Angela Merkel’s decline is unfolding in fantastic fashion. Once the respected leader of Germany, and de-facto “president” of all the European Union, Merkel now cannot even eke out a second place finish in her home state local elections.
All exit polls indicate that Angela Merkel’s ruling CDU party has been beaten into third place by the AfD party…an anti-immigrant, anti-Islam, and more importantly anti-EU party…in elections in the north-eastern German state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.
And just to hammer the point home that Angela Merkel has now become an emperor with no clothes, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania (in the former East Germany), is where Merkel’s own constituency is located. This is the Chancellor’s home state.
Zerohedge reports on the exit polls:
Merkel’s CDU has come in third, in line with expectations, and more importantly, behind the AfD, which is the only party to see popular support in the elections as all other major parties have seen an exodus in popularity
-SPD 30.5 %, -5.1%
-AfD 21 %, +21%
-CDU 19 %, -4.0%
-Linke 12.5 %, -5.9%
-Grüne 5 %, -3.7%
-NPD 3.5 %, -2.5%
-FDP 3 %, 0.2%
The second exit poll does not show any notable change:
The good news, according to ARD, is that – for now – the grand SPD-CDU coalition in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania can continue, but the real news is that Merkel’s CDU has been beaten by by an anti-immigrant party. As Bloomberg put it last week, “defeat in her home state by the AfD would prove a political embarrassment for Merkel, and likely reignite grumblings about her refugee policies among some in her bloc.
What makes the defeat even more bitter is Merkel’s aggressive recent campaigning in her home state: she has campaigned hard to win back support, crisscrossing Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in recent weeks. Yet ironically, she’s adopted a law-and-order tone at rallies, calling for a larger police force and “more video surveillance of public spaces”, precisely the things potential voters loathe the most. Just as inexplicably, she’s doubled-down on the question of refugees, refusing to step back from her “we can do this” slogan adopted last year as 1 million asylum seekers poured into the country. Her opponents have ridiculed the remarks as naïve.
It’s only downhill from here: as reported before, Sunday’s vote will mark the start of a tough month for the chancellor. It will be followed on Sept. 18 by a regional election in Berlin, where the CDU is trailing the SPD and has virtually no hope of winning power.
Under her [Angela Merkel] leadership, Germany has been taking in large numbers of refugees and migrants – 1.1 million last year – and anti-immigrant feeling has increased.
The AfD, initially an anti-euro party, has enjoyed a rapid rise as the party of choice for voters dismayed by Mrs Merkel’s policy.
But its political power is limited and critics accuse it of engaging in xenophobic scaremongering.
The CDU has been the junior coalition partner in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania since 2006 and is likely to remain in the governing coalition. However, its 19% in the election is its worst ever result in the state, German broadcasters said.
BBC Berlin correspondent Damien McGuinness says that following her political embarrassment, Mrs Merkel will now come under greater pressure to change her welcoming position on refugees.
Addressing supporters, local AfD leader Leif-Erik Holm said: “Perhaps this is the beginning of the end of Angela Merkel’s chancellorship today.”
Mrs Merkel, who is in China for the G20 summit, told Bild newspaper on Saturday: “We did not reduce benefits for anyone in Germany as a result of the aid for refugees. In fact, we actually saw social improvements in some areas.
“We took nothing away from people here. We are still achieving our big goal of maintaining and improving the quality of life in Germany.”