victories in elections in the East once more.”

Népszava (HU) /

A gift for Laschet

The CDU will capitalise on this victory in this autumn's general election, Népszava predicts:

“After its election victory in Saxony-Anhalt, the CDU will probably be able to increase its lead over the Greens at the federal level. That said, it was CDU state leader Reiner Haseloff who pulled the chestnuts out of the fire for Armin Laschet; Laschet himself had nothing to do with the good result. Nevertheless, the CDU leader can now justifiably hope that his overall image will improve, and that Konrad Adenauer's saying that in politics there's always a chance for a new start will be confirmed.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Incumbents have the advantage in difficult times

Armin Laschet shouldn't get too excited about the CDU's good result in Saxony-Anhalt, writes Der Standard:

“Despite Haseloff's victory, Laschet personally can't yet rest on his laurels. The long-time state premier of Saxony-Anhalt (also) received the same endorsement that Winfried Kretschmann, the Green state premier of Baden-Württemberg, and Malu Dreyer, the Social Democratic state premier of Rhineland-Palatinate, received in March. In these difficult pandemic times, incumbent leaders benefit. ... But Laschet has no such advantage at the national level. ... Saxony-Anhalt may give the CDU chancellor candidate a little tailwind, but it will not automatically sweep him into the chancellor's office.”

Mladá fronta dnes (CZ) /

The young voted for the AfD

Although the AfD only secured a distance second place behind the CDU, Mladá fronta dnes finds the results anything but encouraging:

“Despite the partial decline in its voters the AfD did not suffer significant losses. Statistics also show an unpleasant trend: it was mainly young voters who cast their ballots for the AfD. In the age groups 18 to 24 and 35 to 44, the party received roughly the same number of votes as the CDU. And among those between 25 and 34, it even won. And this despite the fact that the AfD in Saxony-Anhalt has been under surveillance by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution since the beginning of the year on suspicion of right-wing extremism.”