Monday

29th May 2017

Schulz fails to beat Merkel in German home state

  • Former EU parliament leader, Martin Schulz, failed to win his home state (Photo: PES Communications)

Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right CDU party won the elections in Germany's largest state on Sunday (14 May), serving as another blow to the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) ahead of the federal elections in September.

CDU received 33 percent of the votes in North Rhine-Westphalia, the western state that has the cities of Bonn, Cologne, Dortmund, and Duesseldorf. The christian-democrats gained 6.7 percentage points - compared to the last state elections.

The social-democrats lost 7.9 percentage points, and ended up in second place with 31.2 percent of the vote.

“This is a difficult day, also for me personally,” said SPD leader Martin Schulz, known in Brussels as the former president of the European Parliament.

North Rhine-Westphalia is Schulz's home state, and he would have hoped to secure it. The social-democrats have also been in power there for 46 of the last 51 years.

The vote in North Rhine-Westphalia was the last of three state elections ahead of the federal parliamentary elections on 24 September.

All three were regarded as a measurement of whether Schulz, who became SPD party leader in January, could change the fortune of his party.

For a while, the social-democrats enjoyed what has been dubbed the "Schulz effect" - skyrocketing in the polls.

However, Merkel's CDU came out on top in all three state elections, showing that the this effect was only virtual.

At Sunday's election, voters ousted the coalition between the SPD and the Greens, with the latter losing almost half of its previously-held support: from 11.3 percent down to 6.4 percent.

The liberal FDP party grew by 4 percentage points, to 12.6 percent, and is perceived by commentators as the most likely coalition candidate for the CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia.

But CDU's Armin Laschet, who will likely become the new state premier, said on Monday that he would have discussions not only with the FDP, but also with the SPD and the Greens.

He noted that the citizens of Germany's biggest state "wanted a government change", but that coalition talks do not need to be finished "during this morning".

Laschet excluded working together with Alternative for Germany (AfD) - a far right, anti-immigration, anti-EU party - which received 7.4 percent of the vote, entering the parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia for the first time.

Schulz opposes '2 percent' Nato goal

The centre-left candidate for the most powerful position in Europe said, if elected, the German government would not pursue the goal of having a “highly armed army in the middle of Europe”.

Martin Schulz, down but not out against Merkel

After the Social Democrats' crushing defeat in its party leader's home state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the odds seem stacked against them for the rapidly approaching federal election in September.

Analysis

How online activists tried to harm Macron

Trojan horses, smoke screens, framed news, and fake news - the final days of the French election saw an outburst of online violence, most of it against Macron.

Schulz fails to beat Merkel in German home state

Former EU parliament leader, Martin Schulz, says the defeat of his social-democrats in North Rhine-Westphalia is "difficult". The elections showed that a "Schulz effect" does not (yet) exist.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms