• Germany edition
 
FDP membership in 'vicious downward spiral'
Photo: DPA

FDP membership in 'vicious downward spiral'

Published: 29 Dec 2012 13:28 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Dec 2012 13:28 GMT+01:00

The pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), the junior party in Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition, lost some 5,400 members in 2011, and another 3,000 in the first six months of this year, putting the official membership at 60,181.

But the FDP leadership under Vice Chancellor Philipp Rösler has refused to release figures for the second half of the year until after a meeting of coalition leaders in January. Nevertheless, the fall is likely to have continued, the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported on Saturday.

"We have no indications that there were significant membership increases," admitted party spokesman Wulf Oehme. Regional party branches have all reported membership declines in the past few months.

A similar fall in the second of this year is likely to put FDP party membership well below that of the Green party, which gained 650 members this year, putting the official total at 59,727 as of mid-December.

"The FDP is in a vicious downward circle," said Berlin-based political scientist Oskar Niedermayer. "No-one wants to belong to the losers." He put much of the blame on the Rösler's enduring lack of popularity.

Germany's two major parties - the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) - have been bleeding members for several years, partly because of Germany's ageing demographic.

Focus magazine reported on Saturday that the SPD had overtaken the CDU as the biggest German party by membership, with 483,000 members, losing "only" around 6,000 members in the past year. The CDU lost over 9,000 members, and dropped to 480,000.

The socialist party The Left's membership is also declining, sinking to below 70,000 for the first time earlier this year.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

04:12 December 30, 2012 by vonSchwerin
There are fewer Greens than PDSler? That's messed up. I can't believe that the SEDPDSLINKE's membership has not plummeted, with the exception of East Berlin and a western German university towns. Well, eventually all the Ostalgists will start dying off.
12:34 December 30, 2012 by Englishted
Not surprised by the F.D.P. complete idiots.

But the figures in general reflect the feeling of hopelessness and despair the electorate have when whoever you vote for, changes their policies to grab a slice of the mishmash that is coalition power.

I would bet the numbers of people voting is dropping as well,because what is the point ?.
18:37 December 30, 2012 by mitanni
That probably has something to do with the fact that "Die Liberalen" are "liberal" in name only. Let's hope they disappear for good so that a new liberal party can arise in Germany.
22:29 December 30, 2012 by lordkorner
Now if we could only find out where they are going.
Today's headlines
Merkel targets 'shadow banks' in Lindau speech
Chancellor Angela Merkel opens the 2014 Lindau meetings. Photo: DPA

Merkel targets 'shadow banks' in Lindau speech

Chancellor Angela Merkel has opened an economics conference in Lindau, Bavaria, with a call for more regulation of so-called shadow banks. READ  

Dying town centres seek the miracle cure
A senior couple walk down Delmenhorst's main pedestrian promenade, amid a string of empty shops. Photo: Tomas Urbina

Dying town centres seek the miracle cure

Home to two-thirds of Germany's population, many of its small cities and towns are struggling to revive their declining centres. The Local's Tomas Urbina reports from Delmenhorst in Lower Saxony, as it tries to dig its way out of the economic doldrums. READ  

Quick-thinking trucker stops wrong-way driver
Signs warning drivers against entering a motorway off-road. Photo: DPA

Quick-thinking trucker stops wrong-way driver

Erich Mairleitner thought Tuesday would be another ordinary day hauling a load along the A3 motorway, but found himself the hero of the hour after stepping in to stop an accident. READ  

Germany ready to send arms to Iraqi Kurds
Usula van der Leyen and Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA

Germany ready to send arms to Iraqi Kurds

Germany is ready to send weapons to support Iraqi Kurds in their battle against the "barbaric" jihadist militants of the Islamic State, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Wednesday. READ  

The Local List
10 things to do before summer is really over
Photo: DPA

10 things to do before summer is really over

The German weather service (DWD) is blaming "Wild Wilma" for blanketing the country in cooler temperatures, but we know it's going to get a lot colder before the end of summer. This week's Local List challenges you to take advantage before autumn really sets in. READ  

Energy policy falls foul of federal auditors
Lightning illuminates the sky above a wind turbine. Photo: DPA

Energy policy falls foul of federal auditors

The Federal Court of Auditors (BRH) has sharply criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel's energy policy, saying that the previous coalition government failed to produce adequate financial plans. READ  

China orders German's execution for murders
A paramilitary guard stands inside Beijing's No.1 Detention Centre. Photo: DPA

China orders German's execution for murders

Update: A German man has been condemned to death in China for murdering his ex-girlfriend and her partner in a frenzied attack, it was reported on Wednesday. READ  

German aid planes to Iraq delayed
All filled up and nowhere to go. Photo: DPA

German aid planes to Iraq delayed

A German military flight to the conflict-addled region in northern Iraq has been delayed because Turkey denied landing permission for the layover at Incirlik airbase, according to a spokesman for the air force. READ  

Bomb shuts down A3 motorway
Photo: DPA

Bomb shuts down A3 motorway

A controlled detonation of a 500-kg bomb from the Second World War has left a 20-metre-wide crater in the middle of one of Germany's busiest traffic corridors on Tuesday night. READ  

Saxony schools get top marks
Photo: DPA

Saxony schools get top marks

A country-wide analysis has shown that Saxony has the best schools and Berlin has a lot of homework to do. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should.
Photo: DPA
National
Berlin's senate puts the brakes on Über
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: DPA
Culture
How I deal with my German Hausmeister
Photo: Ingrid Eulenfan/flickr
Gallery
Nine German treats you'll want to eat right now (and one you won't)
Photo: DPA
Society
Who's getting German citizenship?
Photo: DPA
Culture
How World War I changed Germany forever
Photo: APA/DPA
Gallery
The 12 best words in Austrian German
Photo: DPA
Society
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,315
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd