Looking ahead at German state elections in 2017, there are three:
1. Schleswig-Holstein. A north western state in Germany.....from the spring of this year, the CDU and SPD were both projected near 28-percent in the polling data, with AfD holding near 9-percent. The election day is 7 May. The FDP and Greens hold some ranking and will play a part in this election. From the 2012 election, 2.2 million showed up and voted.
One might take the opinion that both the SPD and CDU will have lost some numbers since the spring period when the last poll was accomplished, and that AfD might be closer to 15-percent today.
2. Saarbrucken, a southwestern state will have a vote on 26 March 2017. The last poll done was spring of 2016, and showed the CDU at 34-percent and the SPD near 29-percent, with the AfD at 11-percent.
In the 2012 election, 481,000 showed up to vote.
There is a larger Linke Party presence in the region and this might play some minor role in the election (projected at 12-percent).
This might be the only real positive election situation for the CDU of this spring period, with possibly a 30-percent or better win.
3. Finally, North Rhine-Westphalia. NRW has the largest concentration of immigrants of any German state, and also has a dismal employment record at present. It also is the region that had the 600-plus rape assault situations from 31 December 2015. Their election is projected on 13 May, a week after the Schleswig-Holstein election.
7.8-million voted in the 2012 election.
In the 2012 election, the SPD carried 39-percent in the election, which was an amazing number. It won't repeat itself. The CDU? 26-percent, and that won't repeat itself either.
Polling? Almost none for 2016 reported, which might suggest that no one really wants to know or advertise just how lousy they are doing.
The effect of another 31 December 2015 sexual assault episode in Koln? If 31 December 2016 shows any type of repeat.....this will land directly upon the election and cause the public to cast frustration votes.
This particular election is the last one prior to the national election in Oct/Nov timeframe. The AfD was not part of the 2012 election, so you can't really suggest much except to say that both the SPD and CDU will lose at least 15 points off their 2012 tally.
If the AfD were able to pull 20-percent in this state? It would be a strong frustration vote and indicate that there's national trend going on and set up some difficult political forecasts for run-up to the national election.
For the remainder of 2016, I wouldn't expect too many speeches or positions to be taken. In January, a flurry of activity will start in these three states and be the basis of the national election in the fall.