If you look ahead in German politics at the fall of 2016....there's another state election coming....for the state of Berlin. Yesterday, the AfD Party (the anti-immigration party in Germany).....shifted gears and brought in a new chairman for the regional party headquarters.
Beatrix von Storch is now the head of the AfD Party in Berlin.
The change? Storch is a younger gal (44).....a lawyer....has a fair amount of education as a lawyer....and delivers sharp and clever speeches. She started her education in the banking sector, then slid over to law, and studied in both Germany and Switzerland. She's been a representative for the AfD Party in the EU for the past year.
Why all this matters? There's going to be a bump-up for the AfD after the March elections (3). She'll have six months to maneuver around Berlin....get into talk forums....and carve up on CDU voting patterns. The CDU in 2011's state election took only 23.4-percent of the vote (the SPD Party took 28.3-percent). The AfD didn't exist in 2011.....so you can't really say how they'd fare in the local politics.
My humble guess is that AfD ought to be able to easily take 10-percent in the fall election, without a lot of effort. If you had an accomplished political figure who made great debate action in the last month of the election? Well....that's the thing. Storch might be able to take half of CDU's normal voting pattern, and even a quarter of the SPD frustration vote (unless they shift on politics).
It doesn't mean that the AfD can win....it just means they'd be standing there with 15-percent of the vote, with the SPD clearly in the winner's seat but with only 25-percent of the vote. If the CDU takes only 12-percent of the vote....it'd be a massive and disruptive loss for them and drag in all kinds of potential changes for the 2017 election season.
And no....don't anticipate any partnership between the SPD and AfD groups. The SPD locally in Berlin would likely be forced into some coalition with the Linke Party AND the Greens in order to lead local state affairs.