Bavarian election: Embattled CSU and SPD in last minute push to win back voters

As the state election campaign in Bavaria draws to a close, the embattled CSU and SPD are launching major rallies on Friday in a last desperate push to draw in voters.

Bavarian election: Embattled CSU and SPD in last minute push to win back voters
Bavaria will go to the polls on Sunday. Will the polls be correct? Photo: DPA

Both parties are in extremely difficult positions ahead of the election on Sunday. According to polls, both the Christian Socialists and the Social Democrats can expect heavy losses.

The ZDF ‘Politbarometer’, which was released late on Thursday, showed the CSU are currently at 34 percent, which is one percentage point less than the previous week. The Greens remain the second strongest force with 19 percent – a plus of one percentage point. The SPD lag behind with 12 percent.

Interestingly, the Free Voters' Party (Die Freien Wähler or FW), a conservative party which governs at a local level and is led by Hubert Aiwanger, have 10 percent. The AfD also scored 10 percent.

According to the ‘Politbarometer’, the Free Democrats (FDP)  managed 5.5 percent, while the Left Party (Die Linke) is at 4 percent (minus 0.5 points since the previous poll). Both parties will struggle to enter the state parliament if the polls are correct.

SEE ALSO: What you need to know about the upcoming Bavarian election

A total of 1075 voters were randomly selected in Bavaria for the most recent survey. 

In the state elections of 2013, the CSU still had 47.7 percent of the votes, the SPD ended up with 20.6 percent, the Free Voters' Party scooped 9 percent while the Greens only had 8.6 percent. 

Final rallies

In contrast to the Bundestag election a year ago, the CSU will not be supported by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) at its official final rally in Munich happening Friday at 6pm.

Instead, Prime Minister Markus Söder will appear with party leader Horst Seehofer and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP).

At around the same time in Schweinfurt, SPD top candidate Natascha Kohnen and party leader Andrea Nahles will once again speak out against the decline of the Bavarian SPD and hope to inject some positive energy into their campaign.

Other parties are also staging election campaign events on Friday. For the Greens, who are currently riding on a wave of euphoria thanks to their recent boost, Baden-Württemberg's Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann will be in the Swabian town of Ustersbach in the afternoon, and at 6pm, top candidate Ludwig Hartmann and former party leader Cem Özdemir will be in Munich.

In Nuremberg, high profile Brexit opponent Norman Baker, a member of the UK party the Liberal Democrats, will speak at an event organized by the FDP.

SEE ALSO: After beer and dirndl campaign, Bavarian politics is facing a shake-up

The CSU, which has so far been the sole governing party in Bavaria, has been polling between 33 and 35 percent in recent polls so it's likely that the party will not score a majority and will have to search for a coalition partner.

The most stable alliance would be one with the Greens, but commentators say the parties might be too different for that formation – and other partnerships are also possible.

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Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

Germany will reinstate its so-called debt brake in 2023 after suspending it for three years to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, sources in the finance ministry said Wednesday.

Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

The government will borrow 17.2 billion euros ($18.1 million) next year, adhering to the rule enshrined in the constitution that normally limits

Germany’s public deficit to 0.35 percent of overall annual economic output, despite new spending as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the sources said.

The new borrowing set out in a draft budget to be presented to the cabinet on Friday is almost 10 billion euros higher than a previous figure for 2023 announced in April.

However, “despite a considerable increase in costs, the debt brake will be respected,” one of the sources said.

Although Germany is traditionally a frugal nation, the government broke its own debt rules at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and unleashed vast financial aid to steer the economy through the crisis.

READ ALSO: Debt-averse Germany to take on new borrowings to soften pandemic blow

The government has this year unveiled a multi-billion-euro support package to help companies in Europe’s biggest economy weather the fallout from the Ukraine war and sanctions against Russia.

Berlin has also spent billions to diversify its energy supply to reduce its dependence on Russia, as well as investing heavily in plans to tackle climate change and push digital technology.

But despite the additional spending, Finance Minister Christian Lindner has maintained the aim to reinstate the debt brake in 2023.