Friday, August 4, 2017

Smoke Clears on Lower Saxony

Most of the smoke has cleared on the political chaos in Lower Saxony (the German state).  The basic story is that for 4.5 years....the fragile SPD-Green state government held a thin margin of one single vote in their coalition.  They were supposed to have a state election in January. of the Green Party members got peeved at opportunities ahead for her, after the party closed every single door for either continuing or advancing after January.  So, she said fine....she'd hold her seat in the state assembly but quit the party....going to the CDU instead.  The majority for the SPD-Green government?  Gone.


Come Monday....most people think that the chief of the SPD within the state will say enough, and dissolve the state assembly....moving the election up to perhaps 24 September (the national election day).


This becomes an interesting topic.  Almost no one has done polling in Lower Saxony (7.7 million residents).  Usually serious polling in a state election would start about 90 days out.  So no one can say how the general public feels.  The CDU is riding high right now because of Merkel's numbers.  The SPD?  Much less so.

In the last election.....2013....the CDU picked up 36-percent of the vote.  The SPD won 32.6 percent.  The Greens won 13.7 percent.  And the FDP won 9.9 percent.  No one else crossed the 5-percent threshold.

One might suspect that if Merkel is polling near 40-percent....that CDU in Lower Saxony would achieve at least those numbers.  Both the SPD and Greens are likely to take a slightly less vote count than in 2013, and the FDP might be able to achieve 12-percent this time around.

A shock effect?  I sat and watched a brief exchange between the SPD chief (Weil) and the ARD news interviewer.  Weil gave a decent interview but he was left with a loss of words and no clear path ahead.  I think he'd like to find a way to delay the vote, and avoid any connection to the 24 September election to Merkel.  For the SPD, this is probably the weakest that they've been in a least nationally.

Payback in a sense?  Well, this is an odd topic because in the 2013 election....the CDU easily won but the SPD and Greens refused to accommodate them in a coalition situation.  Because of the narrow margin of the win....there was no partner outcome.  Both the Greens and the SPD grinned as they entered their coalition (a ultra-thin majority).  Once the Greens had screwed around their one member in the legislature....they shouldn't have been surprised at her angle of payback.

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