The Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) political party will convene today (Sat) in Hannover Germany for a mini-congress meeting.
What the German news media will say centers around four basic things. First, there's supposed to be around 600 total members showing up. Second, their lead person (Frauke Petry) will likely have competition from a secondary player (Hocke). Third, divisions from AfD are possible because of differing views among the membership. Fourth and final.....this is the last real public moment with the national wing of the party before state politics opens up in January in three German states for the March election period.
Four years ago, AfD was simply a pipe-dream by the creator....Bernd Lucke. It was supposed to be a anti-Euro party and no one figured they'd ever go beyond six to eight percent of the public support. Over the last year, Lucke got tossed as the leader, and the party took on the anti-refugee situation (something that Lucke just wasn't going to attach himself to). As Lucke left, the news media figures that he took around ten-to-twenty percent of the AfD membership with him. But by taking on the anti-immigrant stance....AfD has grown more popular and taken support from the CDU and CSU. The news media will agree that they now have ten-percent of public support.
This internal fight between Petry and Hocke? From an American's prospective view.....Petry comes across as bright, clever, and adaptable at debate. She lacks charsma and while her speeches are fitting the agenda.....she is at best a three-star speaker. Hocke? He's fifty-percent 1930s-style political charm.....fifty-percent tailored speeches to fit his style of talk.....and fifty-percent a populist-type political character. For an independent who'd like to send a frustration vote across to all political parties in Germany.....the AfD might be the only choice, but neither Petry or Hocke really do a lot to earn that vote.
This Hannover meeting is kinda important because it would normally lay out the strategy for 100 days of campaigning in three German states (the Pfalz, Sachsen-Anhalt, and Baden-Wurttemberg).
If you follow public commentary, there's a fair amount of disgruntled Germans who dislike the Merkel refugee strategy. The local CDU candidate in the Pfalz has adapted a anti-Merkel stance and this might stop people from walking away from the CDU vote, but if they ever stand and ask how the CDU would partner up with anyone after a win in the Pfalz.....they'd just start grinning because they'd go right back to a neutral view of Merkel's program if they attempt to woe the SPD or anyone else in the Pfalz political scene.
A consolidated AfD platform and no divisions? The news media doesn't do numbers like that. I'd take a guess that AfD could easily take fifteen-percent to twenty-percent of the state voting and possibly even take votes away from the SPD and Linke Party as well (lesser numbers I admit but still there is a wide array of disgruntled Germans).
As for the end talk by the news media on Sunday about this AfD mini-congress meeting? Mostly negative and attempting to sway opinion that the party is divided. The fact that just about every political party in Germany is deeply divided.....won't register with the news media. Toss in some Hocke comment moments of a 1930s-style speech, and it'll come off as a comical meeting.