Greens Surge instead of Far Right in Germany’s 2019 EU Elections, Mainstream Parties Hit Hard

Greens Surge instead of Far Right in Germany’s 2019 EU Elections, Mainstream Parties Hit Hard

The results from the EU elections might put further pressure on the grand right-left governing coalition in Germany, and might help bring about Merkel’s earlier withdrawal as Chancellor.

The Green Party has emerged as the big winner from the 2019 EU parliament elections in Germany as it has doubled its score compared with the 2014 vote.

With a total of 20.7% of the votes, the German Greens emerged second in Sunday’s EU vote, only after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU, DW reported.

The CDU/CSU alliance, however, won just 28.7% of the votes, and while coming in first, it lost 7 percentage points compared with the previous EU elections.

The other large mainstream German party, the leftist Social Democratic Party (SPD), which has been part of Merkel’s ruling coalition since 2017, received only 15.6%, a whopping 11-point drop compared with the EU elections five years ago.

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party did end fourth in Sunday’s vote but it received 10.8%, with predictions of a surge of the far-right vote in Germany failing to materialize.

The Green party’s massive success in Germany is explained by the increasing number of voters seeing climate change as a defining issue.

The Green party’s massive success in Germany, nearly doubling its 2014 result to win more than 20% of the vote, was apparently in large part down to its new popularity among young voters.

Thus, a total of 36% of Germany’s first-time voters went for the Greens, over three times more than voted for Merkel’s conservative alliance, according to data published by infratest dimap.

“All the parties suddenly put climate protection on their posters a few weeks ago,” beaming Green party leader Annalena Baerbock told public broadcaster ARD.

“This climate protection campaign needs to be reflected in the agenda of the parties,” she added.

The SPD’s leading candidate Katarina Barley, admitted that her party had perhaps not been well-prepared on that front.

“I gave everything I could, I couldn’t do anymore,” Barley told a crowd of her supporters.

Barley, who has been serving as Justice Minister in Merkel’s Cabinet, had announced in advance that she would resign from the Ministry in order to serve as a Member of the new European Parliament.

The results from the 2019 EU elections might speed up German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s stepping down, which she has set for 2021.

Merkel’s successor as CDU leader, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, acknowledged that their party had underperformed.

“This election result is not a result that does justice to our expectations of ourselves as a people’s party,” she said in a speech to party members.

Manfred Weber, the right-wing European People’s Party candidate to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the European Commission, stood beside her.

Weber declared the result of the CDU/CSU a victory for European democracy and called on other European partners to set an agenda for the next five years.

(Banner image: Annalena Baerbock on Twitter)

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