Despite a slight loss, the CDU has remained by far the largest party in the municipal elections in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. According to the exit poll from de WDR Christian Democrats came to 36 percent of the vote, one and a half percentage points less than in the previous elections in 2014.
The Greens benefit the most. They become the third party with 19 percent of the vote, more than 7 percentage points more than in 2014. Despite a significant loss of almost 8 percentage points, the Social Democratic SPD remains the second party in North Rhine-Westphalia with 24 percent of the vote.
This is followed by the right-wing populist AfD with 6 percent (against 2.4 percent in 2014), the liberal FDP with 4.5 percent and Die Linke with 4 percent.
Downer for Laschet
The results are a gauge of the national elections, which are scheduled for next year. Chancellor Merkel has indicated after the ballot box as chancellor, a position she has held since 2005. In the polls its CDU / CSU is well ahead of the Greens and the SPD.
The slight loss of the CDU is a setback for state prime minister Armin Laschet, who as a potential successor van Merkel is seen. A resounding election victory could have put him in the spotlight for the race for party leadership.
In addition to the municipal council, the state’s 14 million voters were also allowed to vote for district administrators and mayors. A second round seems to be necessary in Cologne and Dortmund, as none of the mayoral candidates would have obtained a majority of the votes.
The local ballot box was the first election since the corona crisis. Because of the virus, voters were asked to wear a face mask in the polling station. Voters also had to bring their own pen. Incidentally, people who refused to wear a face mask were allowed to vote.