Posts Tagged ‘AfD’

Tactical voting in the German polls today?

September 22, 2013

Talking to some of my German friends over the last few days, I get the impression that there could be some tactical voting today.

German polls

German polls

The latest polls (via der Spiegel) give Angela Merkel’s CDU-CSU 39% but their coalition partners the FDP are running close to the 5% barrier. The Green vote has come down to around 9% and the recent ballyhoo about their pro-vegetarianism, anti-car and pro-paedophilia positions could hurt them further. The dawning realisation that they have been most responsible for the very high cost of electricity that Germans are burdened with has probably been the underlying reason for their steady decline in the last few months. The far Left are also around 9% and their votes are probably solid especially in Eastern Germany where die-hard communists are still hankering for the “good old days”.

The anti-Euro AfD are running below the 5% barrier and it has been politically incorrect to show any support for them. They could spring a surprise and creep over 5% and that would lead to interesting times – especially if their success is allied with a weakening of the Greens. Paradoxically some of their far-right support could be enhanced by some support from the very far Left.

To get any kind of a comfortable right-of-centre coalition Angela Merkel needs the FDP. For the FDP to fall below 5% could lead to some unnecessary pressures. A Grand Coalition with the SDP is something to be avoided. And this leads to the possibility that some CDU-CSU voters will cast their primary vote for their CDU-CSU candidate but will give their second vote to the FDP party. While no single FDP candidate will be advantaged in winning their own seats, this tactical approach could ensure that the FDP gets close to 7 or 8%. The seats they win as a party could then be close to the number won by the Greens and could provide the cushion that Angela Merkel could be quite thankful for. Talking to my friends (2 CDU supporters and one SDP) I got the impression that

  1. in very strong CDU-CSU constituencies some of the second “party” vote could well go to the FDP, and
  2. in strong SDP constituencies, CDU-CSU voters could cast both their votes for the FDP.

Well, the results will be known in about 12 hours and Angela Merkel’s performance is almost a foregone conclusion. She will be returned for the 3rd time. It is the performance of the Greens, the FDP and the AfD which adds some spice and interest to an otherwise rather low key and almost “boring” election. But it is the very mundane nature of the election which – I think – reflects the mood in Germany and is Angela Merkel’s greatest advantage. She makes common sense and being “boring” virtues devoutly to be sought.

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