Two elections occurred yesterday in Germany.....state-related elections (not national ones). Both states are in the former DDR (East Germany).....so you have to expect some different trends than you'd see in Bavaria or Hessen.
There were no real shocks in this election (Brandenburg and Thuringia), except the AfD guys won a fair portion of votes (around ten percent in each case). The AfD Party was non-existent four years ago, so to sweep up ten percent of a state's votes....is a bit unusual.
The state-run TV news folks did a fair amount of research into this topic of where the AfD votes came from. The trend says that ALL German political parties lost voters to AfD. It wasn't just the FDP, or CDU folks. It included the Linke Party (the far left Communist Party) and the SPD.
National elections are three years away, and no one is saying much over how a national trend might play out in 2017. AfD picking up fifteen to twenty percent of the national vote by then? I'd say unlikely....but ten to fifteen percent? Very possible.
What appeals to Germans about the AfD....is this frustration with political figures in general. By voting with AfD.....you send a message to various party chiefs that you are disenchanted. The same deal exists with the American Tea Party crowd....disenchantment and hostility over the budget and taxes.
What all this leads to? When national discussions take place on Sundays with commentary from the bigger political parties.....it will be required to invite a AfD representative to the show, and give him or her opportunities to chat on various topics. I suspect all of the big five political groups are walking on thin glass at present....knowing they've all lost voters to AfD, and they can't afford any more losses. Maybe in some fashion.....this might force some concessions....some logic.....and some changes into the national political process. Well......maybe.