Since WW II, there's been this unwritten understanding between the CDU (Christian Democrats or Germany's Republican Party) and the CSU (Christian Social Union, or Germany's Bavarian-style Republican Party).
In fifteen states, the CDU operates and has candidates. In Bavaria, it's the CSU.
There are some hostile feelings brewing now between the two Conservative parties over Merkel's immigration vision. The Bavarians aren't happy and have been demanding changes over the past two years. For every two steps forward that they ask.....they get at best....one step forward.
There's been this hyped up discussion or threat.....that the CSU might go national, or that the CDU might enter Bavarian politics.
Today, it went one step closer as the governor of Hessen (a CDU member) brought up the topic again and said it could actually happen.
There are several observations that one might make.
If you look across the fifteen states where the CDU operates....a fair number of members are sticking to the party but it's obvious that while they can't vote for the AfD, they'd like a frustration vote. If the CSU (Bavarians) were existing in their state.....like Schleswig-Holstein (the state), which has an election in early May? The 28-percent polling rate that the CDU shows right now.....might drop 6-points and trigger an easy loss for the CDU. The Bavarians don't care if they only got 6-to-8 percent, it's the point that they could affect the CDU folks in their home territory.
The CSU in Saarbrucken in March of 2017 for their state election? Same story.....they could take 6-to-8 points off the CDU and cause them to lose that election.
The CSU in NRW in their May 2017 election? There might be enough frustration to slide 20-percent of the vote and deny the AfD a big chunk of the voting, and deny the CDU as well.
In some ways, I see this as a theater operation and some fakeness to it. If you had a real proven Conservative party to vote for, and you were seeking only a frustration opportunity to vote against Merkel, then the CSU makes perfect sense. Why waste a vote for the AfD?
Nationally for the CSU? No one has ever done a poll like this, and you have to wonder 'why not'?
The facts that we do know is that in Bavaria, the CSU can pull 8.5 percent of the national voting off their one single state.
If the CDU were to enter Bavarian politics? At best, the CDU might carve away one entire point in the national election. Most Bavarians probably wouldn't slip over unless there were more changes to the immigration policy.....the heart of the problem for the CDU in the first place.
So, all this talk.....something to generate a "frustration to the frustration-vote"?
It would make one wonder about this.
Worst case scenario.....another riot in Koln on 31 December 2016, massive sexual assaults, Turkey releasing refugees in the April 2017 period to come to Germany in massive numbers? With the AfD as a frustration vote and a weak CDU chancellor candidate.....the AfD might actually clear 20-to-24 percent of the national vote.
If you could create a fake diversion and give people the CSU Bavarians as a chance to send your frustration vote that way? I suspect that the AfD folks would barely clear 10-percent and the Bavarians would take the bulk of this frustration vote nationally. A 18-percent CDU win and a 24-percent CSU win? That probably would be enough the election and create a new partnership (really the same people, just in different numbers).
A fake frustration-vote opera? Yeah. It would be humorous to consider but these are Germans and fairly creative at things like this.