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Monday, May 8, 2017

Big News From Schleswig-Holstein

No, the title of this post isn't a joke.  There really is big news from Schleswig-Holstein.  For those of you wondering just where or what Schleswig-Holstein is, be advised that it is a German state located along the border with Denmark.  It is something of a backwater for Germany with a small population as well.  What makes Schleswig-Holstein important today is that yesterday, its voters ousted the Socialist party government and instead chose the party of German chancellor Angela Merkel.  This is the second state in a short time to pick the Christian Democrats over the Socialists.  There is a third state election next weekend.  The Socialist incumbents are leading in the polls there, but the Christian Democrats are closing the gap quickly.  If the Christian Democrats pull out another victory, it will indicate that there is a very big problem for the Socialists in their attempt to oust the Merkel government next summer in the general election.  Not long ago, the Socialists had a lead in the national polls.  Now, Merkel and her party have pulled ahead. 

There were some other important indicators in the results in Schleswig-Holstein.  The Free Democrats who are often in coalition with the Christian Democrats gained a much larger vote than the previous vote in that state.  Meanwhile the Green Party which is more likely to form a coalition with the Socialists lost seats.  Finally, the anti-immigrant AFD party got over 5% of the vote.  That may seem like a lot, but it is not enough for them to be needed as part of the government.


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