Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Schwampel

The day before yesterday we had a state election in Schleswig-Holstein and the Social Democrats lost.
Percentages of votes won and gains or losses (©BZ)
They not only lost but the so-called incumbend Küstenkoalition* too. This coast coalition is composed of Social Democrats, the Greens, and the Südschleswiger Wählerverband (SSW), i.e., the party of the Danish people living near the Danish border in the north of Germany. The ruling coalition was abgewählt (down-voted, i.e., defeated).
*Schleswig-Holstein meerumschlungen, i.e., Germany's northern state is bordered in the east by the Baltic Sea and in the west by the North Sea

Number of seats in Schleswig-Holstein's new parliament (©BZ)
Winner of the election are the Christian Democrats but with only 24 seats in the state legislature they cannot govern alone. They not only need one but two coalition partners to pass the magic number of 35 seats for a majority in the state parliament.

The Jamaican flag
Here comes in the color coding Red Baron blogged about before. One possible coalition in Schleswig-Holstein would be an Ampel-Koalition (traffic light coalition), red-yellow-green, between the Social Democrats, the Liberals, and the Greens. As the winner has the first choice to form a coalition all commentators are predicting a Schwampel or schwarze Ampel (black traffic light). This is a coalition between the Christian Democrats, the Liberals, and the Greens, also called Jamaica coalition.

A few remarks are necessary. The AfD, the right wing Action for Germany, made it into the legislature with 5.9% of the votes and 4 seats, while the SSW got 3 seats with only 3.5% of the votes. Note that the so-called 5% hurdle* does not apply to the party of the Danish minority. On the the other hand the Pirates fell out of the state parliament with only 1.2% loosing 7% compared to the previous election in 2012.
*A minimum of 5% of the votes for a party is necessary in German elections to be presented in a legislature.

Suddenly the Social Democrats are scared stiff with respect to the state election in North Rhine-Westphalia next Sunday where an incumbent red-green government is at stake.

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