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Germany sees highest EU election voter turnout since reunification

Germany sees highest EU election voter turnout since reunification

Germany’s conservative and far-right parties have made gains in the European elections on Sunday, following the country’s highest voter turnout since reunification.

Christian Democrats maintain strong position in European elections

Germany’s CDU / CSU party has come out on top after the German polls closed following the European election weekend. The centre-right conservative party has maintained its position as the strongest German party in Brussels, taking 30 percent of the vote.

Despite a series of scandals involving its top candidate Maximillian Krah and the party being expelled from the European Parliament’s far-right Identity and Democracy (ID) alliance, the far-right AfD made the significant gains many expected, taking 15,9 percent of the vote.

Taking 13,9 percent of votes down from 15,8 percent in 2019, Olaf Scholz’s governing SPD saw its worst result since before the Second World War. The Greens took home 11,9 percent (20,5 in 2019) and FDP 5,2 percent (5,4 in 2019), meaning all three coalition parties saw losses.

With 64,8 percent of eligible voters casting their ballot and all over-16s newly enfranchised, polling day saw the highest voter turnout since German reunification in 1991.

AfD wins local elections in three German states

Coinciding with the European election polling day on Sunday, local elections were held in eight German states; Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.

As in the European Parliament, the AfD saw significant gains in eastern Germany at local level, coming out top in three states; Brandenburg (25,7 percent up by 9,8 percentage points from 2019), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (25,6 percent up by almost double)  and Saxony-Anhalt (28,1 percent up by 11,6 percentage points).

The results may prove a litmus test for the autumn, when the populist party are expected to perform well in state government elections for Brandenburg, Saxony and Thuringia.

Thumb image credit: Gorloff-KV / Shutterstock.com

Olivia Logan

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Olivia Logan

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