The far right, anti-immigration, Alternative for Germany (AfD) gained huge numbers of votes off the established political parties in elections in central Germany on Sunday.
What was even more shocking was the neo-Nazi NPD party winning 17% of the vote in Leun, making them the 3rd largest party in the 6000-inhabitant town, and 14% of the vote in Büdingen, home to 21,000-inhabitants and the largest refugee shelter in the state of Hesse.
At the last local elections, the NPD only managed to win 2 percent of the vote in Büdingen. Statewide, though, the NPD scored a much less impressive 0.3 percent of the vote.
The AfD became the 3rd largest party in the German state of Hesse, winning an average 13.2% of the vote on Sunday. Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) won 28.2% and 28.0% respectively.
Both of Germany’s largest political parties lost a substantial share of the vote from the last elections.
In Hesse’s capital Wiesbaden, the AfD scored a particular success, winning 16.2 percent of the vote.
It would appear that not all Germans are happy with the current immigration policy, so spectacularly screwed up by Merkel since early 2015. When we consider the weekly protests by anti-immigration protestors across Germany (so often going unnoticed by UK media, unsurprisingly), a pattern emerges of a country severely divided on the issue.
Without going over ‘old ground’, Merkel opened the doors, the numbers swelled uncontrollably, none of the affected EU nations could cope and now the continent is in crisis without a credible plan to address the problem.
Could the migrant crisis alone be the reason for the breakup of the European Union? It certainly appears that it is driving a lot of cracks, some of which may never heal properly.
References and further reading
- Hard right stuns with huge election gains in Frankfurt. Local.de, 07/03/2016.
- Petry: “The power of the established parties is crumbling”. Süddeutsche Zeitung, 07/03/2016.
- AfD ditches Lucke as party swings to right. Local.de, 05/07/2015.
- Police ‘should threaten to shoot migrants’: AFD. Local.de, 31/01/2016.
Related article: Germany – more than 130,000 Asylum seekers disappeared in 2015